Aluminum Wiring, and why you don’t want it in your home!

Aluminum wiring. They still make it today believe it or not, although it’s not for all applications anymore. You might still see it used for main services, distributions, longer distances applications. At Hauer Power Electrical, your Edmonton Electrician we believe aluminum wiring has no place in someone’s home due to it’s problematic properties. It conducts just about as well as copper, but has nowhere near the rigidity. Aluminum is soft, brittle and prone to oxidation. Being far more malleable it is far easier to break. Even when the aluminum wiring has been only pinched, it will create a hotspot at this pinch point. This hot spot will get hotter and hotter over time and eventually fail. Sometimes just enough vibration can do it, other times you can just take the risk and come out on top. The reality is, the longer it has been left untouched, the more likely it is to start an electrical fire. As your Edmonton Electrician we strongly advise that if you or someone you know has aluminum wiring to have it looked at by a professional as soon as possible.

Aside from how weak the aluminum metal is, devices have to be rated to be safely compatible with such wiring as well. Devices must be marked Al/Cu” or “CO/ALR in order to comply to be installed onto aluminum wiring. If not followed properly that’s one more thing that can go wrong. As your Edmonton Electrician we only use equipment and devices that are rated for the application. When you don’t utilize the proper procedures, you’re asking for trouble. Another item required for Aluminum wiring connections is called an anti-oxidant, or no-alox. This is a viscous substance and is required in an attempt to stop the Aluminum wiring from developing a natural oxidization effect, problematic in electrical wiring. As a professional electrical contractor we consistently use this product in all aluminum connections, as uncommon as they may be.

Aluminum expands more than copper when there is an electrical current running through it, making it more likely for the aluminum wire to slip out from under the devices terminal screws. This will cause loose connections which creates arcing, which even if very small at first, will overheat and create an electrical fire. Aluminum oxide will form over aluminum wiring and can cause overheating. As your Edmonton Electrician we always encourage the safe and proper installation of aluminum wiring. If you’re not sure on how to install this wiring safely, it may be a good idea to call a certified electrician. Copper also has an oxide that forms on its surface but it does not have these same overheating properties. To combat these properties, never install aluminum wiring that has been bent excessively, or is nicked in any way. These factors create weak points in the brittle aluminum wiring. Weak spots create heat, which will eventually lead to deterioration, arcing, and create an electrical fire. Your Edmonton Electrician, Hauer Power Electrical never takes shortcuts with aluminum wiring, as the results could be devastating.

To Fix: The best way to fix a home wired with aluminum wiring is to get rid of the aluminum wiring. Seems simple, but when a problem isn’t right in your face you tend to neglect it. Unfortunately this task can become costly to the customer, as with most other home repairs. As your Edmonton Electrician we take pride in offering in home estimates, free of charge to you. This is done in an effort to provide you with a good idea of the cost associated with having your electrical issue fixed while following important electrical safety codes. Often times every AL/CU connection can be redone and verified safe with the proper oxidation compound and splicing techniques. However this method would be considered a temporary measure. Our team of certified and trained electricians would be happy to perform this service for you, but it will not remove your problem completely. If a customer were to decide to keep aluminum wiring in the walls of their home their best course of action would be to continually have a qualified electrician inspect, and re-tighten connections at scheduled intervals of time. Ask your Edmonton Electrician about options like this, pick a month, and annually we could come to your home and inspect your vital aluminum connections, and more. At the end of the day when it comes to aluminum wiring there is only one sure fire solution. The only real fix for aluminum wiring is a complete rewire, there’s no shortcuts to take here.

At Hauer Power Electrical, your Edmonton Electrician, we offer complete rewire solutions for all your aluminum wiring troubles. Give us a call today and book a hassle free in home estimate, free of charge. Our staff will not push you into signing anything or agreeing to a contract, but will simply give you your options. As your Edmonton Electrician we’re here to give you power.

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