What You Need to Know About Aluminum Wiring

In the past few years, there has been a lot of fear and concern about aluminum wiring in Winter Park homes. During the mid 1960’s and 1970’s, roughly 2 million homes throughout the nation were wired with aluminum. Although not as effective as copper, it was considered safe and installed all over the country due to a shortage of copper, which drove copper prices through the roof. Many years later, aluminum wiring has shown to have many more problems than standard copper wiring. The problem is not with the aluminum wire conductors, but at the point of connections.

Aluminum wire is still used primarily by the utility companies and in aviation, as well as electrical contractors for service entrance cables and feeder panels. When installed properly, with the right connectors and anti-oxidant inhibitor, aluminum wiring has proven effective. In existing Winter Park homes, however, where you have smaller branch circuits, there are corrective measures that may need to be taken to ensure that everything is working safely.

The insurance industry has reduced their policies that they write or are charging a much higher premium due to aluminum wiring in Winter Park houses. Typically, the insurance companies prefer or require the house to be rewired completely. Completely rewiring a home, however, is a huge undertaking for a Winter Park electrician. Many homes have shallow roofs and are build on slabs of concrete. To replace wiring around the perimeter of the house would include cutting and notching dry wall, which means plenty of repair work after the rewiring is complete. If your insurance company is giving you issues because of aluminum wiring, talk with them about alternative methods and save yourself the headaches.

The National Electrical Code continues to accept alternative methods for upgrades and repairs of aluminum wiring. The common problems are usually at the electrical outlets with unapproved plugs and areas where there may be moisture or condensation. Never cover theses electrical outlets with drapes and make sure you have working smoke detectors throughout the house, preferably with battery back up. Call your Winter Park electrician today to set up the right precautions and some upgrades to your home!

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