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James Seward
James Seward is the owner & operator of Seward Electric in Pittsburg. For more information or to reach James please call 620-232-1696.
2011-09-28 15:58:02
Aluminum wiring
A: Yes, aluminum wiring is a safety concern. About two million U.S. homes are believed to have been built with aluminum branch-circuit wiring, which the Consumer Product Safety Commission has had on their radar for over three decades as a recognized fire hazard. Today, the CPSC is more concerned than ever as the homes are drawing more current with the use of high-tech appliances and products. Several factors make aluminum wiring dangerous. The three most significant factors are Heat, Expansion/Contraction, and Oxidation. Electrical current causes a change in the temperature of the wire, causing it to expand and contract. However, aluminum wire expands and contracts at a different rate than other metals used in electrical systems. The heavier the load and or smaller the wire, the more the temperature changes. This can cause joints to loosen and compromise the connection. Further, a compromised connection creates additional heat, which causes the problem to worsen. This heat may melt or burn away insulation, which could create a short that may arc. In some cases, enough heat may be created to start a fire. Aluminum also oxidizes. Oxidized aluminum wire or wire covered with aluminum oxide is a very poor conductor. Additionally, this also creates a compromised connection which generates heat. It is always good to have an electrician look at older wiring and advise you of your options in maintaining your safety.
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