During home inspections customers often ask me : “Does this house have aluminum wires? Is it safe?” “The house has aluminum wires, can this house still be bought?” I think it is necessary to talk about the knowledge of aluminum wires , so as not to misunderstand the aluminum wire.
The history of aluminum wire
Since humans had electricity, copper wires have been widely used. However, in the mid-1960s, due to the soaring price of copper, aluminum wires were widely used in North America due to lower price.
Solution to aluminum wire problem
The aluminum wire problem occurs at the interface, such as socket or switch interface, light interface, electrical interface, and power control box, etc. Therefore, the key to solving the aluminum wire problem is that these interfaces must be able to connect to the aluminum wire.
Many interfaces on the market now can be connected to both copper wire and aluminum wire: CO/ALR
• Small socket marked with CO/ALR or AL-CU
• Large socket marked with AL-CU or CU-AL (>20A)
• Switch marked with CO/ALR
• Wiring screw cap marked with AL-CU or CU-AL
• Air switch box/distribution panel marked with AL-CU or CU-AL
Home insurance issues
If you have aluminum wires in your house, the most worrying thing is insurance. Some insurance companies believe that the aluminum wire is a fire hazard and therefore refuse to insure; while some insurance companies require the homeowner to issue an inspection certificate from a professional electrician or an authority.
Aluminum wire does have many problems, but aluminum wire is not banned even though the installation and use of aluminum wire have special requirements.