February 8, 2016
Subject: FYI – Branch Aluminum Wiring
The bulletin from Citizens regarding Branch Aluminum Wiring (which may be present in homes built between 1965-1975) is pretty much the standard for most insurers.
During the Vietnam war, there was a shortage of copper therefore, aluminum was used as a replacement for copper branch circuit wiring (running brim the breakers to the receptacles). Since aluminum expands and contracts at a greater degree than copper, over time the connections at the receptacles may become lose resulting in possible arcing. The Copalum Crimp and AlumiConn methods referred to in the bulletin are the only acceptable means of correction for solid strand (not stranded) wiring with the repairs being done at the receptacles containing aluminum wire connections.
Not all Electricians do these repairs as a special crimping tool is required when utilizing the Copalum Crimp method. The average cost for the repairs is usually around $40.00 per receptacle. Once the repairs are completed, a re-inspection is required to obtain photos of the repairs for the insurer. I usually will open up a minimum of 3 receptacles to obtain photos of the Crimps or AlumiConns, both purple in color. It is best to obtain an itemized invoice from the Electrician so a photo can be taken of it and submitted along with the photos to the insurer.
Additional information can be found on my website under the “Inspectors Corner”.