What you need to know about aluminum wiring


In the 1960s and 70s, builders used aluminum wiring in homes because of the high cost of copper. Unfortunately, it caused a lot of issues, including electrical fires. If your older home has aluminum wiring, it’s best to have electricians like SolarNinjas in Edmonton provide a safer solution.

Why is aluminum wiring so unsafe?

Aluminum doesn’t work well for small connections, and it breaks easily. If it gets soft or corrodes, the connections loosen and overheating can occur at vital points. Over time, this overheating at the connections can cause the insulation to dry out and become brittle and eventually, you can have a serious fire hazard behind your walls.

Aluminum also moves 35% more than copper when it’s exposed to heat. Dangerously, heat exposure happens every time electricity flows and can cause hot spots, loose terminations, breaks, and electrical arcs in plugs and switches.

How can I fix it?

The best electricians in Edmonton can offer a few solutions to fix your aluminum wiring problem. SolarNinjas will inspect all visible and accessible wiring to check for issues and replace damaged wires. They’ll search for hidden aluminum wiring boxes to make sure they know how much aluminum is in the home and where it is.

Proper Aluminum to copper splices by SolarNinjas

Then they will pigtail a small amount of copper wiring to the end of each aluminum conductor on every connection. SolarNinjas will install a de-oxidizing compound around these connections. Because the problem with aluminum is at the connections, this copper pigtail will solve the problem and make your home safe. As part of the service, they’ll go over all previous replacement work, including pigtailing done in the past, to make sure it’s all redone correctly and safely.

They’ll also go through your main electrical panel and check for damage or wear and service it so it’s all tight and as safe as possible. If the panel is dated or obsolete, in bad condition or dangerous SolarNinjas might suggest a panel upgrade to replace the dangerous equipment and update the wiring at that location at the same time.

For more details on their premium service for fixing or replacing aluminum wiring, read Aluminum Wiring, Insurance & the SolarNinjas Solution.

How much does an aluminum wiring fix cost?

The cost of fixing aluminum wiring depends mainly on how big your house is and how bad the wiring is. They can estimate it will take two to three electricians two days to fix a home’s aluminum wiring and upgrade all plugs and switches as we go. If your panel needs extensive work, add another day. At $95/hour per Journeyman electrician, plus a small truck mobilization fee, you can estimate the job will cost up to several thousand dollars once materials, documentation and GST are included. Don’t forget, with SolarNinjas you also get a letter for your insurance certifying the work done correctly. The letter helps you avoid the possibility of fire insurance being null and void in the case of insurance policy fine print around aluminum wiring! This service is something we take very seriously and put our name on your insurance record permanently, so the cost for peace of mind is well worth it.

There will also be a materials cost. Material cost depends on how much damage other components of your electrical system have. If all goes well, that cost will be for copper wiring, special connectors, de-oxidizing compound, and some hardware.

You don’t need permits for a basic aluminum wiring fix. However, if you need to add circuits or replace your electrical panel, permits will be required. Permits can cost several hundred dollars depending on what you’re doing.

Fix your aluminum wiring today!

Fixing aluminum wiring isn’t a cheap job, but it is essential to the safety of your home and family. SolarNinjas can provide their solution and, if needed, certifies the work for insurance underwriters. If you’re worried about your home’s dated aluminum wiring, do not hesitate to call a trustworthy electrician to remediate it for you.

Contact SolarNinjas today!


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