Charred / Melted Wall Receptacle, AL Wiring In House - Electrical - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 12-03-2009, 09:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
No. 14 AL wire is not even rated for 15 amps and should never have been used.

Unless the person knows the actual length of the circuit it would be hard to tell if the voltage drop was within expected limits. A receptacle could have several times the length of wire involved vs it as the crow flies distance from the panel.

Your test does not allow for any voltage flucuation from the utility either which would sway the results.
1 Then use the resistance values for #12 Al if that is what's being used. The principle is the same.
2 In that case I hope that, for most of the connections, the voltage drop is excessive and obvious.
3 That's why you look for the change in voltage and not the absolute value. You are actually measuring the drop across the length of wire and its connections, without having access to both ends of the wire.

Believe it or not, you can also use a method similar to this to find out which outlet is upstream of which other outlet.
For your homework, Mr. Port, explain how.

Or, the OP should just get Ideal's 65-165 tester. No hair dryer.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 12-03-2009 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:39 AM   #17
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[Full disclosure - I'm with AlCopStore and we sell the AlumiConn connector].

Most important thing here is that you get this issue resolved.

To the best of my knowledge, there are 3 suitable solutions that will work for all your connections:

1) Complete copper rewire
2) Copalum crimp
3) AlumiConn connectors

Probably the best option would be to completely rewire using copper, but it's not terribly practical to do that. If you can do it, I'd recommend this option.

That said, the Copalum crimp is a good solution, but you'll need to get a certified Copalum installer to install it. You can find installers here: It can be somewhat costly and there are a few minor drawbacks after its installed (ie, the connections are locked in, so if you needed to remodel or something, you'd have to cut the wire and typically you don't have a lot of wire to play with). But, I wouldn't let that stop you if you feel this is the best choice for you.

Lastly, our AlumiConn connector works as well and does 2 main things:

1) It comes prefilled with an anti-oxidant sealant which prohibits oxidation (which, as you've read in the other posts, causes resistance which causes heat build up and results in what you're dealing with now).

2) The design of the AlumiConn connector separates the dissimilar metals. Because copper and aluminum expand and contract (as they heat and cool) at different rates, this can cause problems when they are twisted together as they would be in a twist-on application. That's one of the reasons why the Consumer Product Safety Commission strongly denounces the use of a twist-on style connector in this situation.

You can find a lot more about all the aluminum wire related hazards at this independent website:
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by creamaster View Post
What is a good name brand receptacle to purchase that will last for years to come, Leviton?
As with anything, you get what you pay for.

Outlets come in "cheap" and "commercial grade". Commercial grade outlets might cost a few dollars each as opposed to less than a dollar for the cheap outlets. And commercial grade outlets will each come in their own box.

The commercial grade outlets are designed for business use. A lot of plugging/unplugging and for better electrical connections with the plug.

Different grades of outlets...


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