When you buy a home, you want that space to be as safe as possible for you and your family. Your home is a safe haven that needs to provide the best shelter and comfort level possible. Ideally, you’ll have an excellent inspector that will look at all aspects of the house to check for potential problems before you purchase the home. Asbestos and lead paint are notable hazards, but aluminum wiring is one of those dangers also.
It’s estimated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that there are up to two million homes that contain electrical wiring made out of aluminum. How is aluminum wiring dangerous? Mostly homes built in the 1960’s and 1970’s contain this type of wiring. As a result of deterioration in these homes, aluminum oxidizes, which can cause overheating and become a fire hazard. A standard home has around 200 electrical connections, so the chances of that only increase.
Every wire connects to an outlet or light switch. When your wiring mostly consists of aluminum, you have a major fire hazard in your home. You can easily check for problems that aluminum wiring causes by looking for flickering lights, the smell of burning plastic, and outlets or switches that are hot to the touch. Having working smoke detectors installed in your home is a good safety measure to have.
There are two solutions to deteriorating aluminum wiring; either completely replacing your wiring system, or adopting COPALUM in your home. Complete replacement of the wiring system might be necessary and should be done by a professional. Unfortunately, this is a very, very expensive job. Alternatively, you can get COPALUM connectors. COPALUM connects older aluminum wiring with a small line of copper wiring, which is then terminated to outlets and fixtures in your home.
Keep in mind that having a home with aluminum wiring may not be covered in your homeowners insurance policy, and you might not be covered for potential problems that may arise. Nationwide and Allstate are two major insurance companies that won’t even cover homes with aluminum wiring. If you sense any of these problems, or you know your home has aluminum wiring, call us for an inspection on your system.