Could Your Home Have Aluminum Wiring?

Welcome to Yeah, We Do That’s tip of the week.  This week I want to talk about a serious issue that most Weekly Tipshome owners do not know about. This will not apply to most of us but it is serious enough that I want to cover it for the few it will apply to.  If your home was built between 1965 and 1972 you may have aluminum wiring in your home.

What does it mean if you have aluminum wiring in your home? A report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission finds that fires and deaths have resulted from aluminum wiring.  The main problem is due to overheating and/or arcing where connections are made (switches, outlets and splices); this is most often caused by micro-fretting (corrosion or pitting) that will allow the connections to heat up to the point of ignition without tripping the breaker or losing electrical connectivity.

Even replacing a light fixture can be dangerous!  Most of the light fixtures you buy have copper wiring and should be UL listed, but these are listed for connecting to copper wiring.  When you connect them to aluminum wiring the two metals will actually corrode each other increasing the chance for arcing and overheating, special connectors must be used when installing copper wired fixtures.

Something as simple as changing an outlet or wall switch must be done with care making sure you are using outlets and switches specifically designed for aluminum wiring only.

I am not going to give any repair tips this week; my tip will be if you have aluminum wiring in your home do not attempt any repairs yourself, call someone.  It would not hurt to have your home inspected either; thermal guns can be used to examine connections and look into walls for areas that may be starting to have issues and develop hot spots.

I hope that you have found this article helpful and feel free to share it with your friends by clicking one or more of the social media buttons below.  You may also ask a question or leave a comment by clicking the comment button.

If you would like to see a How-To guide on a particular topic you can request it by e-mailing me and I will see what I can do.

–Greg

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