Our home has aluminum wiring. We were told that this wiring has to be removed because it is dangerous and can start a fire. Is this true?
Aluminum wiring was used quite extensively in homes that were built and/or renovated
between 1970 and 1980. Historically, aluminum wiring has caused some problems, including starting fires.
The problem with aluminum wiring is not the wire itself, but where the aluminum wiring is connected, for example at the electrical panel, light switches, electrical receptacles, light fixtures and junction boxes. These connections must be designed and approved for the different characteristics of aluminum wiring.
All electrical wiring expands slightly when electricity is flowing through it and contracts when the electricity is removed. Aluminum wiring is less effective as a conductor and therefore expands and contracts slightly more than traditional materials such copper wiring.
If your home has aluminum wiring, you ultimately do not have to replace the wiring, although that is an option. It is far easier and less expensive to hire an electrician to make sure that all the connectors are approved and are compatible with aluminum wiring. Any connectors that are not approved for aluminum wiring can simply be replaced by the electrician. Electrical connections will be labelled, either via symbols or words, if they are safe to use with aluminum wiring.
As always, it is always best to check with your insurance provider about their policies with regard to aluminium wiring as some insurance companies do not insure homes with this type of wiring.Created on 07/01/2014 Permalink