Observed some of the aluminum wiring in the main panel and in electical box in the house.
All electrical components tested good, electrical outlets, AC, heater,
What type of disclosure should be made of some of the wiring being
aluminum? Most of the wiring coming from the main panel was copper.
Aluminum wire is installed on 120 VAC branch electrical circuits in the subject house. These single strand, branch circuit aluminum wires were used widely in houses during the mid 1960s and 1970s. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, problems due to expansion can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at splices, which has resulted in fires. For further information on aluminum wiring contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision.
Pretty good. But instead of just providing info, you should also recommend a complete evaluation of the home’s wiring by a competent and licensed electrician prior to the close of escrow.
“The system includes solid-core aluminum wire that has long been suspect, and with good reason. Aluminum wire does not conduct current as efficiently as copper wire, and because it oxidizes it can act as an insulator instead of a conductor, building up resistance to conduction and heat in the process. Also, as a poor conductor, it has a tendency to expand and contract more, and thereby become loose at any one of the multiple connections such as switches, outlets, and elsewhere. This type of system can positively be a fire-hazard and is no longer allowed in new construction. Therefore, you should seek the counsel of a competent and licensed electrician prior to the close of escrow who is familiar with this issue, and with the recommended procedures to correct the known deficiencies, such as Copalum crimping.”
The house has older solid conductor aluminum wiring which has a know history of problems, and has been linked to many house fires, so it is considered a fire hazard. The wiring needs evaluation and repair by a qualified electrician familiar with aluminum wiring problems. Repairs can include replacement of the wire where easily accessible, or installation of short pieces of copper wire called “pigtails” attached at both ends of the aluminum wire with special connectors. For additional information see CPSC Publication #516.
(Kenneth R. Brittain, NC Lic # 3262)
NC Licensure Board Recommended Language
Home Inspection Report & Summary Page – Recommended language for Aluminum Wiring.
Single strand aluminum wire is present on 120 volt branch circuits in this house. This single strand, branch circuit aluminum wire was used widely during the 1960s and 1970s. According to reports published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), problems due to overheating at the connections between the wire and devices such as switches, outlets, and light fixtures may have been responsible for house fires. It is recommended that the circuits using single strand aluminum wiring be evaluated and modified as may be deemed necessary by a licensed electrical contractor who is familiar with the problems inherent in this type of wiring. For more information on aluminum household wiring, refer to the National Electrical Code and the C.P.S.C. booklet “Repairing Aluminum Wiring.” The toll-free hotline number for obtaining this booklet is 1-800-638-2772, or you can visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/516.pdf.