Is Aluminum wiring safe?
Aluminum was the type of wiring used between 1972 and 1975 as a cheap substitute for copper wiring. Aluminum wiring is not safe. Aluminum wiring is more likely to cause electrical fires because of the oxidation and poor connection often caused by this type of wiring.
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.
Aluminum is a much softer metal than copper and 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. There are 6 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 odours in the area of receptacles and switches
- Light bulbs that burn out quickly
- Lights that flicker
- Circuit breakers that trip for no reason
Is It Easy To Replace Aluminum Wiring?
Replacing aluminum wiring can be a very difficult and time consuming job for a couple of reasons:
- In order to replace aluminum wiring, all wiring throughout your home must be removed and replaced
- Removing all the wiring means a lot of damage to walls and can end up costing a lot to repair
Aluminum wiring is not safe for a do-it-yourselfer. Hire only a licensed electrician who works on circuits with aluminum wiring. The safest solution to the problems and hazards associated with aluminum wiring: replace it with copper wiring, or as an alternative, add copper tailing– and allow experienced, licensed electricians to do the job.
Cost of Replacing Aluminum Wiring
Replacing a single aluminum outlet can range from $300-$500. For an entire house, the cost will be as much as $10,000+. It is common to instead opt for repair instead of overall replacement of aluminum wiring. It is important that this is considered as a temporary fix and not a permanent solution to a problem. After a prolonged period of time, aluminum wiring loses its shape and fails to seal completely, which can cause the temperature to increase along with the likelihood of an electrical fire. While repairing can be a quick solution in a pinch, for full peace of mind, it is recommended to have all aluminum wiring replaced.
It’s also important to note that insurance companies do not like aluminum wiring and classify it as a high risk. We install the proper CSA approved wire connectors and copper tails to reduce the risk level.
Find the Right Professionals for Aluminum Wiring Replacement
Since 2003, the experts at AJ’s Electrical have been repairing homes and assisting customers all over the lower mainland. Our technicians are dedicated to providing efficient and dependable service with jobs big or small. AJ’s Electrical reliable 22 point home inspection is performed thoroughly and carefully to provide you and your family total peace of mind. AJ’s Electrical Service & Repair specialists offer you the knowledge to make the right choices, always providing the best options while meeting your budget for all your residential and commercial electrical needs.
Needed an electrician to help me replace a thermostat and give me a quote on installing pot lights in two rooms, as the light switches are not connected to anything. The service was great and he discovered be could fix one of my rooms to have the light switch connected to an existing outlet which was included in the hour of work I paid for. Good service, arrived on time, provided advice and was friendly and prompt. Would recommend.
AJs has done electrical work for us a few times — installing light fixtures and sorting out wiring problems. Today Jason changed the puck lights in our kitchen from halogen to LED. Skilled and efficient. Always professional and cost-conscious.
This was the best experience with any trades company I have dealt with. Very good value, free estimate and work done professionally and efficiently. I recommend this company to everyone.
– Jansen B.
I was very impressed with the work AJ Electrical did for me. I really like their estimation services and hour the estimates include the estimated number of man-hours for your job. The work itself was highly efficient and professional. Their staff are also a pleasure to deal with (Darrian, Josh, and Kyle). I would highly recommend AJ Electrical and I will use them again in the future for future electrical jobs in my house.
– Keith T.
Dealing with AJs was a great experience. From the moment of calling them about needing someone to install a 240V socket and talking to Darian. Darian was most helpful and explained everything and even managed to get our service done sooner then the 3 weeks it was originally scheduled for. Kyle the electrician was on time, professional and did the work quickly. Would recommend AJs to anyone needing Electrical work. Their price was reasonable, they were prompt and did the work well.
– Jim H.
Thanks for AJ’s Electrical Contractors. How professional and efficient the electrician did the installations. Thanks for Kyle. He was courteous and solved all my questions in a professional manner. It’s a perfect experience. ?? I will recommend AJ’s Electrical Contractors to all my friends. Because l had amazing service from this company. ??????
– Xuan W.