Aluminum Wiring - Indianapolis Home Inspectors Perspective


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Rob Rehm Indianapolis Home Inspectors Perspective on Aluminum wiring in homes.

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Aluminum Wiring - Indianapolis Home Inspectors Perspective

  1. 1. Our View of Aluminum Wiring Based on our research and inspection experience, the use of aluminum wire should not be a reasonP E R S P E C T I V E S to avoid buying a house. There are, however, some cautions about aluminum wire that should be discussed with potential buyers. Not only do our inspectors fully examine the electrical system, we present this information in a manner that helps clients keep the issue in perspective. Brief History Builders began using aluminum wire around 1965, when the price of copper wire skyrocketed. A considerable number of homes have aluminum wiring -- in fact, in most areas of the United States the use of aluminum wire is still code permitted. Many studies have shown that electrical problems are more likely to occur with aluminum wire than with copper. However, most concerns are restricted to single strand aluminum wire used in branch circuits not the stranded heavier gauge wire used for service entrance and large appliances. Single stranded wire tends to work loose at the screw terminals causing overheating, malfunctions and occasional fire. Correcting these problems led to changes in installation methods around 1973. New Technology Homes constructed with aluminum wire since 1973, have "new technology" wiring that comply with electrical codes requiring UL listed circuit breakers, receptacles, switches, and Provided by: wire nuts ( i.e., aluminum compatibility labeling: CO-ALR or Rob Rehm CO-AL). Installed properly, these devices keep the connections tight and should greatly reduce any potential problems. If an Buyers Protection Group outlet or switch ever needs to be replaced, replacement Licensed Home Inspector devices should be labeled "CO-ALR". Licensed WDO Inspector NACHI Certified Old Technology Unless upgraded, homes built between 1965 and 1973, have The Best Inspectors. Anywhere. "old technology" aluminum wiring. There are few To place your next order, please call documented cases of house fires caused by aluminum wiring - 800-285-3001 with the majority of problems involving mobile homes and recreation vehicles. "Old technology" aluminum wiring will usually perform satisfactory if properly installed. There are no code requirements to make improvements and typically insurance companies will not refuse to cover a home with aluminum wiring. However, homeowners should watch for warning signs and consider some form of upgrade from an electrical specialist. Homeowner suggestions include: With every inspection we provide 12 months of our Extended AdviceSM program so your clients always have a direct source for accurate information about their homes. For aluminum wire, we recommend the following: -- Be aware of warning signs: excessive light dimming, arcing at switches, warm cover-plates at switches or outlets, strange odors, burnt wires or corrosion on electrical connections, or faulty outlets or circuits. -- Periodically check the connections at outlets and switches to make sure wires are tight and there are no hot spots. Hot or warm outlets and switches indicate a need for repair. -- If you wish to be proactive or have a concern, upgrade old technology by replacing switches and outlets with the labeled CO-ALR devices. Home Warranty I Home Inspections I Commercial Inspections I Environmental Home Warranty is offered and administered through BPG Home Warranty Company. ©2010 BPG is a registered trademark of BPG Holdings, LLC.