How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Aluminum Wiring
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Homes built before 1972 with solid aluminum wiring are "55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections at outlets reach Fire Hazard Conditions than homes wired with copper,” according the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission). The problem is due largely to aluminum’s high coefficient of expansion compared to copper, although oxidation is also a problem. When aluminum heats up and expands, it begins to loosen the wire connections at receptacles, switches, and junction boxes. The loose connection increases electrical resistance at that point, which makes the connection hotter and looser, and the cycle repeats itself until it becomes hot enough to ignite nearby flammable building materials and start a house fire.
We don’t see too many homes anymore with solid aluminum wiring that has not been fixed by installing COPALUM pigtails or totally replaced with copper. But they are still out there, and usually in older pre-HUD mobile homes. It’s important to remember that only SOLID aluminum wiring from the mid-1960s to 1972 is a fire hazard. MULTI-STRAND aluminum wiring is code-compliant and often used for service cables and major appliance circuits.
Here’s links to our answers for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about ALUMINUM WIRING:
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