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The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

Old Aluminum Wiring connected by twisting together

If your business or home currently has aluminum wiring, you may want to start considering your options for replacement. Aluminum wiring can pose a significant threat of danger to your life; contact 4-Star Electric for an electrical inspection to start the process of replacing or repairing dangerous aluminum wiring. 

Does My Home Have Aluminum Wiring?

Many homes that were built in the 1960s–1970s will typically have aluminum wiring within their walls. Aluminum is a material with a low cost of production, and because it was thought to be a successful way to transmit and distribute electricity, electrical contractors used aluminum wiring instead of copper during this period of time. Houses that contain aluminum wiring are more prone to damage due to electrical fires and hazards.

Aluminum wiring is lighter than copper wire thus, preventing cables from sagging. Aluminum wiring, however, quickly proved to be a hazard in both residential homes and commercial buildings.

Some signs that show if your home currently has aluminum wiring are: 

What are the Dangers of Aluminum Wiring?

Aluminum wiring can separate from the screws on electrical outlets, switches, or lights, which can create a poor connection and cause the wire to heat up. The heat can cause the aluminum to oxidize, which creates an even worse connection and more heat and can eventually start a fire.

Cables made from aluminum wiring

Qualities of Aluminum as a Metal

These qualities of aluminum make it a poor material for wiring when compared to other, safer metals like copper:

Can You Connect Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire?

Incorrect repairs to aluminum wiring, such as connecting aluminum wire to copper wire with copper twist-on wire connectors, can make the problem even worse and can be dangerous. The proper way to repair aluminum wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor connect these wires to short pieces of copper wire with crimped or screw-on connectors specifically designed for this use.

Aluminum to Copper Connectors

The preferred method that our electricians take to repair and connect aluminum to copper connectors is: 

There are other methods that can be used to connect aluminum to copper connectors if your electrician may prefer: 

Contact An Electrician For Help

Always contact your electrician for help concerning aluminum wiring and to understand the dangers of improper wiring. 

Written by 4-Star Electric

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