Aluminum wiring is electrical wiring made from aluminum, rather than the more commonly used copper wiring. It was used in many homes built between 1965 and 1973, due to its cost efficiency and ease of installation. While it may have seemed like a good choice at the time, aluminum wiring has been linked to several dangerous issues.
Why is Aluminum Wiring Used?
At the time, aluminum wiring was seen as a more affordable alternative to copper wiring. It was also easier to install because it required fewer fittings and was lighter than copper. Unfortunately, these advantages were outweighed by the dangers associated with aluminum wiring.
Different Types of Aluminum Wiring and Their Associated Risks
There are three main types of aluminum wiring: Type AA-1350, Type AC-90, and Type AC-105. Type AA-1350 is the most common type used, and is considered the safest. However, all three types can be subject to corrosion and oxidation, which can lead to arcing and sparking. This can cause a fire hazard or an electrical shock.
Identifying Aluminum Wiring
The first step in determining whether or not you have aluminum wiring is to visually inspect your wiring. Look for wires labeled “AL” or “ALUMINUM”. If you cannot find this label, then you should have your wiring tested with an electrical tester.
Replacing Aluminum Wiring
If you determine that your home contains aluminum wiring, then it is important to replace it as soon as possible. The process of replacing aluminum wiring is complex and should only be done by an experienced electrician. The electrician will need to identify any damaged wiring, make repairs, and then rewire the entire system with copper wiring.
Aluminum wiring poses a significant safety risk and should be replaced as soon as possible. Identifying aluminum wiring involves a visual inspection and electrical testing. If you determine that your home has aluminum wiring, then it is important to hire an experienced electrician to replace it with copper wiring. Taking these steps will ensure that your home is safe and up to code.