We’re about to publish a new article on inspecting aluminum wiring during a home inspection.
We’d love to see several inspection images from InterNACHI members added to the article.
If you have one or two good images of solid branch aluminum wiring; cable jackets with “Al," “Aluminum,” “CU-clad,” or “Copper-clad;" or aluminum wire connections and repairs that are proper or improper observed during one of your home inspections that you would enjoy contributing, please post here or email email@example.com.
We’ll provide you with full credit for the image in the article.
(Neil DeGaris, CMI KY License # 102167)
I remember this very well.
“Concerns about aluminum wiring were elevated with the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Kentucky, where 165 people died, and many more were injured by a fire ignited by the sub-standard electrical installation of aluminum wiring.”
However, inspectors who observe purple wire nut splices on the aluminum wire should disclaim that, while permitted by the IRC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) deems the use of twist-on connectors to be a temporary repair and should not be used for permanent connections and splices.
Do any inspectors here call out purple wire nuts as temporary solutions? If so, do you mind sharing your wording when doing so?
I would just convert the paragraph to a narrative.
Purple wire splices observed on the aluminum wiring. While permitted by the IRC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) deems the use of twist-on connectors to be a temporary repair and should not be used for permanent connections and splices. For safety reasons, recommend correction to ensure a safe, effective and permanent solution by a qualified electrical contractor.
That’s more or less what I’ve done in the past. Although, I get worried that I’m not “staying in my lane”, so to speak.
Don’t you think many of those purple wire nuts were installed by licensed electricians?
If there aren’t any purple wire nuts and there are just old aluminum connections - do you explicitly recommend alumicon or copalum or full replacement? Or are you recommending an electrician repair as they see fit (many of whom may install purple wire nuts)?
First, I see many defects installed by licensed people.
So, how do we justify our narrative?
It’s in the narrative, CPSC is a reputable authority on which to justify your position.
Our training provides this guidance as well.
So in good faith inline with two leading industry organizations (CPSC and NACHI) we make a recommendation in the best interest of our clients. So yes, we are in our lane.
I do not prescribe a cure. I prescribe a safe, effective and permanent solution which should be determined by a qualified electrical contractor.
(You could mention in a note or FYI that CPSC recommends alumicon, capalum or full replacement)
I work as an electrician by day, so I sometimes get to go a little farther than a home inspector might. Here are a few aluminum wiring pictures with some damage that I’ve found because of incorrectly repaired aluminum wiring.