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Solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring in Residential Properties: Hazards & Remedies
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Aluminum electrical wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early 1970's, is a potential fire hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard. Problems due to expansion can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at splices.
CPSC research shows that "homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than are homes wired with copper.
"Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern. Introduction of the aluminum wire "alloys" in 1972 time frame did not solve most of the connection failure problems. Aluminum wiring is still permitted and used for certain applications, including residential service entrance wiring and single-purpose higher amperage circuits such as 240V air conditioning or electric range circuits.
As of the current date of this page, only two remedies (1 - Discontinued Use and 2.1.- COPALUM, below) have been recommended by the CPSC.
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