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Dangers of Aluminum Wiring in Your House

Should You Replace Aluminum Wiring?

Do you have a fire hazard lurking behind your electrical outlets? If your home was made with aluminum wiring, you might. Homes built before after 1965 and before 1973 may include aluminum electrical wiring. Aluminum is softer than the copper contractors use today, and because of this is represents some risks to homeowners. If you have aluminum wiring, you need to make sure that your home is safe.

electricians charlotte aluminum wiring electricians should i replace aluminum wiring in my home, aluminum wiring fire risk Why is Aluminum Wiring Dangerous?

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, around two million homes in the United States have aluminum wiring, and without the right precautions every single outlet and light switch or other electrical connection that uses aluminum wiring in those homes presents a serious fire risk.

Aluminum is a softer metal than the copper used today, which causes is to more easily expand and contract compared to copper. At connections where the wires are twisted together in a similar way that you would twist copper connections, this expansion and contraction causes heat. Add the risk of oxidation, the process when an atom or an ion loses electrons, which is common with aluminum wiring, and you have a high fire risk. While this risk is only found at connections for example where outlets are installed, not in the long run of wire flowing through the home, it is still a substantial risk. The average home has 200 or more connections, presenting a significant number of fire hazards.

Solutions for Aluminum Wiring in Your North Carolina Home

If you have aluminum wiring in your home, you need to take measures to protect yourself and your family. Here are some solutions to consider:

  • Remove the aluminum and rewire the house with copper wiring. This is costly, but it is the safest option and ideal if you know you will remain in the house for a long time.
  • Use switches and receptacles rated for aluminum wiring, and connect lights using aluminum rated wire nuts, which protect the aluminum from oxidation.
  • Ask a certified electrician to use the Copalum method to install electrical items, which helps limit the risk of aluminum wiring by using a high pressure crimping tool to make the final connection secure and limit the heat between connected wires.

Contact An Aluminum Wiring Electrician Near You

Aluminum wiring in your home is a risk, one that needs to be monitored before it can become a tragedy. No matter what route you take, whether to replace your aluminum wiring or you choose to upgrade your receptacles and lighting fixtures to be aluminum wiring compliant, make sure you never work on your aluminum wiring without the help of a licensed aluminum wiring electrician. They will have the experience necessary to make sure that as many safety measures are put in place as possible. The team at LiveWire Electrical has worked with aluminum wiring for years helping to replace it when possible and to use the Copalum method otherwise, and we are ready to help you with your aluminum wiring needs in the greater Charlotte area. Contact our office online or call (704) 766-8118 to set up an in-home inspection of your aluminum wiring in Charlotte, NC or the surrounding area.

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