Info to backup safety of aluminum wiring?

I just did a search on split bolt, aluminum, and UL, and it looks like you must have been refering to just the link that I provided above,
since this page for example lists split bolt connectors designed for joining aluminum to copper and it says that they are UL and CSA certified: www.gardnerbender.com/whats_new/products/copperAluConnectors.html . So I've just answered my own question as to what you were refering too ...
Thanks, Harry
P.S. Maybe I should start a new thread about this whole idea of using larger connectors with aluminum wire ... since this is totally off topic from where this thread started.
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I can't site any references that you are asking for (without doing alot of research, anyway).
I can speak from experience.
I have lived in apartments with aluminum wiring and I have found many faulty terminations at duplex outlets, switches, and light fixtures. Faulty terminations are usually "heard" as arcing when appliances are plugged-in. I have seen way too many charred fixtures, outlets, and switches for my taste. I have also found it difficult to find fixtures rated for CO/AL (and I would have replaced all of these poorly installed fixtures on my own dime had I been able to find CO/AL).
I have experienced a house-fire caused by faulty wiring -- copper wiring. It seems that the contractor pulled the wire so tight that the wire kinked and caused a hot-spot, that over the years finally ignited the wood 2x4. (Fortunately no one was injured, and we did get a much needed roof replacement, along with a new HVAC unit from the insurance.)
I currently live in a house built in 1973 and it has aluminum wiring. When we moved in 12 years ago, the first thing my wife and I did, was to pigtail every aluminum termination with a wire-nut, a 3" piece of copper wire (with the correct insulation color), and anti-oxidant compound to fill the wire-nuts. I was very very careful not to nick any aluminum and I very carefully sanded each termination with 600-grit sandpaper. We then bought and installed brand new outlets and switches (rated for copper). (We left most of the light fixtures alone.)
I have not had any problems with any of the stuff we replaced. In 12 years only one ceiling lamp fixture has caused problems when I put in compact flourescent light bulbs. I had occasion to examine some of the replacement outlets last year. Everything looked great. The only 'problem' I saw -- the anti-oxidant compound had become "gummy" in the wire nuts.
I don't know if what we did was "code", or "above code", but I feel safer than if the house was wired, "pure" aluminum.
Hope this helps Tom P.
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Harry Muscle wrote:

The site is run by a home inspector. His interest is that home inspectors encounter conditions that may be a hazard and should be reported in an inspection report. The site collects information and has web links on a number of issues.
On aluminum a lot of the information comes from the US Consumer Product Safety Commision and Jesse Aronstein, PH.D., P.E., who was a vice president at Wright-Malta Corp. Wright-Malta is a test laboratory that did extensive testing on aluminum wiring and associated devices for the CPSC and others. I see no evidence that the inspect-ny web site is other than an honest attept to furnish unbiased information.
One of the sites linked from inspect-ny is
http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/alreduce.htm
********************************************************************* IF YOU HAVE ALUMINUM WIRING I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU LOOK AT THIS SITE. *********************************************************************
It is a paper writen by Jesse Aronstein, referenced above.
The paper includes: - aluminum wiring systems, including those installed after UL changed the standards for wire and devices about 1971, are potential hazards - information on COPALUM crimp connections referred to in other posts (these probably can only be made by a electrician trained by the manufacturer) - what the problem is with wire nuts - very specific information on using wirenuts to make connections to a copper pigtail to connect to a device. - existing wirenuts in an aluminum should be replaced - very specific information on connections of aluminum wire to switches and receptacles - information on connecting aluminum wire to circuit breakers
Also other very useful information. It should be emphasized that this information is based on extensive tests, not conjecture. The paper was writen in 2000.
In information on FPE breakers, inspect-ny says that the CPSC tried to regulate aluminum wire systems but was sued by the aluminum industry. The courts found that aluminum wiring systems were not consumer products and not subject to CPSC regulation (consumers do not buy significant aluminum system products). --------------------- Does anyone know what wirenuts, if any, are listed for aluminum and copper?
Bud-
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Newsgroups: misc.consumers.house
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 21:30:08 -0400 Local: Wed, Aug 10 2005 9:30 pm Subject: Re: Info to backup safety of aluminum wiring?
Does anyone know if using (and regularly testing) AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupers) increases reliability aluminium wiring to that of copper wiring when the current connection mechanisms are used?
***
A very good question. I'd love to know the answer too.
Thanks, Harry
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Harry Muscle wrote:

Tests show that failure in wire nuts result from no contact between the wires because of oxide on the aluminum. The steel spring breaks through the oxide to make contact with the aluminum conductors. This means all the current is going through the spring. A CPSC report at http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/pl2p2.htm shows a 2 volt drop across the wire nut at 17 amps. This is only about 0.1 ohm resistance but is a 34 watt heater. At this current level the spring is red hot. This destroys the insulation on the wires and the wire nut and can start a fire. But the voltage drop is low and constant so lights are not dim and do not flicker. Since there is no arc, there is nothing for the AFCI to see.
Later in the deterioration the the connection can totally fail, possibly with arcing that generates a lot more heat. Arcing here would be picked up by an AFCI.
(The link above is part of a slide show that goes forward and back.)
http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum.htm links to this site and others of interest.
Bud--
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In northern Alaska where I am at, aluminum wire is rarely used. The extreme temperatures cause too many problems with cold flow.
But the AFCI problem you bring up is interesting because according to the Zlan site the inventor of the AFCI chip had to find a way to distinguish good arcs like a light switch turning on and off from a bad arc. I wonder if he analyzed all the possible combinations of aluminum to copper connections.
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the utility of afcis is somewhat dubious to begin with.
it is supposed to detect an arc, such as might happen when an extension cord is damaged.
whether they actually do or not is not clear.
in any case they will not detect the heating that occurs on an aluminum conenction that has started to oxidize.
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On 16 Aug 2005 14:20:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com Gave us:

It will if it gets "noisy" enough.
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No it won't. AFCIs detect arcs, and at fairly high current levels. The oxidation that forms on aluminum connections reduces the current due to the resistance of the connection, thats what causes the heat, and the fires.
Gave us:

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TokaMundo wrote:

The manufacturers do not make it clear that AFCIs cannot detect series arcs, such as those resulting from an oxidizing connection, until they progress to a ground fault which draws at least thirty milliamperes. If the arcing connection does not cause a ground fault the AFCI cannot detect it and the heat it generates can kindle a fire. They can detect a parallel arc such as when a screw penetrates a cable and causes a high resistance arcing fault between the current carrying conductors. Such parallel arcs are not that common. -- Tom Horne
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use." Thomas Alva Edison
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Member TPVFD wrote:

I keep forgetting that.
The 2005 NEC requires AFCIs with series AND parallel protection starting 1-1-2008. I don't know of any on the market now.
Bud--
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Sounds like the AFCI folks sold the NEC a bill of goods!
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John Gilmer wrote:

From http://www.cpsc.gov/volstd/afci/AFCIFireTechnology.pdf
As part of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC's) 1994 and 1995 efforts to reduce residential electrical system fires, the CPSC sponsored work on detecting and monitoring conditions that could lead to or cause fires in homes. The work was performed by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and was documented in a report entitled, "Technology for Detecting and Monitoring Conditions that Could Cause Electrical Wiring System Fires." The study uncovered several possible technologies and concluded that arc-fault detection combined with ground-fault protection was the most promising technology to reduce the risk of fire when combined with conventional circuit breakers. At that time, such an arc-fault circuit breaker did not exist as a commercial device. Additional research has led to the development of the AFCI as a commercial product. ------------------- Series arcs, protection for which is being added to AFCIs, include loose connections. The current is limited by the load current downstream from the arc, so they won't trip breakers. They can, however, generate a lot of heat.
The NEC is a pretty pragmatic code. Changes usually require a demonstration that the change will improve safety.
Bud--
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Your other link showed the certification labels too, just took space to mention the exclusion. Better sources might be the manufacturer's sites. Burndy, Anderson, etc. The split bolts are pretty bulky too.
Subject: Re: Info to backup safety of aluminum wiring? Date: Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:24 PM
I just did a search on split bolt, aluminum, and UL, and it looks like you must have been refering to just the link that I provided above, since this page for example lists split bolt connectors designed for joining aluminum to copper and it says that they are UL and CSA certified: www.gardnerbender.com/whats_new/products/copperAluConnectors.html . So I've just answered my own question as to what you were refering too ...
Thanks, Harry
P.S. Maybe I should start a new thread about this whole idea of using larger connectors with aluminum wire ... since this is totally off topic from where this thread started.
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Harry Muscle wrote:

In our country, bare AL cable is used for HT overhead which is carried 500MVA (main line) to reduced voltage losses. Meanwhile, Cu wire is used for LV and below (include small signal).
proposed Gold materials to reduce almost losses.
Tks
magic
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