If your home was built in the 1970s or 1980s — or if a property that you plan to buy was built during this period — then there is a good chance that you need to replace aluminum wiring.
The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring
Why did electrical contractors in Ontario (and in other provinces and countries) use aluminum wiring in the past? Simply because it was cheaper than copper. However, it is now widely known that aluminum wiring can be dangerous. Here are some of the risks:
- Aluminum wiring is much softer than copper wiring, which means that it is more likely to be broken, damaged, or cut.
- Aluminum wiring can rust, which makes it less conductive than copper. This degrades the flow of electricity throughout the home.
- Aluminum wiring expands when heated, which over time can result in connections becoming loose or burning out. In some cases, this can lead to an electrical fire.
- Unlike copper wire, aluminum wiring can easily break when twisted. This is something many homeowners experience when they try to replace an old outlet or light fixture. Sometimes just gently tugging on the wire (to get some slack) will snap it off.
Replace Aluminum Wiring – It is an Investment
Some types of home repairs are extra expenses, such as fixing a clogged drain or a broken window. However, other types of home repairs are investments because they increase the overall value of the property — and hiring qualified residential or commercial contractors in Toronto to replace aluminum wiring with copper wiring is definitely an investment that will pay off and add value to your property.
If you choose to sell your home in the future, it is likely that one of the first questions that prospective buyers or a home inspector will want to know is whether the wiring is aluminum or copper. If it is aluminum, then you can expect this to be reflected in a below-market offer. Or in some cases, prospective buyers may change their minds and focus on other properties where they need not make extra expenses to replace aluminum wiring.
Given the risks noted above, some insurance companies insist prior to renewal that homeowners replace aluminum wiring with copper wiring, or that their aluminum wiring is inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (this is carried out by licensed residential or commercial contractors in Toronto, or your respective city if you live in Mississauga, Markham, etc.). Most insurance companies grandfather existing clients. New clients must rewire or “check and correct” all existing devices, junction boxes, and panels throughout the house.
Safely Replace Aluminum Wiring
To learn more about how to replace aluminum wiring in your home, contact Langstaff & Sloan today at 416.503.2033. Discover why we are one of the most trusted and respected residential and commercial electrical contractors in Ontario.