Aluminum Wiring Mitigations
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If your property was built in the 1960s or early 1970s, then there’s a chance that it may still have an aluminum wiring electrical system. And if it does, it could pose a major risk for the property. In fact, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that properties with aluminum wiring are some 55 times more likely to pose a fire risk than those that are outfitted with the more modern-day copper wiring. It’s why if your multi-family residential property has this type of wiring, we strongly advise you to contact us as soon as possible. We’ll promptly be out to mitigate the situation so that your electrical system can operate safely. Discover more about our aluminum wiring mitigation services.
Dangers of Aluminum Wiring
Like we noted above, properties with aluminum wiring pose an increased fire risk. But it’s not actually the aluminum material that’s the big issue here. In fact, aluminum does a great job of conducting electricity – and conducting it safely. The big problem with aluminum wiring is at the connections – and it’s this wiring at the connections that is often more prone to overheating, which creates the fire hazard. It’s why promptly and correctly addressing aluminum wiring issues is so important. We can help.
You should never be surprised when your electrician delivers your bill. Before we perform services, we make sure to review your electrical needs and the proposed cost of those repairs. Our customers repeatedly report that our prices are not only competitive but also fair and honest. We never recommend repairs you don’t need, and we guarantee our upfront pricing principles.
Aluminum Wiring Mitigation
Contrary to what you may believe, you don’t need to completely gut the entire electrical system in order to mitigate an aluminum wiring problem. Because the issues with aluminum wiring are in the connections, such issues can be mitigated by installing a short section of copper wiring to the end of each existing wire. This means that copper – rather than aluminum – is connected to outlets, switches and other devices. And being that copper isn’t prone to overheating like aluminum is, the electrical system can work much more safely.
These copper connectors can’t be installed by just anyone, however. They take a professional electrician with the right training on how to safely and effectively make this installation. That’s where we can help. In addition to installing the copper connectors onto the ends of aluminum wiring, we’ll also make any necessary modifications to the electrical system to support such an addition.
The other way to prevent any issues from aluminum wiring is to have the electrical wiring replaced in your property. Doing this often involves cutting into drywall and other building materials to ensure that wiring is properly run throughout the property. Unless there are further issues with the electrical system beyond aluminum wiring, it’s often not necessary to have all of the wiring in the property replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions About Aluminum Wiring
Will aluminum wiring pass inspection?
Aluminum wiring isn’t illegal, but it’s no longer up to code. With that being said, a property inspector is likely to certainly make note of this after assessing any property and it’s likely that this will be a focal point of any conversation regarding the property. While a property is unlikely to fail an inspection because it has aluminum wiring, an inspector is likely to suggest closely monitoring it and eventually consider replacing it with the preferred copper wiring. Where you may run into trouble is insuring the property. Because aluminum wiring poses more of a fire risk than copper wiring, many insurance companies are either hesitant to write a policy for the property or will only do so with a higher premium.
The good news is that there are a few ways to mitigate the threat posed by aluminum wiring. One route is to completely rewire the property with copper wiring. The other more affordable and less invasive mitigation method is to have an electrician add a copper wire where switches, outlets, or devices connect. This secures connections and also helps prevent oxidation.
Lastly, the presence of aluminum wiring can also become a negotiating tactic during a property transaction. Following an inspection, a prospective buyer may request the seller update the wiring to code or reduce the price of the property before the sale closes.
Is aluminum wiring safe?
As we noted earlier on this page, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that homes with aluminum wiring are up to 55 times more likely to pose a fire risk. Even if a property has had no issue with its aluminum wiring, it’s still highly recommended that it is mitigated to reduce risk. Doing so can also likely save money on insurance premiums, which tend to be more expensive due to the enhanced fire risk.
How do you identify aluminum wiring?
There are a few ways to identify whether or not a property has aluminum wiring. Here’s a look:
– Check when the property was built. Aluminum wiring was common in the 1960s and 1970s, specifically the period from 1965-1974. You can also talk to your neighbors to see if they know what type of wiring they have or had, assuming that all properties in the area were built around the same time.
– Check the basement, attic or garage for visible wiring and take note of the markings on the jacket. Look closely for an “Al” marking.
– Contact an electrician to perform a thorough assessment.
Should you replace aluminum wiring?
While aluminum wiring isn’t illegal, replacement or mitigation is highly recommended for a variety of reasons – most notably the potential safety threat that it can pose to any property. Some other reasons we suggest updating to copper wiring include:
– To bring your property up to code.
– To save money on insurance premiums.
– To increase the value of your property and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
– To save on regular electrical inspections and maintenance associated with aluminum wiring.
For additional information on aluminum wiring repairs or to learn more about performing a multi-family property condition assessment, check out the following links:
Contact Us Today
For more information on the potential dangers involved with aluminum wiring and the proper means of mitigating such issues, contact us today. As experienced, professional electricians, we have the know-how and expertise to safely correct any issues that are present with aluminum wiring to ensure your property is safe and your electrical system is working effectively. Contact us for more information about aluminum wiring mitigation today.
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