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TOPIC: Pushmatic and strand AL reporting question

Pushmatic and strand AL reporting question 7 years 10 months ago #62968

The attached photo is of a service on a 2 bed 1 bath home built in 1958.  I was a bit up in the air on the strand aluminum issue and as electrical is my weak point, I thought I would post this here to see if anybody has thoughts on how they would have described it in a report. 

Below is what I placed in the report:

"The box and breakers pictured are of a push button style referred to as a “pushmatic” breaker.  While there are no known safety implications to the continued service of the breakers, it is worthy of note that as the breakers fail, or if parts are needed for the panel that they will most likely be difficult to find or non existent.  This means that at some point in the future, the panel and breakers will need to be replaced.
Also noted was the presence of stranded aluminum branch circuit wiring utilized within the panel and electrical system of the home.  Aluminum wiring was commonly used during the era of the original construction of the home due to escalating prices of copper.  Although properly maintained aluminum wiring is acceptable, aluminum will generally become defective faster than copper due to certain qualities inherent in the metal. Neglected connections in outlets, switches and light fixtures containing aluminum wiring become increasingly dangerous over time. Poor connections cause wiring to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.
I recommend review by a qualified electrician."

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Re: Pushmatic and strand AL reporting question 7 years 10 months ago #62971

Single strand AL is the wiring that has caused so many issues in the past. Stranded AL is not a problem, the normal issue with stranded AL is that the anti-oxidant paste is not used when the original connnection is made. As far as Pushmatic panels, the breakers will often stick and may not trip properly and a lack of room in the panel which make accessing the wiring for service a pain.

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Alton Darty    AR Lic. #HI-1496
ATN Inspection Services, LLC
Home & Commercial Inspections throughout the NE Arkansas and SE Missouri regions.
Osceola, Arkansas 72370
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