Most commonly used for electrical work in the ’60s and ‘70s, aluminum wiring in homes can still be found behind many walls in Toronto. Aluminum was used for electrical wiring when the price of copper became very high. However, the properties and characteristics of aluminum wire make it much more susceptible to electrical problems making its use relatively short-lived.
While, in many cases, aluminum electrical wiring continues to operate with no problems, it does come with a risk. Depending on the installation method in particular, over time, it can begin to fail and generate too much heat leading to a significant risk of an electrical fire.
Why Aluminum Wiring Can Be a Cause for Concern
Most of the problems related to residential or aluminum building wire comes from the fact that this type of wire deals with significantly more expansion and contraction than copper wire. This results in loose connections that get progressively worse over time, compromising the electrical system.
Additionally, aluminum wiring in homes built in the ’60s and ’70s was often not installed properly. Examples of this include:
- Not applying a corrosion inhibitor.
- Not wrapping wires around terminal screws or wrapping wires around terminal screws the wrong way.
- Too much torque on the connection screws causing damage to the wires.
Poor installation only works to magnify issues with aluminum electrical wiring, and it’s really advisable that you have a certified Toronto electrician inspect your home if you think you may have outdated electrical in your home.
How Do You Know When Your Wiring is an Issue?
It may be possible to keep aluminum building wiring in your home or workspace as long as it has been properly connected and terminated in compliance with the electrical safety code. However, if you notice any of the warning signs listed below, you need to contact an electrician right away:
- Outlet and light switch faceplates that are warm to the touch.
- Flickering lights.
- Intermittent power.
- Circuit breakers that just won’t reset.
- Sizzling noises or smells coming from switches or outlets.
Know that completing any kind of aluminum wiring replacement has to be done by a certified electrician. The best solution is almost always to install new copper wiring throughout your entire home.
Need Aluminum Electrical Wiring Replaced in your Toronto Home?
As mentioned, aluminum wiring may function just fine, but it is recommended that you have an electrician complete an assessment to ensure your home is safe. As you explore options to have electrical work completed, make it a priority to find an electrician that is licensed, knowledgeable, and has experience working with aluminum wire. At Langstaff & Sloan, our long-standing reputation for high-quality electrical work in Toronto and surrounding areas means you can rest easy knowing you’re in capable hands. If you’re looking for support when it comes to aluminum wiring in your home, contact us.