Electrical wiring in houses has gone through many changes since electricity first became a regular part of home construction. We understand if you don’t think much about your home’s wiring—after all, it’s out of sight, and as long as the electric fixtures are working and you aren’t experiencing serious trouble, it won’t seem like there’s anything to worry about.
But your home may have outdated aluminum wiring—and this is a potential fire hazard. We strongly recommend you call us for electrical services in Tacoma, WA to rewire the parts of your house with aluminum wiring or create other fixes that will help keep your family safe.
The Aluminum Wiring Years
Aluminum was used in household wiring from 1965 to 1972. If your house was built during that time, there’s a high chance aluminum wiring was used in some parts of it. Aluminum at this time was used as a substitute for standard copper wiring. The reason for this switch was that aluminum cost less because copper prices were increasing. Aluminum conducts electricity as well as copper, so this at first seemed like a reasonable change. Aluminum does decay earlier than copper, but it wasn’t believed to be less safe.
But there is a problem with using aluminum. Although the metal itself can conduct electricity as safely as copper does, it has problems at connection points. Aluminum weakens much easier at connections, which creates a higher chance of a fire hazard. For homes with partial aluminum wiring, the connection points between aluminum and copper are even more dangerous—a chemical reaction occurs where the two meet, causing a drop in voltage. This can mean three things: low voltage that damages equipment, low energy efficiency, and an increase in heat at the connection that risks a fire outbreak. Amateur repair jobs often lead to this dangerous mix of copper and aluminum, which is yet another reason to only rely on licensed electricians.
How dangerous is the presence of aluminum wiring in a home? According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), home with aluminum wiring is 55 times more likely to experience fire hazard conditions than an all-copper wired house.
Making Your Household Safer
If you’re concerned about aluminum in your house, for any reason, schedule service with our electricians. You cannot rip through your walls to attempt to fix the issue yourself, and the risk of creating larger hazards is too high. Our electricians can take several approaches to fix aluminum wiring issues. We may not need to replace all the aluminum wires, but instead, place special connectors at the points of aluminum and copper connections. In some situations, we may need to make more complete replacements of wiring throughout the house. You can trust our highly trained and licensed team to find the right outcome for your home. We will ensure you have a place to live that is up to code and provides a safe environment for your family.
Resicon LLC is committed to improving the lives of our customers! Call for a wiring inspection in the Greater Tacoma Area.