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Aluminium Wiring Solutions
Aluminum was the type of wiring used in the 1960s and 1970s as a cheap substitute for copper wiring. Aluminum wiring is not safe. There are three hazards caused by aluminum wiring:
Oxidization. When oxidize (rust) forms on aluminum, it increases the wire’s resistance and impedes the flow of electricity. Although copper wiring also rusts, the green copper oxide that forms is electrically conductive. However, when the white oxide on aluminum wiring forms, it interferes with the flow of electricity, and causes overheating.
Softness. Aluminum is a much softer metal than copper. It is easily nicked or cut. The damaged wire creates local hot spots.
High thermal expansion. Aluminum has a tendency to change shape at the terminal screws and thus become loose or creep off.
Some of the danger signs of aluminum wiring that may have connection problems:
sparks coming from receptacles or switches
unusually warm or warped outlets and switch cover plates
strange odors in the area of receptacles and switches
light bulbs that burn out quickly
lights that flicker
circuit breakers that trip for no reason
Aluminum wiring is not safe for a do-it-yourselfer. Hire only a licensed electrician work on circuits with aluminum wiring. The safest solution to the problems and hazards associated with aluminum wiring: replace it with copper wiring– and allow experienced, licensed electricians to do the job.