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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

John's electric is an extremely good company. I would this company to anyone I know. He is very professional and goes the extra mile for his customer. Five stars in my book.

elisha

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Great company! He called and came out right away. They were on time, did a good job and gave me a good price! Very happy!

Deana C.

HomeAdvisor

Mr. Teele arrived quickly, diagnosed our outage problem and fixed it that same afternoon. We have an older electrical system that many other electricians simply won't work with. But Mr. Teele confidently made repairs and even called to check on us the next day to ensure all was working well.

Danielle H Plott

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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

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