Aluminum Wire in Your Home?

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, homes wired with old technology aluminum wire "are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than is a home wired with copper."

Is an aluminum wired home really that much more dangerous than a copper-wired home?

Yes, all things being equal, aluminum wired homes present a much greater degree of danger than copper wired homes.

How come I've never heard of aluminum wire danger before?

In order to address the aluminum wire danger in a manner that fits the budget of most homeowners, contractors began using make-shift solutions using a combination of twist-ons, tape and gel or sealant. But, any use of a twist-on connector is a practice the Consumer Product Safety Commission highly recommends against. Overall, this put contractors at undue risk, and many simply refused to deal with it.

The Threat of Aluminum Wire

There are several additional risks in a home wired with aluminum versus a home wired with copper. For example, aluminum wire oxidizes at a greater rate than copper. When aluminum or copper wire is exposed to oxygen, they oxidize, creating a layer of oxidation on the wire. The oxidation layer on aluminum in particular adds significantly more resistance. More resistance results in splices heating up hotter and hotter. In some cases, it can heat the conical spring inside twist-on connectors to the point of melting the plastic housing and can eventually lead to fires.

When electricity passes through any wire, it heats up and expands. When the power is off, the wire cools down and contracts. Unfortunately, aluminum and copper expand and contract at different rates! So, when these two metals are inter-spliced under one connection point, this expanding and contracting over and over again can loosen connection points on twist-on connectors - even when they're installed correctly! As they loosen and the wires separate, arching and sparking can occur.

How do I even know if I have aluminum wire?

If your home was built in the mid 60s to early 70s and is located in the US or Canada, it's very possible that your home has aluminum wiring. But don't assume that there's no aluminum wire if your home wasn't built during this era. For example, it's possible that aluminum wire was used to add or modify existing circuits.

Another thing you can do is look on the plastic insulation jacket on the wire itself to see if it says "aluminum." If you have an unfinished basement or attic, this is an easy way to get access to the wire for inspection.

But, I've never had a problem with my aluminum wire before...

Every day, families who never had problems with their aluminum wire before are calling service men to their home for flickering lights, burnt plastic smells, warm faceplates and in some cases, even fire.

Just because you've never had problems before doesn't mean one isn't brewing. In many cases, aluminum wire failure occurs over a long period of time. Proactive families have snubbed the danger before any major property damage or worse occurs. But others, especially new home owners who move into an aluminum wired home and add high load appliances and computer equipment, aren't as fortunate.

Protect your family and completely eliminate any aluminum wire danger with AlumiConn!

The AlumiConn (short for aluminum + connector) presents a huge leap in product design that overcomes the need to physically intersplice aluminum and copper wire together! Because the ports on AlumiConn are independent of each other, current can flow from the aluminum wire to the copper through the internal lug.

For further safety and security, each port on the AlumiConn connector comes pre-filled with a proprietary anti-oxidant sealant, further eliminating any possibility of oxidation build up. The net result is a connection that's more secure, cooler and safer and is a complete and permanent solution.

Oro Valley Lighting and Electric will pigtail all of your aluminum wiring with Alumicons for $30 per opening. A
Typical 1800 square foot home would cost less than $3000. We include light fixtures and ceiling fans etc.
We also check all connections inside your service panel.
When finished, you can feel confident that you have safely extended the useful service life of your wiring for many years.

This is an examble of what happens when the job is done incorrectly using non NFPA approved devices.