Aluminum Wiring Inspection in Edmonton
Aluminum wiring is dangerous for the electrical safety of the house.
We are sure you are aware that Aluminum is a big fire safety hazard. There are hundreds of houses build with Aluminum wiring and are yet to be improved to carry on the changes to end the aluminum wiring or to undertake the necessary suggested steps to avoid fire hazard.
We provide Aluminum wiring inspection and correction service in the entire Edmonton region.
Use of Aluminum as a wiring material in houses
There was a great construction boom in 1955-60 in North America. The Copper shortage combined with spiked price suddenly gave an opportunity to Aluminum in house wiring. Aluminum was widely used as an electrical conductor / wiring material in the houses constructed until early 1970’s.
So what’s wrong with aluminum wiring?
Whenever you looked for a new home, we are sure you had a shopping list; four bedrooms, three bathrooms, fireplace, yard, trees, new roof, lots of storage space. Though we don’t think you would have thought about the type of wiring material! As long as you can plug something in and it works, it’s all good, right? Not really. If the house you are now in has aluminum wiring, you could be sitting on a fire hazard.
Aluminum expands and contracts with changes in temperature more than copper does oxidizing the tips much faster. As time passes, this will cause connections to degrade. As such, the terminations of the connections, where the wiring joins with the panel or a device, are where the majority of the issues occur during the current flow/heat exchange.
Aluminum wire used early 1970’s had a somewhat higher rate of failure, but a more significant issue was that aluminum wire critically had a coefficient of expansion that varied significantly from steel screws commonly used in lieu of brass screws around this time for terminations at devices such as outlets and switches. Aluminum and steel expand and contract at significantly different rates under thermal load, so a connection can become loose, particularly for older terminations initially installed with inadequate torque of the screws combined with creep of the aluminum over time. Loose connections get progressively worse over time.
But why aluminum wiring is a problem for me when previous owner had no issue?
If you are aware and ready to buy a home with aluminum wiring, the seller will probably tell you it’s perfectly fine, has never been a problem, and there’s nothing to worry about. We’ve heard this story many times.
There’s a unsolved myth that if a home was wired with aluminum 5 decades ago and no fires have started, it is safe now as well. The problem with this assumption is that whenever that house is sold in the market and new owners move in, they will always put different appliances and hence the power demands on the electrical system of the house. With a change in occupancy comes a change in use, and that’s when electrical issues often show up, even if they weren’t visible in the past or to the past owners.
Also, “The Canadian Standards Association says that aluminum wiring in houses manufactured prior to 1972 are 55 times more likely to have a connection reach fire hazard conditions, compared to copper. So not only are you at higher risk of fire but, due to the increased fire risk, you may have a hard time finding an insurance company to provide you with home insurance”
What should you do if your home has aluminum wiring?
We don’t recommend you to start checking electrical panel right away. It is recommended to hire a trained electrician to help identify if your home uses aluminum wiring and if the necessary steps were ever taken to mitigate the fire hazard. It is possible that the previous owner has already done what is needed to be done.
Call professional electricians at 780-476-1413 to help you figure out the right action course.
Our electrician can assess your wiring and make necessary repairs. We can also provide the certificate of inspection in case your insurance company wants a copy of it.
So what will you do, tear down my house in case there is aluminum wiring?
Completely rewiring your house isn’t practical in most situations because of the renovation cost involved. There are allowed methods where an electrician can make the connections safer by adding a short section of copper wire to the end of each aluminum wire at termination point with special techniques/tools. Now aluminum is replaced with copper at the end of the connection connected to each switch, outlet or other device.
Our electrician will also access the junction boxes and suggest you if replacement is required.
Overall, it is big fire safety hazard that can put you and your family in danger.
Don’t wait, give us a call at 780-476-1413 to implement the aluminum safety standards right away!
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