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COPALUM ALUMINUM REPAIR
We are a Fully Certified Tyco COPALUM Installer
Call us to perform a no commitment survey of your property.
Who needs an Aluminum Wiring Safety Inspection ?
There’s a good chance that if you own a Condominium, Apartment Complex, or Home, built between 1965 and 1973, it was wired with aluminum wire.
- Apartment Building Owners
- Home or Condominium Owners
- Condominium Associations
- Property Management Companies
- Perspective Home-buyers
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that homes wired with aluminum have a greater chance (50% higher), of an electrical connection reaching “Fire Hazard Conditions”, than a home wired in copper.
Aluminum and Copper are dissimilar metals. They heat and expand at different temperatures. When connected together, they expand and contract at different times, and an oxygen gap forms. This gap causes arcing, heat, and eventually a complete breakdown of the splice, or fire.
Failure of Aluminum connections occur slowly, over time, and usually continue to deliver electricity during the failure. As a result the temperature within the connection will continue to increase for months, even years. Eventually the circuit will fail completely and, in many cases, fire will result.
How to Check Your Building for Aluminum Wire
If you can see a portion of your cables where they enter the circuit breaker panel, look for the word “ALUMINUM” or “AL” printed on the jacket of the cable. If you see either of these words, you have aluminum wiring. If you do not see those words, the wire could still be aluminum.
To know positively, we can visit your building, expose the wiring within your circuit breaker panel and at splice points throughout your building, to positively identify whether aluminum exists there.
Warning: Removal of your circuit breaker panel cover should only be performed by a licensed electrician, using proper protection methods. This is not something a homeowner should ever do.
If You Have Aluminum Wiring
If you have aluminum wiring, and there are no obvious problems, at the very least, you should institute an inspection program at regular intervals. We recommend yearly inspections. Regular inspections can usually find and repair problems before they become major hazards. We can provide a Maintenance Program tailored to your needs.
If you have aluminum, and are experiencing any of the following, an immediate inspection should be performed, followed by a comprehensive plan which could be as simple as a Maintenance Program, or as involved as a full COPALUM retrofit.
Call Us Immediately if You Experience:
- Dimming of lights or electronics
- Bulbs that burn out quickly
- Delayed responses when you turn a switch on or off
- Receptacles, switches, plates, or chords that are warm to the touch
- Any indication of heating near any electrical box
- Receptacles or lights that stop working
- Burning odors
- Burn marks around switch plates, receptacle plates, or light fixtures
Older ways of maintaining Aluminum Wiring are TEMPORARY FIXES at best:
- Yearly inspection of all switches, outlets, & splices, including tightening and treating all connections with an Oxidation Inhibitor
- Yearly replacement of burnt switches, outlets, and splices
- Installation of switches & outlets labeled CO/ALR, along with regular inspections of these devices
- Purple Wirenuts
- Pig-tailing copper wires onto the existing aluminum wires, using twist on connectors or wirenuts
- Lug-strip connectors that accept copper and aluminum wires into separate slots in the lug-strip.
Current Acceptable PERMANENT Aluminum Repair Methods:
- Remove and replace all of the aluminum wiring with copper wiring
- Tyco’s AMP Copalum Retermination Method. This is the only method accepted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and most Insurance Underwriters. It is also accepted by the National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Tyco’s AMP COPALUM Product Solution Explained
Aluminum and Copper wires are placed together in Tyco’s Copalum Crimp. Then a specially designed Crimp Tool is used to compress the crimp with 10,000 lbs of pressure.
The combination of the Crimp Material and the pressure create a “Cold Weld”, which keeps oxygen from getting between the copper and aluminum conductors, and keeps the expansion of the conductors at the splice, the same.
This is a Permanent repair, one that doesn’t require any further maintenance.
The Link below shows the application process:
Benefits of a Copalum Retrofit
First & foremost is the knowledge that you have protected your family and your home from the hazards of Aluminum wire.
Most insurance companies offer substantial discounts once this work is completed.
In the past 12 months alone, our customers have received a combined savings of over $300,000 in their insurance premiums after completing Copalum projects.
Check with your insurance company to see what savings you could gain.
The following Links show much of the information needed to make a good decision about your aluminum problem:
FPE Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels
In addition to the aluminum issue, most buildings built during this time, also had Federal Pacific (FPE) circuit breaker panels installed.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as US Federal Courts have declared Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels (FPE) a “Hazard”. Federal Pacific is now a defunct company due to the numerous fires and resulting lawsuits over the years.
In testing, the circuit breakers failed to trip 80% of the time, resulting in overheated wires, and fire.
If you have a FPE circuit breaker panel, it should be REPLACED IMMEDIATELY.
The following Links will give you more information: