Aluminum Wiring FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What you need to know about aluminum wiring.

In this post we’ll look at answering some of the most common aluminum wiring FAQs.

History of aluminum wiring.

Historically, aluminum wiring, which is lighter than copper, was also thought to conduct electricity better than copper. Aluminum wiring has been around since the late 1800s and even today, most utility companies still utilize aluminum wiring for their power grids.

When was aluminum wiring used?

With copper prices reaching an all time high during the 1960s to mid 1970s, many residential developers switched over installing aluminum wiring in new residential home construction.

Is aluminum wiring safe?

This is one of the most common aluminum wiring FAQs we get asked. The answer is yes. Overall, when installed properly, aluminum wiring is safe and can still be used.

However, even though there have been no recalls, there are a number of issues with aluminum wiring that we should discuss including:

  • Easily Damaged – Aluminum wiring is a lot softer than copper so can be damaged more easily.
  • Rust Won’t Conduct Electricity – Copper rust will still conduct electricity, however aluminum rust won’t conduct electricity as well.
  • Cold Flow Wire Creep – When aluminum becomes stressed (such as overheating) the metal can become deformed or “creep,” which can cause loose connections.
  • Affected by Improper Installation – The terminations on aluminum wiring must be installed correctly (terminations/ connections = light switches, fixtures, receptacles, panels). If improperly installed, overheating, loose connections, and other problems can arise over time.

How to identify aluminum wiring.

You can tell if you have aluminum wiring if the wiring is marked with any of the following: ALUMINUM, AL, ALUM ACM, AL ACM, ALUMINUM ACM.

Aluminum Wiring FAQs Summary

In 1960 there were only about 40,000 single-family homes built annually across Canada. By 1974, that number had risen to nearly 160,000 annually. During that time, the Fraser Valley and the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) in British Columbia also had a lot of homes being built and many of those homes featured aluminum wiring.

If you suspect your home has aluminum wiring, or if you know you have aluminum wiring and it is causing some issues, call our Abbotsford electricians at 604-308-6195. We offer 24-hour emergency electrical services as well as professional home electrical safety inspections.

About Premium Electric

Based in Abbotsford, BC, Premium Electric hires only certified electricians who are highly qualified and experienced at electrical wiring upgrades, panel upgrades, and replacing aluminum wiring. We guarantee and warranty all our residential electrical work, which will be completed with minimal household disruption.

If you live within the Fraser Valley communities of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Aldergrove, or Maple Ridge and need our help, give us a call at 604-832-3016. If you did not find the answer you are looking for in our aluminum wiring FAQs, please reach out to us by email or through our online contact us form.

You might also like the following related blog article:

Common Aluminum Wiring Problems

Knob and Tube Wiring FAQs

Checking Electrical Wiring in Older Homes

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