At Electrika, we often receive customer calls regarding homes with aluminum wiring. The questions most often arise out of customer calls to their insurance providers. Before offering coverage, some insurance companies require an inspection from a master electrician to verify the type of wiring in the home. If the wiring is aluminum, they want a report to verify that the wiring has been installed and maintained correctly (i.e.: use of proper switches and outlets rated for aluminum wiring). This may result in homeowners finding their premiums higher with aluminum wiring than with copper.
If you have a home that was built in the late 1960s to the late 1970s, there is a chance that your home has aluminum wiring instead of copper.
In those years, the increased cost of copper made aluminum an attractive alternative. The issue with aluminum is that it expands and contracts more than copper wire does, which can lead to loose connections, arcing, and ultimately fire. As well, aluminum oxidizes faster than copper does and this may lead to corrosion that will eventually breakdown the wire, especially at connection points. Often the installation and maintenance of the aluminum wiring has not been performed by a professional electrician; if improperly installed or maintained, aluminum wiring could present a fire hazard.
Here are a few signs that your home has aluminum wiring that have not been installed or maintained properly:
- Faceplates are hot to the touch
- Flickering lights
- Outlets work intermittently
- Burning smell or strange noise coming from outlets, fixtures, or switches
If you suspect you have aluminum wiring, now is the time to start considering your options. Contact us to make an appointment and we will take your fear out of confronting this issue by discussing your options, ensure your safety and satisfy your budget.