Aluminum Wire Repair & Replacement
An estimated two million American homes were built or renovated using electrical circuits with aluminum wiring. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,
“Every outlet, light switch and junction box connected to such circuits is a fire waiting to happen.”
Aluminum wiring is found in many older homes, condominiums, and apartments. The aluminum wire can expand and contract, loosening connections at switches, outlets, panels and electrical junction boxes. When this happens, the electricity carried by the wire arcs and moving back and forth causes excessive heat and may cause a fire. Aluminum wiring is most likely to be found in homes built between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s.
Signs of aluminum wiring include:
- Switch plates that are hot to the touch
- Smoking receptacles
- Discoloration and blacking around wall plates and receptacles
Hawkins Electric helps homeowners identify this risk and make fixes when necessary — including the more cost-effective and permanent solutions, the COPALUM repair method. A quick home visit will help us determine if you have hazardous aluminum wiring.
The COPALUM repair method, our recommended solution for customers, helps homeowners avoid the hassle of completely rewiring their entire house. Instead, we attach a short section of copper wire to the end of the aluminum wire, utilizing a metal sleeve called a COPALUM connector compressed at 10,000 pounds with a specially designed tool. This creates a permanent connection that is, in effect, a cold weld. Then an insulating sleeve is placed around the connection and heat-shrinked to complete the repair.
Additional Information can be found at: www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/516.pdf
If you have aluminum wiring or would like to schedule a visit from an expert for an inspection, give us a call! We’ll help you save time and money and keep your home safe from the dangers of aluminum wiring.