Aluminum wiring is an issue that many Cincinnati residents are dealing with today. Should I keep it? Should I replace it completely? Can I make it safe? Is it a hazard? Can I sell my house with aluminum wiring or even get it insured? These are all good questions.
Aluminum wiring is used in some circumstances today. In fact, many service wires coming into homes consist of aluminum wiring. This is completely safe!
What aluminum wire is not safe then?
Houses built during from roughly 1965 to 1973 may contain single-strand aluminum wiring which feed 15-amp and 20-amp circuits in houses. Aluminum wiring was substituted due to the high cost of copper during this time period. It is run in place of copper from the electric panel and connects to outlets, switches, lights etc.
Why is it not safe?
For almost a decade, aluminum wiring was used in place of copper. Over time, it became evident that aluminum became defective faster than copper due to certain qualities inherent in the metal. The use of aluminum branch wiring was discontinued.
Aluminum wiring usually fails at connections and splices. This includes connections to outlets, switches, and light fixtures. Neglected connections become increasingly dangerous over time as poor connections can cause the aluminum wiring to overheat, spark and create a potential fire hazard.
What are my options?
First and foremost, It is highly recommended that you hire a qualified electrician to perform any work on aluminum wiring. Not only for the safety of the homeowner but also to comply with all standards for insurance and selling your home in the future.