If your Albuquerque home was built from 1962 through 1974, there is a good chance that you may have aluminum wiring in your home. Aluminum is a perfectly acceptable electrical conductor, however it will need regular maintenance.
Aluminum is different from copper in that it expands and contracts easier from heat generated in the wiring system. When this happens, connections become loose, over heat and damage accessories where the wire terminates. For this reason a licensed electrician is needed to inspect and service an aluminum wired system.
Your electrician may recommend 'pig tailing' your accessories, such as outlets and switches. This is a process where copper wire is 'spliced' onto the aluminum wire before it is 'terminated' or connected. This takes special wiring accessories called wire nuts that have antioxidant compound.
Another step that your electrician will take is to find all the terminations or connections to make sure the antioxidant compound is present and tighten all the loose connections found. He will also check to make sure all your outlets and switches are compliant CO/ALR devices.
The best way to alleviate electrical problems in your home due to aluminum wiring is to have the home rewired. This is an expensive alternative, but will serve to remove any adverse effects caused by loose aluminum wiring. In the long run rewiring will pay for itself.
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The information presented here is the opinion, views and writings of Troy Larson. They do not represent the opinion, views or writings of any other person, entity or company.