Why Aluminum Wiring in a Home is Dangerous and What to Do About It
As homeowners, it’s hard to stay on top of every single problem in the house— especially when the problem is inside the walls and out of sight. A major concern for Dean’s professional electricians is outdated wiring in homes around Minnesota. A major safety concern for electricians is aluminum wiring in your house because you have a fire waiting to happen. Many houses built between 1965 and 1972 were wired with aluminum instead of copper.
Signs of Bad Wiring in Your Home
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers.
- Flickering or dimming lights.
- Buzzing or crackling sounds.
- Frayed wires.
- Aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring.
- Warm or vibrating spots on outlets or walls.
- Smoke coming from outlets or appliances.
- Burning smells or scorch marks on electrical fixtures.
Problem with Aluminum Wiring Use in Older Homes
- Failure at the connection points, such as splices between wires, connections at outlets, circuit breakers, switches, lights, etc.
- There are thousands of houses in Minneapolis/St. Paul but especially the surround suburbs built during this period
- In 1972, the formula for aluminum wiring changed, making it a much safer product. Aluminum wiring was used in single family homes for a few years after that, but was completely phased out by the mid-’70s. The Home Inspector – StarTribune.com
Issues with Aluminum Wiring Compared to Copper
1) Rusting: When metal rusts, it oxidizes. Oxidized copper is still conductive, while aluminum is not so much. Thus interfering with the flow of electricity.
2) Softness: Aluminum is a lot softer than copper. It is much easier to nick or break.
3) Cold Creep: Wire heats up when electrons flow through it. Aluminum expands when heated expansion and contraction cause connections to loosen.
Dean’s electricians are able to help you identify issues with the wiring in your home by performing a full home electrical inspection, Our trained, experienced pros can help with your electrical system and any other aging parts of your house: