Thursday, April 2, 2009

Subject: Aluminum house wiring replacement switches and outlets

Name: Bill

Question: I have a house that is wired with Aluminum wiring. I am concern about not having switches and outlets not compatible with AL. I have heard of some houses burning down. Should I change out all of them? Where do I find AL compatible switches and outlets? I have been able to find some outlets but not switches.

Answer: Hi Bill,

Don't waste your time. Aluminum wiring should not be touched by DYIers. It should only be handled by professionals. If there is no immedate problem with the aluminum it should be left alone. The more Aluminum is moved the more brittle the metal becomes. You will probalally increass the risks you have by replacing your devices.

If you want to do any updating to your devices you should just bite the bullet and replace the wire too. Aluminum wire were installed about 40 years age and they are not designed to last much longer. The first home I owned in Northeast Philadelphia (19154)had aluminum wire. It was built in the early 70's by Toll Brothers in Morrell Park. I replaced that wire right away and after it was done I slept better.

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