Arcing Fault Burndown in Low Voltage Residential Service Entrance with Aluminum Conductors
Three instances involving the failure of aluminum wiring at the service entrance to single-family homes are discussed. Arcing led to a fire which severely damaged a home in one case. In a second, the failure sequence was initiated by water intrusion into the service entrance electrical box during construction of the home. In the third, failure was caused by a marginal installation. Strict adherence to all applicable electrical codes and standards is critical in the case of aluminum wiring. Electrical components not specifically designed for aluminum must never be used with this type of wiring. All doors, panels and similar portions of electrical boxes should be secured to prevent damage to surroundings in the event of an electrical fault. If symptoms of arcing are observed, professional service should be sought. The latest designs of connectors for use with aluminum wiring are less susceptible to deviations in installation practice.
Howard F. Prosser, Roch J. Shipley, Peter C. Bouldin, Arcing Fault Burndown in Low Voltage Residential Service Entrance with Aluminum Conductors, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 2, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1993, p 407–411, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.v02.c9001385
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