Signs You Need Aluminum Wiring Replacement
If you have aluminum wiring in your Chicago home or business, you should consider having a professional electrical inspection done. There have been safety problems with the old aluminum wiring in the past.
Copper wiring behaves differently than aluminum wire. Plus, they are not installed the same way. Aluminum wiring was installed the same way at one time, but since 1972 the procedures have changed.
Inexperienced electricians have failed in the past to note the difference, installing it according to the old procedures or using connections made for copper when making repairs.
Why Replace Aluminum Wiring
If improperly installed, aluminum wiring can overheat, melting the insulation. This is not good new for anyone who has old aluminum wiring.
Overheating occurs due to the coating of white rust that forms on the bare wire at the connections. This coating lubricates the connection, making the wires move. With the changes in temperature from the environment, they also expand and contract, eventually working loose at connections.
This causes sparks and can lead to a fire. To only make it worse, copper to aluminum connections with the use of stick-in connections will make the wire easier to disconnect. The pre-1972 aluminum wire was small gauge aluminum branch circuit wiring. The problem stems from the connections on small gauge circuits.
Symptoms For Aluminum Wiring Replacement
If you have aluminum wiring in your Chicago home or commercial business, it may be fine, especially if it was installed after 1972. Not all problems give warning signs though, but many times you can tell you have electrical problems just by how things function in your building or home.
Have you ever plugged in a device or appliance and discovered the outlet faceplate and the device are warm? Have you ever had flickering lights or smelled something like burning plastic and not known what the cause is? Or maybe you have a loose outlet or connections that aren’t secure?
These are all signs you may have failing aluminum wiring systems in your Chicago home. Just to note that the same problems occur with copper wiring due to varying causes but mostly due to shifts in temperature and earth vibrations which constantly move the wiring.
These warning signs are easy to detect, but be aware that many aluminum wired connections have been reported to fail without any sign or warning that there were problems.
Is There Aluminum Wiring In Your Home?
Aluminum branch circuit wiring isn’t likely to be in Chicago area homes built prior to 1965, but if any rooms have been added on or circuits rewired between ’65 and ’73, they are more likely to be installed using the old technology.
Some cities will pass an ordinance restricting the use of aluminum wire, but this only applies to homes built after the date it went into effect. Homes built prior to this date would be grandfathered.