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#151749 - 10/13/08 02:24 AM Re: Checking home electrical wiring [Re: Mike_in_NKY]
Tarzan Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 146
Loc: Washington
We had a guy come to the factory I was working in with an IR camera. He made a video of the entire plant, all the machinery and the electrical panels.
The beautiful thing about this is it showed all the hotspots which the maintenance guy could repair. This really wasn't that expensive and it provides a great deal of peace of mind.
I think you could probably get a reduction in your homeowners as well, if you talked to the agent and sent them a DVD of the inspection.

#151787 - 10/13/08 02:00 PM Re: Checking home electrical wiring [Re: Tarzan]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 863
Loc: Colorado
It may have been in the '70's when aluminum wires were installed in many applications. Al has different thermal expansion behavior than copper so terminal boxes and connections would loosen which led to fires. May have been mitigated with Al-friendly box designs but Al wire didn't last long in the new construction world.

I despise the twisted (wire nutted) connection from a safety/reliability standpoint.

At one job the A/C circuit kept blowing a fuse in the panel for the compressors on a very, very hot summer day. I used an IR thermometer to show that one of the 3 fuses in that box was running quite hot. So we called an Electrician who tightened the terminal screw and brought the temperature back to normal. (I wasn't brave enough to work on live 220V circuits.)

#151791 - 10/13/08 02:40 PM Re: Checking home electrical wiring [Re: Arney]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
The more I read about electrical fires at home, the more I realize how dangerous they can be and how they can overcome so many of these families that you hear about in the news.

Apparently most happen at night, when you're asleep, and if the problem is in the fixed wiring behind the wall, the fire can grow but you wouldn't really know it. So, eventually your smoke alarm might go off and wake you up, but you won't necessarily see fire and you dilly-dally getting out, thinking it's not so serious. Meanwhile, the fire that has been spreading inside the walls suddenly breaks through and next thing you know, you've got flames and smoke all around. Scary stuff.

And apparently the most common place in the home for electrical fires is in the bedroom, right where you're sleeping! I haven't seen any breakdown by specific causes, but probably space heaters are reason number one. Either the electric heater itself shorts out, you're using an extension cord that gets damaged or can't handle the current, or the socket or fixed wiring get overloaded. Anyway, just a guess.

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