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Home and Garden  »  Home Improvement

Advice from an Electrician: Houston Air Corrodes Aluminum Wiring

By: Austin Briggs

Date Added : August 18, 2011 Views : 525
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Aluminum wiring improperly installed in houses can affect the safety of your home and family. Due to Houston’s humid and salty climate even the best insolated homes are exposed to the moisture in the air. A Houston TX electrician can determine if you have aluminum wiring, its stage of deterioration and what safety measures need to be taken to secure your home from fire.
In the mid 1960s and 70s many homes were built using aluminum wiring instead of copper wiring and it is important that a Houston Electrician determines if your house is wired with aluminum so you can take the necessary precautions against electrical fires and shock that could happen due to the wire’s corrosion and loosened connections.
One of the main problems with aluminum wiring is “cold creep.” Cold creep is basically the expanding and contracting of metal as it heats and cools. Cold creep is something that happens to all metals, but aluminum expands and contracts at a much higher rate than metals like copper.
Every time aluminum wiring expands and contracts it loosens its connections with switches, fixtures, and outlet receptacles. Over the years as a connection loosens it will create an arc in the electrical current which generates heat and eventually softens the wire’s insulation. This leaves the wire prone to fire starting or corrosion and oxidation and is definitely something a Houston electrician can detect.
Another issue with aluminum is oxidation. When aluminum is connected to wiring such as copper or brass it corrodes from the physical contact to the other metal. With the corrosion comes oxidation which is heightened in humid environments like Houston TX. Electricians can replace connections that have oxidation before it builds up on the connection creating a high enough resistance to cause a fire.
Aluminum wiring, under certain cases is just as safe to use as copper wiring, but due to cold creep, oxidation, and less than perfect installations by inexperienced electricians, aluminum wiring in homes accounts for more than 20,000 house fires every year on average. It is most important that if you suspect you have aluminum wiring to schedule a service call with a Houston Electrician.
A Houston electrician can come determine the unique problems associated with aluminum-wired houses in Houston TX. Electricians specializing in upgrading homes to copper wiring or replacing receptacles, switches, and light fixtures with connections rated for use with aluminum wiring such as AI/CU” or “CO/ALR”.
If your house was built in the 1970s there is a chance that your home was wired with aluminum wiring instead of copper wiring and it is most important that you hire a licensed Houston Electrician to inspect your home’s electrical wiring.

Consider On Time Electric & Air, a Houston TX Electrician and BBB Award of Excellence recipient to help you with your home wiring and electrical service needs. We are the reliable and on-time residential electrician Houston.

Article Source: Advice from an Electrician: Houston Air Corrodes Aluminum Wiring

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