When did they stop using aluminum wiring in houses?
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Aluminum wiring was used in homes and mobile homes from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. Although solid (single strand) aluminum wiring was approved for household 15- and 20-amp circuits since the 1940s, it was not used much until the price of copper skyrocketed in the mid-1960s. The formula for the aluminum alloy used was changed in 1972, which made the wiring somewhat safer, and specially designed breakers and connectors were produced, but this wiring was totally phased out by the mid-1970s.
The main problem was a loosening of the wire connections due to the high rate of thermal expansion and contraction compared to copper, and homes with aluminum wiring were much more likely to have electrical fires. But multi-strand aluminum wiring is still extensively used in homes for higher-amperage circuits and code approved. So aluminum wiring has not gone away, only single strand #12 and #10 AWG.
Also, see our blog posts I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring? and Do any pre-1960 houses have aluminum wiring?
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