Aluminum wiring in homes met most local codes until the practice was ended in 1974. Homes built in that era still have these wires in place and should undergo wiring replacement for safety.
Aluminum wiring in conductors and branch circuits was a common practice in home and motor/mobile home construction from 1965 to 1974, the latter year being when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission held hearings around the country seeking information about possible hazards associated with the use of aluminum wiring in home electrical wiring systems. While not outright banning the use of aluminum wiring, the CPSC issued a series of recommendations to protect homes from fire and over-heating hazards and the practice came to a virtual halt.
However, homeowners were not required to change the aluminum wiring out and even today people with homes built in the period have such wiring that was “grandfathered” as acceptable.
The problem with aluminum wiring is that it is unusually susceptible to constant contraction and expansion, and could lead to the potential risk of fire and dangerous overheating. Trouble signs include warm switches or receptacle face plates, a strange of distinctive odor or the smell of burning plastic in the vicinity of a switch or receptacle, and flickering of lights not traceable to appliances or obvious external causes, according to the CPSC.
Allstar Electrical Services licensed electricians are experts at detecting the existence of aluminum wiring and devices in homes, and making the necessary corrections, repairs and upgrades to protect a home from the potential risks. If you notice some of the warning signs or even suspect your home of that era might have aluminum wiring, have the professionals at Allstar Electrical Services conduct an electrical system inspection to identify the potential problem areas and perform the necessary fixes and repairs to have your home safely up to modern codes.