Detector Aluminum To Copper Connection Splices In Your Home

Aluminum Copper Dissimilar Metals Connections

Today, I want to talk to you about aluminum and copper. I don’t know if you were asleep during science class in 7th grade, but I was when the teacher was talking about the conductivity of different metals and precious metals. I want to discuss a simple way to know in your home if you have dissimilar metal connections.

Aluminum Copper Splice Connections In Panel

The best way is to have a professional do it.  The technician will turn off the power outside and take your dead front panel cover off with 4 screws. At this point, it can be detected if there is copper or aluminum on all the breakers. The feeders can be either aluminum or copper to code. Mostly we find are aluminum feeders in panels, due to the cost of copper feeders. There can be  a 50 amp feed to the range. It is called a braided neutral. You can see the difference between aluminum and copper due to copper is copper color and aluminum is silver. If you have aluminum on your dryer, your AC or range, you are okay. Those are still code too. Typically, if I was rewiring a house and the customer was willing to pay extra money for the material, I would install copper feeders too. All the branch circuits, which are your smaller breakers, your 120 volt for your lights, power outlets, your equipment, some of your small appliance, as far as your dishwasher, disposal, refrigerator, these should be in copper. If they aren’t then, this when you can go into a panel and see if there is aluminum all around it, the whole thing, then you have aluminum in your home.

Fire Hazard of Dissimilar Metals Mixing

Don’t be deceived if you have a brand new panel outside and it has copper in it. You could also have small sub-panels somewhere in the home. You might have aluminum junction in the garage, in the landing of a stairway, sometimes in hallway or even in a kitchen. That is where the junction the new aluminum to copper. That is where you want to look for your hot spot, according article 110.14 it talks about the difference of the Celsius rating on the materials and chapter 300 talks about the dissimilar metals. In the code book, in article 110.14 the Celsius rating of the material types and chapter 300 and 100, it talks about the dissimilar metals reaction between these two metals, causing pitting and the deoxidization and copper ends up the war on that. It starts eating away at the aluminum, now you start to have resistance and distance around the connection; therefore creating heat causing the breakdown and melting of your connections.

This is a fire hazard to the safety of your home! This is when you want to hire a electrician, who has experience deal with aluminum to copper connections. There are a couple of methods to correct this issue and you want to make sure you are picking the best cost effective method, so you are not wasting your money on an incorrect method that will not be approved through insurance. You can read our other blogs on details about this. You can also view several you tubes on aluminum to copper splices that we have.

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