Aluminum wiring was a popular choice in homes built in the 1960s and the first two years of the 1970s. Aluminum was much cheaper than copper at this time, and seen as a viable alternative to copper wiring to save money in homes. There are a number of problems that developed with aluminum wiring, causing builders to go back to using copper wire for home electrical systems. If your home has aluminum wiring, this does not automatically mean that you have to have your system changed immediately. While you may want to consider an upgrade in the near future, you may have to speed up the process if your aluminum wiring is showing signs of malfunctioning.
Your Lights Flicker Easily When Someone Is Walking Through the Room
Flickering lights are a sign that your aluminum wiring is not working properly. If someone walks across the floor on the second floor, and the lights on the ceiling downstairs flicker, this is because the attachment points where the wire and the light connect are loose. This problem occurs over time. As aluminum wire is heated as it conducts electricity, it expands. When it cools down again when the light is not in use, it will contract. This expansion and contraction process eventually loosens the connection, causing lights to flicker.
Your Outlet Covers are Hot or Melting
Aluminum wiring can cause heat in your outlets, causing the outlet covers to turn discolored and sometimes even melt. When your outlet covers are hot to the touch, this poses a fire hazard for your home. Whether the problem is rusted aluminum wiring or a loose connection, it's important to have this problem addressed. Your electrician might suggest changing out the terminals instead of rewiring your whole home.
You Continually Blow Fuses in Your Home
Poor conductivity of your aluminum wires can cause circuits to overload easily. Aluminum wiring does not hold its shape well, unlike copper wire. When it gets flattened, it can get hot, or have trouble conducting electricity from the source to the outlet. If you are consistently blowing fuses and you have aluminum wiring, it's time to have your system assessed to see if it needs to be upgraded.
When you have aluminum wiring, your safety matters first. If you have flickering lights, if your outlet covers are melting, and if you get short circuits all the time, you are ready for an electrical upgrade for your home. Contact a company like ANTHONY ELECTRIC CO. to learn more.