Does your home have aluminum wiring?
From 1965 and 1973, aluminum was used in wiring and was sometimes substituted for copper branch circuit wiring in residential electrical systems. Back then there was a shortage of copper, and it was hard to get. With that said, electrical contractors and homeowners started to install aluminum for wiring. Close to ten years of installing this type of wiring, it was discovered that aluminum wiring was not safe.
If properly maintained, aluminum wiring can be acceptable for outside services, but many jurisdictions will not allow any type aluminum no matter what the circumstances. Aluminum wires are more likely to become defective much quicker than copper due to certain qualities inherent in the metal itself. Neglected connections in outlets, switches and light fixtures containing aluminum wiring become increasingly dangerous over time. Poor connections cause wiring to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard and electrical shock.
Problems with aluminum wiring
Aluminum wiring expands and contracts. When current is going through the wire, it heats up and expands. When there is no current, it contracts. After so many of these cycles, the connections at the devices and in the electrical panels will loosen over time, which can cause fires.
Aluminum also oxides or corrodes. If it is connected to another type of metal incorrectly, like copper, for example, it can cause a fire too. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires that aluminum wire be connected using special UL listed device, with an antioxidant compound.
Fixtures and devices must all be listed by UL listing authorities stating that it can be hooked up to aluminum wiring.
Should I purchase a home with aluminum wiring?
It is crucial to know all the facts before buying a home. It is our opinion that homes that have aluminum wiring should have a complete rewire due to the dangers associated with aluminum wires in your home. At the very least, all fixtures should be checked, all receptacles and switches should be replaced in conjunction with UL listed splicing techniques.
It should be noted that most insurance agencies will not cover homes with aluminum wiring in New Jersey.
Please contact Leinster Electric at 973-349-4184 or use our online form to a request an appointment to see how our expert residential electricians can help you with the replacement of aluminum wiring!