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The dangers of aluminum wiring in the home

Two Crossing Copper Wires

There are many benefits to living in an older home - from antique architectural detailing to the rustic aesthetic that is present within many historic properties. However, the older the home, the greater the likelihood that structural issues will arise that may cost owners a lot of money in the long run.

Many of the more common and costly malfunctions that plague older houses occur in the property's wiring. This is especially true of homes that were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, when builders would use cost-cutting alternatives to quality copper wiring that proved extremely faulty. Perhaps the worst material used was aluminum wiring, which was installed primarily during the middle part of the last century before builders realized the material's true potential for damage.

The real hazard with aluminum wiring is the fact that it will easily corrode when it comes into contact with charged copper. Since copper is the most common wiring used in residential construction today, many homes that feature an aluminum electrical grid are likely to also feature copper wiring at certain junctures that will likely react negatively with the rest of the electrical system. When these wires corrode, they create a large risk of electrical arcing that could likely spark a fire.

Luckily, dielectric wire nuts are relatively inexpensive solutions for joints where aluminum and copper meet that protect the connection while preventing corrosion. However, if aluminum wiring is used extensively throughout your home, you'll need to contact an experienced Fairfax electrical service like John C. Flood immediately to prevent potential disaster in the long run. Aluminum wiring is essentially a ticking time bomb, and in most cases, it is only a matter of time before minor issues that stem from this problem exacerbate into full-on calamities.