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The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

A large number of homes that were built in the 1960’s – 1970’s typically have aluminum wiring within its walls. It’s recorded that during this time many houses were damaged due to electrical fires and hazards.

In an effort to save money and because it was thought to be a successful way to transmit and distribute electricity, electrical contractors used aluminum wiring instead of copper. Aluminum wiring is lighter and stronger than copper wire thus, prevented cables from sagging. Aluminum wiring however, quickly proved to be a hazard in both residential homes and commercial buildings.

Aluminum wiring can separate from the screws on electrical outlets, switches, or lights, creating a poor connection, which causes the wire to heat up. The heat can cause the aluminum to oxidize, creating an even worse connection and more heat, which can eventually start a fire. Incorrect repairs to aluminum wiring, such as connecting aluminum wire to copper wire with twist-on wire connectors, can make the problem even worse. Even twist-on connectors designed to connect aluminum to copper 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.

Building codes globally have been changed and rewritten to avoid the use of aluminum wiring in homes and buildings as a safety measure to prevent injuries and fatalities.

What Should You Do If you Have Aluminum Wiring?

Contact 4 Star Electric to conduct an electrical assessment of your electrical system at home, especially if you suspect your home may contain aluminum wiring. The safety of your home and family are invaluable. Your licensed electrician will inspect connections in the breaker panel and at every receptacle, switch, light fixture and junction box in your home.

If you are considering buying an older home with aluminum wiring or currently planning to renovate or update your home with aluminum wiring, please 4 Star Electric to help you with information on aluminum wiring and the dangers associated.