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Aluminum Wiring Repairs

Aluminum wiring was used widely in Canada from the mid 1960’s till the mid 1970’s and can still be found in homes built before 1976. aluminum wiring is low cost compared to the more expensive copper wiring. Some houses are wired completely with aluminum or copper while others have a combination of both.

You may be able to see the word aluminum or an abbreviation such as “ALUM” or “AL” on the outer cover of the wire. Special service connectors must be used for aluminum wiring. Wall switches and receptacles must be showing the marking “CU-AL” which means it is suitable with aluminum wiring. 

“CU-AL” would also appear on circuit breakers. Electrical receptacles, wall switches and fuse boxes designed for use with copper wiring are not suitable for aluminum wiring.

Warning sings of aluminum wiring:

  • Extremely warm cover plates, switches, or receptacles
  • Strangely inoperative switches or receptacles
  • Smoke
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If wires are installed properly with the appropriate types of switches and receptacles, aluminum wiring can be made as safe as copper. Terminal screws should be screwed tightly to avoid being worked loose to permit the smooth flow of electricity. Exposed aluminum connectors inside the main service panel should be covered with an oxidation inhibitor compound to maintain a solid connection.

We should prevent the wire from heating up as it can reach temperatures high enough to ignite nearby combustible materials. The heating appears for two reasons: when two dissimilar metals meet and the chemical reaction causes corrosion, or when pure aluminum wire oxidizes due to the insulation removed, and it is exposed to the air. In both scenarios the resistance to current is increased and as a result it generates heat.

With our extensive knowledge and experience with Aluminum wiring, North Electric professional team is available to assist you with all your Aluminum wiring repairs.

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