My Home Inspector Said Aluminum Wiring Will Catch My House On Fire!

By
Home Inspector with Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

My Home Inspector Said Aluminum Wiring Will Catch My House On Fire!


Single-strand aluminum wiring was installed in many homes built in the mid 1960's to early 1970's. After a decade of use, inherent weaknesses were discovered with the wiring. Neglected aluminum wiring connections become increasingly dangerous over time and may overheat and create a fire hazard. A good home inspector will always recommend that single-strand aluminum wiring be evaluated by a qualified electrician who is experienced with aluminum wiring problems.

 

 

Aluminum has certain qualities that make it an undesirable material as an electrical conductor. These qualities all lead to loose connections which creates a fire hazard. Here are a few of them:

 

1. Aluminum becomes brittle with age and will fatigue and break down when subjected to bending. Fatigue will cause the wire to break down internally and will increasingly resist electrical current, leading to a buildup of excessive heat.

 

2. Exposure to the air causes oxidation at the surface of the wire which makes it less conductive. As time passes, oxidation can deteriorate connections and present a fire hazard.  

 

3. Aluminum is a soft metal and highly sensitive to compression. After a screw has been over-tightened on aluminum wiring, the wire will continue to deform or “flow”. This deformation will create a loose connection and increase electrical resistance in that location.

4. Aluminum expands and contracts with changes in temperature. Over time, this process will cause connections between the wire and the device to degrade creating a fire hazard.

 

 

Here are some repair options if your home contains aluminum wiring: 

 

A. Rewire the home with copper wire: While this is the most effective method, rewiring is expensive and impractical, in most cases.

B. Replace receptacles and switches with CO/ALR devices which are compatible with aluminum conductors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C. Install pigtails using a copalum connector: Copper pigtails are attached to the ends of the aluminum wiring circuits with a specially designed metal sleeve and crimping tool.  The copper wire is then connected to the receptacle or circuit breaker. Note: These wires should never be connected by simply using a wire nut!

 

 

 

It should be noted that multi-strand aluminum wiring is commonly used in modern construction. This wiring has proven to be safe as long as anti-oxidant paste is applied at the connections which prevents dangerous oxidation from occurring.

 

 

 

 

 

My Home Inspector Said Aluminum Wiring Will Catch My House On Fire!  Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections. He is a CREIA home inspector with the MCI designation. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.

Originally posted at First Choice Inspections.


close

Re-Bloggged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Toni Weidman 06/12/2011 09:28 AM
  2. Jeanne & Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Brokers 06/12/2011 10:39 AM
  3. Dan Edward Phillips 06/13/2011 08:53 AM
  4. Gene Riemenschneider 06/16/2011 07:25 PM
  5. Pacita Dimacali 06/17/2011 03:02 AM
  6. Dan Edward Phillips 09/05/2011 11:27 AM
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the folder to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
California
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Blogging & SEO
Realtors®
southern california real estate agents
VBloggers
Tags:
aluminum wiring home inspector

Comments 40 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the cat to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
136,058
Steve Stenros
CREIA MCI, ICC, Home Inspector,San Diego
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

You bet there is, Joetta! An electrician should check the condition of the aluminum wiring first. Thanks for your comment!

August 18, 2011 11:41 AM
Rainmaker
563,794
Kathy Sheehan
Movement Mortgage 770-634-4021

All the more reason for a buyer to have a home inspected by a qualified inspector.  

September 05, 2011 11:53 AM
Rainmaker
136,058
Steve Stenros
CREIA MCI, ICC, Home Inspector,San Diego
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

Absolutely, Kathy! All home inspections are not the same. When purchasing a home inspection, you are buying the Inspector's experience and knowledge.

September 05, 2011 12:54 PM
Rainer
280,842
Pete X-GRI, CDPE
Orange County, CA Investment to Luxury Property-

Steve,

Great post. Lots of spam here, I'll help clean it up.

November 19, 2012 08:35 PM
Rainmaker
136,058
Steve Stenros
CREIA MCI, ICC, Home Inspector,San Diego
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

Thanks Pete. Is there an easy way to delete a few dozen spams with the click of a button?

November 19, 2012 09:37 PM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the envelope to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
136,058

Steve Stenros

CREIA MCI, ICC, Home Inspector,San Diego
I welcome your home-related questions!
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the umbrella to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

As a San Diego home inspector, I come across all kinds of hazards and downright ridiculous installations on a daily basis. Come along for the ride!