Aluminium wiring in residential installations

Aluminium wiring that was extensively used in the residential market from 1965 to 1976 is no longer a popular wiring method for branch circuits.  Problems have been reported from the overheating and failure of aluminium wiring terminations.  These problems can be recognized by receptacle discolouration, flickering lights, smell of hot plastic insulation and sometimes an electrical induced static noise on the radio and/or television.

Aluminium wiring in your home will operate as safely as any other type of wiring if the proper materials are used and it is installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions and the Ontario Hydro Electric Safety Code

Your home has aluminium wiring and problems could possibly exist. Your Home Inspector strongly recommends that you hire a qualified electrical contractor experienced in repairing aluminium wiring to do a thorough inspection of the electrical system. This inspection should include the following:

  • Visually check terminations at devices without removing or disturbing the devices.
  • Cut back any damaged aluminium conductors and join these to a copper tail using a connector approved for use with aluminium.
  • Such connectors are coloured brown or purple (depending on the manufacturer).
  • The copper tail is then terminated at the terminal screws of an ordinary device (which includes approved receptacles, etc.)
  • Or cut back the damaged aluminium conductors and re-terminate at a new device bearing the marking CO/ALR.
  • Only devices bearing this marking are currently approved for use with aluminium wiring.
  • Panelboard terminations should be checked for signs of overheating.
  • Fuses installed for heavy loads should be Temperature sensitive Type D or Type P.
  • Circuits should never be overloaded or overfused regardless of wiring type.

Article by Brian Edwards M.A.A.T.O, B.C.Q, President of Westbrook Building Inspections Ltd. hope this helps and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Century Office Building Conversion

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