In it’s time, mostly during the 60’s and 70’s, aluminium wiring was ubiquitous. It was an inexpensive choice that many home builders used.
Looking back now, despite the low cost, using aluminium wiring was a terrible decision. It’s quick to overheat and can easily be overloaded, especially now when we have so many devices and appliances being used in our homes. Our Master Electrician has seen many electrical fires caused by aluminium wiring – the losses, both human and material, do not justify the cost savings.
In time we expect there will be regulations to make aluminium wiring safe, or even to eliminate it completely. But until that happens here are a few ways to protect your home if aluminium wiring is present.
In the best case scenario, if you are renovating and you have the budget, you’ll eliminate the wiring completely and replace it with copper. Keeping it is not worth the risk.
The next option is known as “aluminium rejuvenation”. It’s a time consuming process that involves removing every electrical outlet and light fixture in the home in order to modify the wires so they can be connected to copper. We use a product called alumiconn that allows for the switchover from aluminium to copper wiring, and have had a lot of success with it.
It’s a sensitive process that needs to be done right, and that means getting a trained professional to do it. It’s not a job to learn on YouTube, to try by yourself or to have a handyman friend look after.
After you’ve either replaced or repaired your aluminium wiring and switch plates, not only will your home be safer, but you’ll be able to pick out new and more attractive fixtures that wouldn’t have worked with the aluminium wires.
If you have questions about making aluminium wiring safe, or about remediating aluminium wiring in your home, give us a call!