Homes that were built during the 60’s through the 70’s all used aluminum wiring for their electrical systems. Later aluminum wiring was replaced with copper wiring and for many reasons, mainly safety. Aluminum wiring, over a short period of time, began to reveal many potential hazards such as overheating that causes thermal expansion in the wiring or to the receptacle, switches, or conductors. Aluminum wiring was prone to sparks which often leads to fires. There are many electrical hazards that were caused by aluminum wiring. Due to the many potential hazards, aluminum wiring was no longer used for home and commercial electrical wiring since the 80’s. However, many older homes may still be using these potentially hazardous wires. If you want to know if your home may still have aluminum wiring there are a few ways you can check. Peterkin Electric will share how you can determine what kind of wiring is used in your home.
Cable Marked Aluminum
To begin your investigation for aluminum wiring in your home, you can look for cables in the attic or in the basement between joists or even look at the electrical service panel. All electrical wires are covered with a plastic sheath that will have the internal wiring label on the outside. If the cables are marked with ALUMINUM ACM, ALUM ACM, or AL ACM, then these cable are aluminum. Another simple way of detecting aluminum wiring is if you see the internal wiring exposed at connection sites such as receptacles, switches, conductors, or light fixtures. The tip of the cables are cut off to allow the wiring to be connected, often aluminum wiring is found when light fixtures or outlet are being replaced.
Loud Pop from Outlet, Sparking Outlets & Tripping Breakers
There are some other warning signs that a home may be using aluminum wiring. If one notices a lot of sparks or if their outlets are making a popping sound, know this occurrence is common with aluminum wiring. The outlet may also overheat a lot which can lead to burning smells. In addition, the breakers within your panel may trip frequently. If your home is experiencing any of these symptoms there is a high chance it is because it is wired with aluminum. If you believe your home may have aluminum wiring you can also contact a professional electrical service to come and do an inspection. They can help determine if your home is outfitted with aluminum wiring or determine the source of any electrical failure or problems in the building.
Aluminum Wiring Replacement with Copper
If aluminum wiring is confirmed it is strongly recommended you replace your home wiring system with copper wiring. Not only will it improve your home safety, but it will enhance electrical loads and reliability. Aluminum wiring is prone to overheating, which causes premature electrical failure as well. You can have more stable power after replacing aluminum wiring with copper.
Electrical Inspections, Repairs & More in Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Lake Forest & Orange County, California
If you live in an older home and want to have your home’s electrical system inspected to ensure there is no aluminum wiring in your home, contact Peterkin Electric. We perform electrical inspections and wiring replacement along with many commercial and residential electrical needs. For all of your electrical services contact Peterkin Electric today!