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Burned Purple (Ideal #65) Wirenuts found in the field

CAUTION:  Many electricians, who are not COPALUM certified, recommend other repair methods.  While these repair methods are less expensive than COPALUM crimp connectors, we agree with the CPSC that these repairs are considered unacceptable and "does not solve the problem of overheating present in aluminum branch circuits."

“Pigtailing with the Purples”

The most often suggested unacceptable repair; ("pigtailing") involves attaching a short piece of copper wire to the aluminum wire with a twist-on connector sometimes called a wire nut (IDEAL Purple #65); the copper wire is connected to the switch, wall outlet or other termination device. The Commission staff has evaluated the effectiveness of "pigtailing" as a repair.  In CPSC-sponsored laboratory testing, some brands of twist-on connectors have performed very poorly.  Accordingly, from what we have seen in the field, we agree with the Commission staff and can validate the laboratory testing in believing that this method of repair does not solve the problem of overheating present in aluminum branch circuits.

At best we consider the proper application of  Purple Wirenuts a temporary repair.  However, being that this wirenut is filled with a flammable oxide-inhibitor and the manufacturer has stated that this wirenut is NOT INTENDED FOR A COMPLETE HOME RETROFIT, (http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/i65debat.htm) we believe it is best to leave aluminum wiring alone until such a time as it can be permanently repaired via        re-wiring or COPALUM crimping.

Switch box with burned purple wirenut   Click on pictures to enlarge   Severely burned purple wirenut

This picture is of a switch box found in a master bedroom in the Southmoor section of Denver in July 2004 clearly shows a burned Purple Wirenut on the neutral wires.   The wirenut contained 3 aluminum and 1 copper wire and operated a bath light that was working fine and not flickering.

 Close up of burned purple wirenuts   Click on pictures to enlarge  Close up of burned purple wirenuts

These pictures are close ups of the burned up purple wirenuts after they were removed from the master bedroom switch.  The damage done to the wirenuts and the amount of heat present is clearly obvious.    The neutral wire bundle is completely fused together due to the heat damage.

Click on picture to enlarge

These burned up red and purple wirenuts were found at the furnace connection also at a home in the Southmoor section of Denver.  In addition to the severely burned wires and wirenuts, the box and transformer also showed significant signs of heat damage.  

    Click on picture to enlarge

These burned splices were found in the attic in a home in the Montbello section of Denver in October of 2005.  These splices were found outside of an approved electrical box and the surrounding insulation which was in contact also showed signs of over heating.  This was a hazardous situation.

 

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