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Is aluminum wire a fire hazard and what should I do about it?

From the mid-'60s to the early '70s, electricians in many new or remodeled homes installed aluminum wiring to feed branch circuits from the main panel to outlets and lighting fixtures. Is aluminum wire a fire hazard? What was later discovered is that while continuous runs of aluminum wire didn't present problems, when those wires were connected to light switches, outlets and other wires in junction boxes, the connections deteriorated and became fire hazards.

In 2019, it is often tempting to believe homes with aluminum wiring are safe since the wiring hasn't been a problem for 30 to 40 years, but that is now a dangerous misconception. The more time these old connections have had to deteriorate, the worse the problem is.

The safest way to find out if your home has aluminum wiring is to hire a professional. But, you may be able to identify aluminum wires in your home by looking to see if any cables are labeled "AL" (Aluminum).

If your home does indeed have aluminum wiring, several options are available, but usually, one of the following two are recommended:

Option 1: Complete replacement of the home's electrical wiring system. This option is typically far too expensive for most homeowners, sometimes costing upwards of $8,000 or more.

Option 2: Replace every single connection in every single outlet, junction box, and switch with copper pigtail using a Copalum connection. Only certified electricians trained in Tyco Electronics (the Copalum manufacturer) are allowed to rent the tool required for installation.

If you have old wiring in your home that needs updating John's Electric is ready for the job. Contact us today. 

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About John's Electric

Linn Park Fountain, Birmingham, AL

John's Electric Inc. is a family owned and operated electrical contractor business that proudly provides electrician services in Birmingham, AL and the surrounding areas such as Hoover, Homewood, Chelsea, Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Alabaster, Trussville, and Mountain Brook. John's Electric provides residential and commercial electrical solutions at competitive rates. We have been in this line of work for 30 years, giving us not only experience but expertise as well. You can depend on us. We are a state licensed electrician (#03875) for your protection.

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What others say about John's Electric Service

This company did an incredible job on our house. Had a few issues to get home ready for sale and he came next day - completed everything with perfection and great price. Aubrey is very honest and trustworthy! Will use him any other time I need electric work and strongly recommend him

bethuhlman
Yellow Pages

I called because of the great reviews, and was not disappointed. I told Aubrey what was going on and he knew right where the problem was. He communicated well when he would be here and scheduled time with the power company to shut off the main power to replace the main breaker.

I appreciated that Aubrey took the time to make sure that everything was working before he left.

Scott Klawitter
Google

Aubrey and Jeremy were awesome! I have an old house with old wiring and needed to install a new Range and above Range Microwave. They worked very hard to run new wiring to the breaker box in the basement, installed new plugs, and installed the appliances with great care.

Steven T.
HomeAdvisor

Very professional & courteous! Aubrey let me know when he was on his way - great communication & reasonably priced.

Victoria Seale
Google