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Old 09-26-2012, 08:05 AM   #16
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During the sixties and early seventies a large number of homes were wired in aluminum. This was because of the high demand for copper because of the war. Aluminum wiring is perfectly fine as long as it properly terminated using listed and approved devices. The problems arise from amatures and trunk slammers adding to or modifying the electrical systems. If a device is replaced it has to be listed and labled for aluminum wiring. Other things that can compromise the system are;

Improper splicing techniques such as copper to aluminum without using approved connectors and procedures.
Incorrect devices that are not approved for aluminum connections.
Improper stripping techniques. ie.. not using strippers and ringing the conductor which weakens it.
Loose connections. All electrical connections are required to be torqued including device terminals. How many electricians carry torque screwdrivers? I do!!
Moisture in the connections.
Not using de-ox

Aluminum is still routinely used in all types of construction. Most services are aluminum. Feeders to subpanels. Range circuits. The list goes on. Since the average handyman is usually willing to add or replace a device the most common problems found in wiring is in the 15A and 20A branch circuits. This is because they do not use the correct devices or methods.

Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, not pay for losses because somebody didn't want to hire an electrical contractor to do the work correctly and safely. Even reading some of the recent posts here on this forum, it is obvious that people think less of residential electrical contractors because the work doesn't look that hard. Well here is a news flash for everyone, we are worth every penny we charge because of the training, knowledge, experience, and education we bring to every job we do.

It is interesting that people have no problem driving their car to a dealership and paying $95.00/hr for a "technician" to work on it, but complain when an electrical contractor with more training drives his vehicle to their home/business and charges the same rate.



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Old 09-26-2012, 09:05 AM   #17
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Well said Electures..Your words apply to all trades. Anyone can remove a wall to expand their living space? Right? WRONG because if it is "load bearing" It can collapse on top of them. Same for electrical/hvac/ even improper gardening can bring very expensive consequences.

If you are not confident in following/applying detailed instruction OR are not sure about something then don't touch it. There is no such thing as a dumb question. BUT It is dumb not to ask questions.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #18
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Electures said it right I think.

Aluminum is still used to this day, although it is not the same as the aluminum used in the 60s and 70s. Basically every code and inspection authority will tell you it is safe if installed and maintained correctly. Some electricians chose to not use it because they have the ability to always sell the customer copper. If it makes them feel better in won't judge. I've been on big commercial jobs where it is nothing but copper feeders as well as one that is nothing but aluminum.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money and risk assessment. If they chose not to insure aluminum wiring ask them what they want to see so they will. If they still won't find someone else.

My apartment is strictly aluminum wiring and I sleep like a baby.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:24 PM   #19
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Here's a link I found relating to AL wiring in Canada.


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