This is Aluminum Wiring Repair Procedure - Page 13 Color photos and descriptive captions from CPSC Meeting 9/28/95.
In this document aluminum wire twist-on connector failures and repair procedures are described,
including aluminum wire repair methods which work and methods which do not work and are unsafe.
Color photos of aluminum wire repair procedures, and photos of failed connectors are included.
This document series describes hazards with existing aluminum wiring repair products, explains the aluminum wiring failure mechanism,
and reviews recommended retrofit procedures including use of readily-available materials.
This information was presented to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by Dr. J. Aronstein, 9/28/95.
The minutes of that meeting were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and posted by Daniel Friedman January 1996.
50. Installed per the manufacturer's instructions, many in retrofit installations, hazardous failures will occur in considerable numbers over the years. The free-burning connector shell
is then a cause for concern. A substantial fire can grow from ignition of a connector shell, as shown in this demonstration.
51. The only materials here are those intended to be in the box: the wires, a connector, and the end of the cable sheath. A failing aluminum twist-on splice can ignite its own shell. In this
demonstration the connector shell was ignited by a match. A burning glob of plastic drips to the floor of the metal box,
52. The flame does not extinguish. Interaction between the shell and the dripped plastic keeps it going. In an actual installation the side and front of the box would be enclosed, but there are
generally enough openings and gaps to provide sufficient air for combustion.
53. The temperature of the wire insulation has increased to the point where it too will burn, and the fire grows.
54. At this point the connector is completely burned out but the fire continues on the wire insulation and cable jacket end. In the wall of an actual home, the fire may spread or not, depending on
details. Clearly, however, the inside of the electrical box is no place for free-burning material.
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55. The Ideal #65 connector has more free burning material than the connector shown in the previous demonstration, because it is filled with highly-combustible inhibitor. Now, imagine an outlet box
with two or three of them. That is quite a fire lighter.
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ALUMINUM WIRE REPAIR METHODS to reduce risk in buildings with Aluminum Electrical Wiring - Overview of Acceptable Repair Practices (in the document you are presently viewing)
Aluminum Wire Repair Method Details - "How to" details, how to identify, COPALUM repair, alternative repairs, history, products, research, source of special AMP TYCO COPALUM connectors & COPALUM Electricians (in the document you are presently viewing)
COPALUM Electricians: Sources of TYCO COPALUM -Certified/Trained Aluminum Wire Repair Services (in the document you are presently viewing)
Other Products, Ideal 65 Purple Twister (not recommended), & other Aluminum Wire Products/Articles (in the document you are presently viewing)
Reducing the Fire Hazards in Aluminum-Wired Homes, Jess Aronstein, Ph.D., This document answers most technical questions about the hazards and remedies of aluminum electrical wiring. Some of the sections of this very thorough document are listed below:
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