Some Vancouver and Lower Mainland homes in the late 1960s through the late 1970s were built using aluminum wiring. Unfortunately, aluminum wiring has some problematic characteristics that do not exist with today’s more common copper wiring.
Aluminum wiring is safe when it is installed properly. Problems can occur over time at connections such as light switches, outlets, light fixtures, and at the panel board. Aluminum expands and contracts more than copper. By itself, aluminum wire is not a problem. However, when it connects to switches and receptacles, the repeated expanding and contracting of the aluminum loosens the connection. A loose connection creates more heat and vibration. At times, this is enough to blacken the box and burn the wire casing. When aluminum wiring has been used, these connection areas can overheat and increase fire hazard risk.
An electrical house inspection by a qualified electrician from Nightingale Electrical Service can determine if you have aluminum wiring in your home. Aluminum wire casings have the letters ‘AL’ or the word ‘aluminum’ printed on the plastic casing surrounding the wires. An annual electrical home inspection is complimentary to members of the Nightingale Home Electrical Service Plan.
Replacing all aluminum wiring with copper wiring is the most efficient and preferred way to correct aluminum wiring issues. However, it is also possible to correct aluminum wiring using copper pigtails with specialized connectors. Another option is to install CO/ALR or AL/CU devices only. This method will replace all wall switches and devices with ones that are specially designed for aluminum wires. Ceiling fixtures, however, cannot be addressed with this solution.
If you own or are buying a home with aluminum wiring present, contact Nightingale Electrical Service to remove it. Our certified electricians are experts in handling aluminum wire removal and correction projects. During the removal, the old wiring will be replaced with new copper wiring which will meet electrical safety regulations.
Before work begins, you’ll get a quote upfront. All of our work is 100% satisfaction guaranteed.