Hazards of Aluminum Wiring
February 16, 2018
If you own an older house that was built in the 1960s or 1970s, your house is likely to have been installed with aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring was a much cheaper option than copper wiring, and commonly used in homes. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is estimated that nearly 2,000,000 homes in the U.S. were built or renovated using electrical circuits with aluminum wiring.
The New York Times reported that “according to the commission and specialists in the field, unless certain safety procedures are undertaken, every outlet, light switch and junction box connected to such circuits is a fire waiting to happen.” The commission stands firmly by its statement that the presence of aluminum wiring in a home presents a very serious fire hazard. A national survey that was conducted by the Franklin Research Institute for CPSC showed that homes built before 1972 and have been wired with aluminum are 55 times more likely to have wire connections at outlets with “Fire Hazard Conditions” than homes with copper wiring So why exactly is aluminum wiring a hazard?
What Makes Aluminum Wiring Hazardous
- Aluminum wire easily overheats. It expands more than copper when it heats.
- Aluminum is a softer metal than copper, it damages much easier.
- Aluminum is hard not to crush or cut during routine electrical work, which can loose up connections, create hot spots and make a house fire more likely to occur.
- Because Aluminum is so soft, it expands more than copper does after heating up. The expansion and contraction as the wire heats and cools causes wires to creep out from underneath the screws that keep the wires in place. Over time the swelling and shrinking of aluminum can cause loose connections.
- Aluminum wire oxidizes when exposed to oxygen, creating a byproduct aluminum oxide, which can deteriorate your connection.
- Aluminum wire corrodes at connections when exposed to moisture.
How To Know If You Have Aluminum Wiring? Hire An Expert!!
The best way to tell if your home has aluminum wiring is to hire a professional electrician to determine the extent of your wiring. At Electric Today, our technicians are experts at home wiring and can check to see if your home has aluminum wiring and provide you with solutions tailored to your home.
Aluminum Wiring Solutions
Complete system replacement – This option is the safest, but the more expensive option. Our electricians can do a complete system replacement.
Connection replacement – Our electricians will replace the connection in every outlet, switch and junction box with special connections.
If you have aluminum wire in your home, or even suspect that you might, call us at Electric Today. Our technicians are the experts for all of your wiring and rewiring projects. We can determine if your home has aluminum wiring and can provide you with the perfect fix for your home, whether it’s a total system replacement or specialized connection replacement, at Electric Today we can ensure your solution is performed safely and affordably while helping to minimize potential fire hazards that come from aluminum wiring in your home. Call us at 813-653-4221 to schedule an appointment today!