When Aluminum Wiring Becomes a Real Fire Hazard
By Dave Rongey - Summary:|
The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring and an Incorrect Circuit Breaker Size Can Lead to a Fire Hazard.
Overloading Aluminum Wiring Can Lead to a Fire Hazard
- My air conditioner went out. The repair guy traced it to a bad Bryant BD 15-20 breaker.
- He only had 20-20 & used that saying since there was a 15A fuse at the AC unit it was OK.
- The house was built in 1972 and has aluminum wiring. He used Noalox on the connections.
This home electrical repairs question came from: Bob, from San Ramon, California.
See more about Home Electrical Repairs for California
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Bob.
The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring
Incorrect Circuit Breaker Size Can Lead to a Fire Hazard
- This question asks if a 20 amp circuit breaker may be used with a #12 gauge aluminum wire and the answer is Absolutely Not!
- A #12 gauge aluminum wire is rated for no more than 15 amps, otherwise you risk overheating the electrical wire which may cause a fire hazard.
- The replacement 20 amp circuit breaker should be turned OFF and a new 15 amp circuit breaker should be installed.
- It does not matter if there is a 15 amp fuse at the air conditioner or not, this is still a Dangerous Fire Hazard.
- A circuit breaker should NEVER be up-sized for any reason, especially if the circuit is tripping OFF!
- When a circuit breaker trips OFF this is usually an indication that there is a problem with the circuit or something that is connected onto the circuit.
- Correct the electrical problem, and avoid creating an electrical hazard.
More about Home Electrical Wiring
Identifying common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Repairing Electrical Wiring
Electrical Splices – Part 1 – Emergency electrical wiring repairs should be made using the right materials for your particular application. Here are a few choices to help you decide what you’ll need.