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Old 12-06-2012, 04:19 AM   #16
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IF the old receptacle was back-stabbed, I can tell you from experience that it was NOT suitable for any aluminum wiring.

When aluminum branch-circuit wiring was first installed back in the late 1960s to early 1970s, they simply did not know the potential problems that would develop with this wiring method.

CO/ALR devices which were developed after numerous failures and fires do NOT have back-stab holes in them, and for good reason.

So you are wise to check other devices in your house for proper type and integrity of connections.

You may have an isolated case with a rogue device, or discovered the tip of the iceberg.



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Old 12-06-2012, 05:14 AM   #17
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AL wiring in a CU only receptacle can become loose and result in the problems you are describing. That's why everyone is focusing on the AL/CU issue.
Most homeowners don't know this and will use receptacles that are not rated for AL because they are more common and sometimes less expensive. This is a serious hazard. The fact that you have one problematic receptacle may indicate a wider issue. You don't need to replace the AL wire, but you do need to make sure you are using proper receptacles, switches, wire nuts, etc...

Last edited by dftc; 12-06-2012 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #18
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I'll be going through every receptacle and every light switch this coming weekend to be sure. IF this uncovers that several devices are rated for copper, then this issue has been a blessing in disguise and I will be replacing each and every problem.

I'm happy I posted this message here; it's helped me a lot and made me a little more educated on the issue. If there's anyone who loses sleep over home safety issues, it's me. That said, I approach it from a logical standpoint and not a position of fear: meaning that I try not to launch into a panic mode and tear up the entire house before actually researching the issue at hand. This is a potential risk, and one that needs to be addressed a.s.a.p.

The loose connection is definitely from my kids running and jumping around; they tend to do that right in the area of question near the receptacle. Needless to say they've been warned

I'll follow up once this is all complete.

Last edited by wireguy2012; 12-06-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:56 PM   #19
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I believe you are correct about the blessing in disguise. There is nothing wrong with alum. wiring you just have to be very careful when you change something and a LOT of people are not aware of it. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:09 AM   #20
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I am told Lowes has them, can also get them here:
#1 - If you don't know what you're doing - get a licensed electrician!
#2 - If you follow my advice and something bad happens see # 1
Electricity bites hard, and it could be the last thing you feel... Good Luck!
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #21
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so far, all receptacles checked are the right type - aluminum. It appears these are the original receptacles from when the house was built in the early 70s.

2 receptacles have had discolored/overheated white wires; both these receptacles are the 'backstabbed' types. They are both in the vicinity of where a lot of recent renovations took place (hammering, vibrations, etc.) so put 2-and-2 together and there's a possible reason. Both have been replaced today with new up-to-date receptacles.

A few others which were checked are also the backstabbed type, but show no signs of wire damage. These receptacles are *not* in the vicinity of any renovations work, hence why they still might be appear to be tightly connected. But it has been recommended that they are all replaced with brand new receptacles, which I will be doing immediately for safety.

I'll be moving on to different rooms tomorrow; I'll keep this thread posted.


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