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Arcing House Wiring

arcing house wiring

Arcing House Wiring | The wire on this outlet came loose and the tiny gap between the wire and the screw started to arc. Many people die in electrical fires each year caused by arcing like this.

Arcing House Wiring - Very Dangerous and Lethal

An arcing outlet like you see in the photo above can kill you. You can see how the insulation on the wire has burned away and the actual plastic outlet started to melt.

It was only a matter of time before flames would erupt and spread.

Is Electrical Arcing Dangerous?

Yes, electrical arcing is dangerous and very serious. Electrical arcing is the same process used by welders to melt solid steel to create strong welds. The arcing in your home is not as big, but it creates enough heat to start a fire.

Related Links

Dimmer Switch Arcing Fire

Arc Fault Circuit Breakers - Great SAFETY

CLICK or TAP HERE to get FREE BIDS from local electricians to check your house for electrical arcs.

How Fast Can Arcing Cause a Fire?

Watch this video to see how fast arcing starts a fire in a normal electrical box in your home:

Are There Special Breakers That Can Sense Arcing?

Yes, you can install arc fault circuit interrupter breakers in your panel to help keep you safe.

Is There Advanced Technology to Monitor My Home for Arcing?

Yes, there's a sophisticated device called Ting that plugs into an outlet in your home. Look below at the photo caption for a SPECIAL promo code. It connects to the Internet via WiFi. The device sends data about your electrical system to a company that monitors your entire home.


This is the Ting Arcing monitor. It plugs into any outlet, connects to the Wifi in your home, and then starts to protect you, your family, and all your possessions. CLICK or TAP HERE for a Special Discount exclusive to Ask the Builder newsletter subscribers and website visitors. IMPORTANT: Use the promo code TIM10 (note upper case) at checkout for exclusive savings. Note that Tim Carter gets a very small commission from TingFire should you purchase using the above link. Tim only promotes products he trusts and uses in his own home.

An app on your smartphone allows you to check the condition of your home's wiring at any time. Here is a screenshot of the app on my phone showing all is well:

ting app

This is the home screen of the Ting App. The green bar at the top shows all is well. If Ting senses an issue in your home's wiring, you get an instant push notification on your smartphone app as you see above, the red #1 above Notifications. In addition, the Ting service center CALLS you on your phone should it detect hazardous arcing! In my case above, that notification told me that I had a minor power outage at my home. CLICK or TAP HERE to purchase one priced with a special AsktheBuilder discount. Don't forget to use the promo code: TIM10 for a big savings!

CLICK or TAP HERE to get FREE BIDS from local electricians to check your house for electrical arcs.


6 Responses to Arcing House Wiring

  1. Hi Tim, I am very leery with the company not being very clear in their write up regarding the subscription costs and activation fee. Specifically they NEVER state what the subscription fee would be AFTER the first year. Please comment. I like the concept but am skeptical of the company and the marketing used. What happens if this company suddenly goes out of business?

    • Ron,

      I'm a little confused by your skepticism. Very few businesses of any type guarantee a subscription rate far out into the future. What happens if a car manufacturer, a TV manufacturer, a watch manufacturer, etc. goes out of business?

    • Ron, if you go to the FAQ you will find the answer to your question about subscription cost. After the first year it is $99/year.

  2. Your video on arcing house wiring is dramatic, but it failed safe. there was a internal fire due to high resistance connection in a wirenut but it was contained. Normally that box would be covered with a metal plate. I don't know why the NEC allows plastic boxes in home wiring. All my boxes are galvanized steel and coiled armored steel (BX/MX) around the wires into the boxes. also why do they allow UN-armored vinyl covering?

  3. A little history. Aluminum (Al) wiring is primarily the cause for arcing in household electrical systems. Al wire should never have been approved in the first place. It was used right around 1965 to 1973.

    Why did it happen? Look at the dates above. The Vietnam War also happened around the same time.
    The federal government haphazardly rushed to approve the use of Al wiring so "copper" could be used (diverted) instead in the manufacture of ammunition to fight that war. [Was it a "contrived" shortage at the time?]

    I won't go into detail except to say this flawed wiring (method) was one of many snafus during the Vietnam war that resulted in mayhem - potential and otherwise here on the homefront.

    Aluminum is still used for service entrance wiring (as is copper) due to its lower cost. There, too, are issues with corrosion but the seriousness of issues with arcing and fires doesn't compare in a service entrance panel as it does in smaller wiring boxes for switches and receptacles.

    INSERTED COMMENT BY Tim Carter: Aluminum is SAFE for service entrance cable because electricians are required to apply an anti-oxidizing gel on the stripped wires in the cable. This NOALOX helps keep the cable safe in the giant lugs on the bus bars. Electricians of old never applied an anti-oxidizing compound on outlets and switches and it most likely was not available at the time.

    To quote the late, Paul Harvey, "now you know the rest of the story". Too bad some are still paying for it all these years later.

    • Quite right, aluminium wiring was used between around 1968 to 1973 here in the UK too due to very high copper prices. Not only does aluminium wire need to be 1.6 times the cross sectional area of copper to take the same current, it has a habit of working itself loose from terminalsl due to a higher coeffecient of expansion ; aluminium wiring other than the service cable has been banned for many years now. The grease used in the service connection allows the cable to expand and contract without coming loose as well as preventing corrosion when dissimilar metals are joined.

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