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Field reports & photos of aluminum electrical wiring failures, overheats, fires: this article contains photo-documented reports of actual in-service aluminum wiring failures in homes.
We have been receiving reports from home owners,
builders, and building professionals since 1990. However this page was created in July 2004, so it will not contain all
of the historical data. Recent reports, photographs, anecdotes are be displayed here. When I complete statistical
analysis of prior reports I'll add that data at this page.
Aluminum Wiring Overheating Reports with failure photographs
240V Heat Pump Circuit - Aluminum Wiring Failure Case
"I was replacing the heat pump unit on our home and went under the house to wire in the new unit to an existing junction
box. Upon opening the box I let out an expletive and then went right to our local home center to purchase some new copper
wire to run from the service panel to the new unit.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Whoever wired the previous unit must have had some Al wire around but
not quite enough to reach the unit, so they used a junction box to connect Al and Cu wire. Fortunately, the so-called
technicians used a steel box otherwise the house could have burned down.
This was the only aluminum wiring I have found thus far but I'm not done inspecting yet."-- J.F. 6/30/2004
DF-note: see also this lab photograph of an overheating twist-on connector to show the overheat mechanism in the case above
Ideal-65 "Twister" Burnup in Field Use - Aluminum Wiring Failure Case Photos
Contributor - Gordon Cohen: These thermal imaging photos of overheating aluminum splices and circuit breakers with aluminum wiring are courtesy of Gordon Cohen, June 2006.
Mr. Gordon offers home inspections and thermal imaging services in Florida and is also employed by ServiceMaster as a project manager.
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 "Record of Commission Action, Commissioners Voting by Ballot", CPSC Publication No. 516, Repairing Aluminum Wiring (original version op.cit.), (Briefing package dated March 15, 2011), Quoting: The Commission voted unanimously (5-0)·to approve republication of CPSC Publication No. 516, Repairing Aluminum Wiring, with the explicit recognition that the COPALUM and AlumiConn connectors currently are the only products that meet the agency's standards to prevent aluminum wire fire hazards Copy on file as /aluminum/Pub516_Alumi_Conn.pdf
 Dr. Jess Aronstein, email@example.com is a research consultant and an electrical engineer in Schenectady, NY. Dr. Aronstein provides forensic engineering services and independent laboratory testing for various agencies. Dr. Aronstein has published widely on and has designed and conducted tests on aluminum wiring failures, Federal Pacific Stab-Lok electrical equipment, and numerous electrical products and hazards. See Aluminum Wiring Bibliography and see FPE HAZARD ARTICLES, STUDIES for examples.
 "The Influence of Corrosion Inhibitor and Surface Abrasion on the Failure of Aluminum-Wired Twist-on Connections",
Aronstein, J.; Campbell, W.,
Components, Hybrids, and Manufacturing Technology, IEEE Transactions on
Volume 7, Issue 1, Mar 1984 Page(s): 20 - 24
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)
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:
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Or choose the The Home Reference eBook for PCs, Macs, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or Android Smart Phones. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAEHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.