O Fallon, MO
|reply to Jack_in_VA |
Re: Aluminum Wiring Help
The NEC has nothing to do with it.
UL and CSA approve the products. This is on UL.
We all know UL has approved many defective products over the years: Aluminum wiring, Federal Pacific Breakers, Zinsco Breakers, bad hair dryers, bad space heaters, bad extension cords, bad PC power supplies, bad coffee makers, bad washing machines - this list goes on.
One note, many (most) of these most recent defective products are from China. They submit quality items for UL testing, and then produce total crap for the store shelves. Often changing things like chemical makeup, wire gauges, metal types.
It's hard to combat liars and fraudsters (that's also what FPE did with their breakers).
Right now UL and CSA are the best we have. I do agree that it should be harder to get UL approval, and there should be post-approval random testing.
I service areas with extensive amounts of AL branch circuits. I've know for years how dangerous aluminum wiring is, especially if left in "original" condition. I've seen the fires first hand. Usually they are small fires and don't turn into anything more than an inconvenience.
Recently, I've also started seeing the failure of the purple "twister" wire nuts. It could be that the person who installed them did not follow the directions, but there are now documented cases of these failing even when installed exactly per manufacturers specifications.
There was a time, when the only other options to twisters were CopAlum or total replacement. CopAlum is very expensive, as is replacement.
These Alumiconn connectors are a "better mousetrap" for dealing with the problems that come with aluminum wiring.
Technically, there's nothing wrong with the aluminum wire. The problem is the way it's terminated. When AL was first used, there were no proper terminators or devices. Mistake #1.
The metal alloy content was changed in the 70's, so there was a tiny improvement, but it was too late for most. The devices were also changed in the early 70's (devices say CO/ALR instead of CU/AL). This helped somewhat.
BTW, for the OP, it appears they are CSA approved.
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.