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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
Aluminum Wiring Summary Page for Public Use
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURE
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DMM Digital Multimeter HOW TO USE
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ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
FIRE SAFETY Checklist, CPSC
GFCI PROTECTION,Testing GFCIs AFCIs
KNOB & TUBE WIRING
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SIEMENS MURRAY Recall
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
ZINSCO / SYLVANIA HAZARDS
Aluminum wire connections can overheat enough to start a fire without ever drawing enough current to trip a circuit breaker. Other products sold for repair of aluminum wiring connections: Scotchlok 3M™, Ideal 65™ Purple "Twister", Marrette B-Cap ACS™ #63 AL/CU Twist-On Connector, Electrical Receptacles and switches marked "COALR" or CU/AL, and Harbor Freight's Aluminum to Copper Crimping Tool are not recommended. Caution - some of these products are not recommended or have been superceded by newer listed products. This website answers nearly all questions about aluminum wiring inspection, hazards, repairs
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OTHER Not-Recommended ALUMINUM WIRING REPAIR PRODUCTS: for Aluminum Electrical Wiring - Ideal 65 Purple Twister and Other Aluminum Wire Products/Articles
Currently-recommended aluminum wiring repair products & methods such as the AMP/TYCO COPALUM TM crimp connector and the AlumiConn TM connector, as well as other aluminum wire repair methods can be read-about at ALUMINUM WIRING RISK Reduction .
Aluminum Wiring Connectors or "repair methods" which are obsolete or which are not recommended, such as the COALR or CU/AL devivces, the now obsolete Scotchlok TM 3M Special Method, and aluminum wiring connectors and repair methods such as the Ideal-65 TM Purple Twist On Connector, or conventional twist-on wire connectors are described just below. Further details are also found at Aluminum Wiring Repair Methods - CPSC Meeting.
Harbor Freight offers a hydraulic crimping tool advertised as usable for aluminum wiring repairs. The tool is displayed and sold only by Harbor Freight as the Hydraulic Wire Crimping Tool Model 66150. Harbor Freight is a large, long-established tool retailer (since 1978) retailing a wide variety of tools and equipment.
We recommend that you read the instruction manual for this tool (large PDF).
As of 7 Feb 2009 we don't know the approval status of this tool for aluminum wiring repairs.
We took a preliminary look at the Harbor Freight Hydraulic Wire Crimping Tool Model 66150 and also at the instruction manual, and we saw that HF advertises that this tool intended for connecting copper and aluminum wires. The text does not say that the tool is approved for joining copper to aluminum wires as is performed in the standard aluminum wiring repair procedure. But we may be interpreting the manufacturer's text more carefully than did their ad copy writer.
What we don't yet know about this aluminum or copper wire crimping tool:
What we have learned so far about this copper to aluminum wire crimping tool
The Harbor Freight Hydraulic Wire Crimping Tool Model 66150 instruction manual has some interesting paragraphs like
That paragraph alone might exclude the use of this tool for aluminum-copper pigtailing repairs. There are no such instructions. The manual also, quite understandably, includes a general disclaimer:
Is the Harbor Freight hydraulic crimping tool for copper and aluminum wires recommended for repairing aluminum wiring?
But given the difficulty people in some areas have finding qualified aluminum wiring repair electricians, connectors, and tools, here some
THEN having another aluminum wire repair method would be a boon for the AL wire repair topic.
This tool is Distributed exclusively by Harbor Freight Tools®. 3491 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93011
Until those safety conditions are met we do not recommend any aluminum wire repair method other than those described at ALUMINUM WIRING REPAIR METHODS. Using a non-recommended tool for repairing aluminum electrical wiring might be unsafe and might also create fire insurance issues with your carrier.
Dr. Jesse Aronstein, "Evaluation of a Twist-on Connector for Aluminum Wire", Forty-Third IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts, Jan 1997, 0-7803-3968-1/97.
Marrette B-Cap ACS#63 AL/CU Twist-On Connector for aluminum wire repair - is also not recommended for aluminum wire repair by the pigtailing approach. Dr. J. Aronstein provided this answer to the question that we have been asked, "Can I use the Marrette B-Cap ACS 63 AL/Cu twist-on connector along with antioxidant for reliable copper-to-aluminum pigtailing repair of aluminum electrical wiring?"
A paper was published on those tests and is our first citation just below. Aronstein comments that "The addition of an inhibitor compound does not correct the underlying deficiency of the twist-on connector type when used with aluminum wire." See "Reducing the Fire Hazard in Aluminum-Wired Homes" for additional information on twist-on connectors with aluminum wire. -- Jesse Aronstein, Ph.D., P.E.
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