CPSC Approves AlumiConn!

On April 12, 2011, in News, by pete

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently updated their list of approved methods for repairing aluminum wire to include the AlumiConn connector! This comes on top of recent news that Citizen’s Insurance also publicly added the AlumiConn as an approved aluminum wire repair method. The official Consumer Product Safety Commission document […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently updated their list of approved methods for repairing aluminum wire to include the AlumiConn connector!

This comes on top of recent news that Citizen’s Insurance also publicly added the AlumiConn as an approved aluminum wire repair method.

The official Consumer Product Safety Commission document (which you can read here), states:

“The Commission voted unanimously (5-0) to approve republication of CPSC Publication No. 516, Repairing Aluminum Wiring, with the explicit recognition that the COPALUM and AlumiConn connectors currently are the only products that meet the agency’s standards to prevent aluminum wire fire hazards.”

The CPSC also notified the public through their official Twitter account (see below). You can view the original tweet here.

 

15 Responses to “CPSC Approves AlumiConn!”

  1. Jack Harrington says:

    Since the Alumiconn is larger than wire nuts, will the code for box fill calculations change?
    Thanks.

  2. pete says:

    @Jack – The AlumiConn connectors are about the same size as wire nuts in terms of overall volume. Check out the side-by-side comparison photo here. Because of this, we don’t think the code will change.

  3. Jim says:

    What makes the AlumiConn better than the special wire nuts? I picked a couple up at an electrical supplier to take a look. The end result is still an aluminum to copper connection, unless the lugs themselves are not aluminum. There can only be a micro-layer (at best) of the antioxidant grease left over between the dislike metals once the lug has been torqued down.
    Thank you

  4. pete says:

    Good question Jim. The answer is that as the metal wires heat and cool, they expand and contract. Copper and aluminum expand and contract at different rates, so when you put them together under 1 termination point (as in a wire nut), it tends to loosen that splice up over time. This is where potential problems can occur. So one of the biggest differences about the AlumiConn is in its unique patented design. Using an AlumiConn connector keeps the dissimilar wires separated, but connected through a tin-plated aluminum block inside the connector. The tin-plating of the internal aluminum block, along with a secure mechanical connection, provides a much cooler, safer splice – completely and permanently repairing the problem.

  5. Jim says:

    Thank you, Pete. And sorry about the poor word usage on my part – (dislike) lol

  6. Laura says:

    Why are so few electricians using AlumiConn? The Ideal twister AL/CU wire connector is commonly used in New Mexico, but is not approved by the CPSC as a permanent solution. What are the hidden downsides to AlumiConn that might explain why I can’t find an electrician in Albuquerque who uses them?

  7. pete says:

    I don’t think it’s a question of ‘downsides’ per se – I think it’s more an issue of the aluminum wire problem being such a niche market. It’s a problem that’s been around for several decades and it’s possible some electricians aren’t aware of the relatively recent CPSC publication (you can get it here) that shows the AlumiConn being a suitable remedy to the aluminum wire problem. If that’s the case, I recommend you refer them to our website and that publication. Thanks!

  8. ron says:

    should the coalr recepticals and switchs be used where possible or alumiconn devise and standard switch/recepticals?

  9. Boris Kelly says:

    Lots of good info we live up here in Canada and live in a house with alum. wireing. It looks like the alumiconn connector may be the answer. Im a retired electrician but never worked on house wireing. Im hopeing that the alumiconn is available here at Home Depot or Lowes Is there anything i should know or you can tell me. thanks Boris Kelly Calgary Alberta

  10. pete says:

    Various retail outlets carry it, but if they don’t you can certainly purchase the alumiconns here on our site. Just about everything you need to know can be found on our resources page.

  11. pete says:

    Hi Ron – That’s really a question you’ll need to speak to your local licensed electrician about as I’m not an expert on coalr devices. I know some people use them, but I’ve heard they have some possible drawbacks, too.

  12. Layne says:

    I just don’t see how this would offer a PERMANENT solution, being that the lugs would tend to loosen up over time with expansion and contraction from years of temperature extremes (from winter to summer). I’m open to using this product, but sell me on how the lugs will stay tightened over time. Threadlocker? Explain…

  13. pete says:

    Layne – The lug is a tin-plated aluminum bar and the set screws are nickle-plated. The expansion/contraction is more in harmony with the aluminum and copper wires because of this. Additionally, the connection is extremely secure when installed correctly and has been rigorously tested in house and to UL specifications for long term usage.

  14. Justin says:

    Your connectors assume that there are only two aluminum wires in a box. With that assumption you will need three connectors. If you have more than two aluminum wires coming into the box, you will have to also use wire nuts to consolidate the aluminum wires to use the Alumiconn connector. At that point how will you fit everything? Also along those lines how will there will be enough space with GFCI outlets.

  15. pete says:

    @Justin – I’m unclear as to why you think we’re assuming that there are only 2 aluminum wires in a box. We realize many boxes have more than 2 wires.

    Using the AlumiConns correctly, you will not need to use wire nuts to consolidate any wires (My apologies, but I’m not exactly sure why you’re thinking that’s a necessity).

    Box fill can be an issue, no bones about it. Certainly, with the pancake style boxes used back in the 60′s and 70′s, spacing can sometimes be really tough. In that case, you’ll need to install a larger box.

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