When copper prices started to escalate during 1965 to 1973 a single-strand (solid) aluminum wiring was used in residential construction and some older apartment complexes. Aluminum wiring was used in these older homes and apartment complexes in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex of Texas. Aluminum wiring presents a potential fire hazard.
The problem was not with the wiring but the electrical devices (outlets, switches, ceiling fans, lighting). The devices were not designed to connect to aluminum wiring. The problem occurs in these connections at the terminals where two different metals with different resistances and different coefficients of thermal expansion connect. The connections fail over time causing a fire hazard.
There are three approved ways by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to repair aluminum wiring.
1- Complete Replacement of Copper Cable
2- Copalum Method of Repair
3- Acceptable Alternative Repair Method/AlumiConn Connector
Homeowners and apartment complexes are often faced with repairing the use of aluminum wiring by insurance companies or when refinancing. Re-wiring an entire house or apartment complex can be a costly endeavor.
The Copalum repair is a more cost affective method. Copalum is a cold-weld method of repairing. The aluminum wire and the copper wire are bound using a crimp. The crimp is then pressurized with a Copalum tool using 10,000 pounds of force.
The crimp is then covered and heat shrunk using a heat gun to provide an insulation for the bond. The copper tails from the bond can now be connected to the different devices. This method ultimately creates a single wire solution by using the cold-weld bond. The Copalum repair is now considered permanent.
Enoch Electric & Air is a Tyco certified Copalum installer and we service the state of Texas and locally in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. The Copalum Retirmination Kit by Tyco can only be used by electricians who have gone through the training and certification. When you compare the cost of re-wiring an entire house or apartment complex, you will find that Copalum is a more affordable solution to repairing aluminum wiring.
To get a quote for repairing your aluminum wiring call our office at 817-953-3181.
Great post Enoch Team!