Aluminum wiring was extensively used in homes between the mid 1960s - 70s when the price of copper spiked. Potential problems with this wiring include lower conductive efficiency, overheating, and incompatibility of joining aluminum wire to copper wire.
If you have aluminum wiring in your home, signs of problems include discolouring of the wall receptacle, flickering lights, or the smell of hot plastic insulation.
Any signs or smells of burning, or receptacles that are warm to the touch is a serious issue.
Do not use the receptacle until a qualified electrician makes an inspection.
Not all aluminum wiring is hazardous.
Aluminum wiring in the home will operate as safely as any other type of wiring if the proper materials were used, installed and maintained as per the manufacturer's instructions and the provincial safety code. If the home involved in your transaction has aluminum wiring and you suspect problems may exist, it is recommended that a qualified electrical contractor inspect the electrical system, including connections. The insurance company may insist on a complete electrical inspection by a certified electrician, rather than a report from a home inspector.
Have any questions about buying or selling a home with aluminum wiring? Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-5000 ext 222.
- Article information from CREA, The Canadian Real Estate Association