Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring

PostBy: KLook On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:38 pm

Made an offer on a house....I think it is ridiculous what houses are going for here....but I discovered today it has aluminum wiring. What do the resident electrical guru's think of it? I am not inclined to purchase the house, just want to hear what outside this area opinions are.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000


Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:44 pm

If all of the aluminum to copper transitions were done with the inclusion of an appropriate anti-oxidant paste it should be fine. The 200 amp mains coming into many homes from the street are likely aluminum, and that does not cause homes to burn down.

OTOH, if there are transitions that were done without the paste, it is a ticking fire hazard. I think this became a major issue back in the 70's. Is that when it was wired? If it is a newer home than that it was at least potentially done properly. What is your insurance company saying? They should be the final arbiter.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: KLook On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:00 pm

From what I understand, even larger connections fail with aluminum. But larger connections tend to be more professionally done and there are fewer of them statistically. There are many connections in a house branch circuit. Only one has to fail.
This house was built in 66 and there are no "purple" connectors that I can see. Plus, the house is on a slab with cathedral ceilings between two areas of the house so I don't know how they ran the wire. From my reading this afternoon, you are ok with 12 awg in most area's of the house but must have 10 awg in the bathrooms, kitchens, and such area's. I observed only a 14 size within the 2 outlets I pulled.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:12 pm

1966 is right around when homes started to catch fire due to aluminum wiring, If you are not seeing certified aluminum to copper connectors, then I would recommend that you walk away from it.

My best advice is to PM McGiever for his valued opinion here though.
Last edited by lsayre on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: KLook On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:15 pm

I would walk away from it.
I am leaning that way so hard I am flailing my arms to keep from falling over. I just want to see what the resources of this great forum had in the way of experience and general knowledge. Thanks for responding.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:17 pm

Where is McGiever when we need him? I just PM'd him for his assistance here. Do you have some time to wait for him to chime in?
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: titleist1 On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:21 pm

I have a very strong personal bias against it after losing a friend in an early 70's house fire caused by faulty aluminum wiring junction. I would not buy it, I would not live there if it was free.

eta....federal pacific boxes are to be avoided also.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:26 pm

Off hand I believe that aluminum wire must always be one gauge size larger than copper to have the same ampacity.

Copper 12 AWG (for 20 amp) would be aluminum 10 AWG, etc...
Last edited by lsayre on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)


Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: KLook On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:28 pm

Where is McGiever when we need him? I just PM'd him for his assistance here. Do you have some time to wait for him to chime in?


I have somewhere to be in an hour but he can PM me. I am looking to flip this house and that in itself hurts as others may not dig as deep as I am. Most homeowners will take NO chances and I understand why. But the market is crazy here. There is a house just down the street from this one that is a total gut out and it has aluminum wire also. They have 3 offers since I looked at it(day before yesterday) and they will not take less then $160,000 on 1/3 acre. NUTS..... :shock:

Kevin

Yes to the AWG........
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:44 pm

Local code may require wire remediation. The current owner may have an obligation to make it right.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:15 pm

How much to replace ... maybe 5-15K ?

Knock it off your offer or otherwise deal with the $$$

Sounds like a weekend project ! <like my flooring replacement project, now on week 10>
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:21 pm

Kevin, most pre 1970 house trailers were wired with aluminum. They are banned even here in Freetown!!!!!!!!!!!!
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: samhill On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:36 pm

I don't know if they suddenly did something but the power Co. I have is in the process of replacing all the copperweld wire with aluminum & they claim it will last longer & have less problems. I would inquire locally with some reliable builders.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:40 pm

SH, I wish you could show some sort of documentation on that. It sure don't sound right??
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Re: Aluminum wiring

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:44 pm

Except when you try & sell. All old wiring will be grandfathered in. That safety issue is BS--It's not like the old cloth covered wire which was just smart to re-do!
lsayre wrote:Local code may require wire remediation. The current owner may have an obligation to make it right.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut