Home inspectors are required to call out aluminum wiring in older homes because it is a potential fire hazard. Aluminum wiring is more likely to overheat and arc than copper wiring, which can lead to fires. The risk of fire is even higher in homes with aluminum wiring that has been damaged or poorly installed.
Here are some of the reasons why aluminum wiring is a fire hazard:
- Aluminum is a softer metal than copper, so it is more likely to be damaged during installation or over time.
- Aluminum expands and contracts more than copper, which can cause the connections to loosen and arc.
- Aluminum oxide forms on the surface of aluminum wiring, which can create a barrier that prevents electricity from flowing smoothly. This can also lead to overheating and arcing.
If you are considering buying a home with aluminum wiring, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified electrician. The electrician can assess the condition of the wiring and recommend any necessary repairs or upgrades.
Here are some things you can do to mitigate the risks of aluminum wiring:
- Have the wiring inspected by a qualified electrician.
- Avoid overloading circuits.
- Use circuit breakers instead of fuses.
- Install AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) breakers.
- Replace aluminum wiring with copper wiring.
By following these tips, you can help to reduce the risk of fire from aluminum wiring in your home.