Aluminum Wiring Remediation by the Experts

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Aluminum Wiring – A Blast from the Past

Traditionally, homes built between the 1960’s and early 1970’s were wired with aluminum wiring. Then, around the mid-1970’s, aluminum wiring was labelled a fire hazard and was replaced with copper wiring. Today, only copper wiring is used in building construction.

The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

Serious fire hazards can occur when aluminum wiring is spliced, or connects with an outlet, circuit breaker, switch, or other components of an electrical system. In addition aluminum wiring shrinks and expands, and these constant changes to the aluminum wiring can easily result in overheating, causing sparks which ultimately can lead to fires.

What can we do?

Aluminum wiring can be replaced or repaired to effectively and permanently reduce the possibility of fire and injury due to failing (overheating) wire connections and splices. It is essential that you hire a qualified electrician to perform this remediation.

Homes wired in aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have a fire hazard condition present than homes wired with copper.

Know the Score

It is estimated that there are over 450,000 homes in Canada that are wired entirely with aluminum wiring. Studies confirm that these homes are 55 times more likely to have a fire hazard condition present than homes wired with copper. Most of these homes were built in the 1960’s to late 1970’s. Problems began to surface where aluminum was used in branch circuit wiring. Over time aluminum tends to oxidize when exposed to air, resulting in overheating, and eventually failure at the termination points.

So, Why Is Aluminum Wiring So Dangerous?

Aluminum wiring is not as resilient as copper and also has a higher rate of expansion, which can cause loose terminations and connections, resulting in possible arcing, melting and even fire. Breakage, due to improper stripping of the wires or over-tightening of the wires during the installation stage, has created further problems. Because of these concerns, aluminum wiring is now banned from use in branch circuit wiring. Insurance companies are wary of homes with aluminum wiring and most companies require a complete electrical safety inspection by a trained and certified electrical contractor before policies are sold or renewed. Electrical modifications are usually needed and in some cases complete rewiring is recommended to reduce the risk of a house fire.

Don’t Call an Electrician, Call an Expert! 403-774-7460

What the Experts Can Do For You?

Other than complete replacement of aluminum wire with copper wire, there are numerous potential solutions for the permanent repair of hazardous aluminum wire connections and splices. However,the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend repair methods or products only where there is satisfactory, documented evidence that the methods or products meet the following criteria:

  • Safe. The method or product must be safe and not increase the risk of fire or other hazards.
  • Effective. The method or product must be effective and successfully eliminate or substantially mitigate the fire hazard
  • Permanent. The method or product must affect a permanent repair. Methods or products designed to address temporary or emergency repair situations, but which may fail over time, are not considered permanent.

Based on these standards, we only use the following two methods for a permanent repair aluminum wiring

Complete Replacement of Aluminum Wire with Copper

Option 1 – Total Replacement

Panel Upgrade Experts can replace the copper in your entire house if desired. With a total rewire some drywall damage is to be expected, however our electricians are  highly skilled in this and customers are normally amazed how little drywall damage is caused.

We can offer a total service including drywall repair and paint touch up’s where needed.

With the replacement of the aluminum wiring the new wiring would be installed to todays current code, we can also add extra outlets and lights. Many people like to take advantage of this to install potlights.

We will upgrade the electrical panel as we normally install more circuit than we remove.

  • Replacement of Aluminum Wire with Copper
  • Upgrade of Electrical Panel
  • Wiring Though House Bought To Current Code
  • Permits and Inspection
  • Drywall and Paint Repairs
  • Floor Covering

AlumiConn Connectors

Option 2 – AlumiConn Remediation

Aluminum wiring remediation usually involves a ‘pig tail’. We use an AlumiConn to pig tail a copper link from the aluminum wire to the switch, plug or light.

This option is far less intrusive than option 1 and an also be completed in a much shorter time span.

All plugs and switched would be removed and replaced with new white decora style devices. AlumiConn connectors would be installed on all aluminum splices in the device boxes and on light connections.

We also upgrade electrical panel and install combination arc-fault breakers on the 15 amp aluminum wired circuit. This gives a second level of protect against arcing and ensures protection of any wires damaged inside the wall or ceiling.

  • Replacement of Old Plugs and Switches with Decora Devices
  • Installation of AlumiConns on all devices, lights and junction boxes
  • Upgrade of Electrical Panel with Arc-Fault Protection on 15 amp Aluminum Ciruits
  • Permits and Inspection

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