Between approximately 1965 and 1973, single-strand aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper branch-circuit wiring in residential electrical systems. Aluminum and copper wiring, with each metal clearly identifiable by its color" -width-due to the sudden escalating price of copper. After adecade of use by homeowners and electricians, inherent weaknesses were discovered in the metal that lead to its disuse as a branch wiring material. Although properly maintained aluminum wiring is acceptable, aluminum will generally become defective faster than copper due to certain qualities inherentin the metal. Neglected connections in outlets, switches and light fixtures containing aluminum wiring become increasingly dangerous over time. Poor connections cause wiring to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.
In addition, the presence of single-strand aluminum wiring may void a home’sinsurance policies. Clients may want to talk with their insurance agents about whether the presence of aluminum wiring in their home is a problem that requires changes to their policy language.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), "Homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 ['old technology' aluminum wire]are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "FireHazard Conditions" than is a home wired with copper."
This is another reason to always have a qualified home inspector to inspect your current or potential purchase. To ensure that the electrical system is safe , free of defects that could harm you, your family and the home.
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