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Often, this major sign goes completely unnoticed. Knowing what year the home was built is one of the most important indicators in determining whether or not aluminum wiring is present. There are surefire ways to determine if a home has this type of electrical wiring. For starters, pull the electrical panel cover and determine if the wires entering the breakers are copper or aluminum. Secondly, you can always pull a receptacle or switch to determine if there is aluminum wiring at the connections.

The 60's & The 70's

When It Was Used

Aluminum wiring was widely used when building houses between 1965 and the mid 1970’s due to shortages in copper and aluminum being less expensive. If the home was built during these years, there’s a chance aluminum wiring was used. While not completely defective or even that dangerous if property maintained, aluminum wiring expands and contracts at higher voltages and can become loosened at connection points located on outlets and switches over time. Once loosened, the wires can spark due to bad connections and have been directly associated with house fires over the years. So do you need to take on this part of the renovation and replace all the aluminum wiring in the house?

How to remediate the concerns.

Renovating & Aluminum Wiring

It depends on the scope of the renovation, but either way you look at it, replacing all the electrical wiring in a home is very costly, invasive, and time consuming. Depending on square footage and other variables, the cost to replace aluminum wiring can easily exceed $15,000.00. Do you have to cut holes in the drywall in every room? Is it a two story or a ranch home? Is it on a slab or a crawl space? After seeing the cost of romex wire double in price over the last few years, you can quickly see how a project like this can spiral out of control, crushing your repair cost budget.

Understanding the issues.


Homeowners insurance companies are notorious for not wanting to insure homes with aluminum wiring. This of course, begs the question…what happens when you list the renovated home for sale and choose not to rewire the home? There is a strong probability that the end buyer will get cold feet and back out of the transaction after performing the home inspection. So, is there anything that can be done to remedy aluminum wiring?

Aluminum wiring can still be used.

Residential Building Codes

Most importantly, using aluminum wiring in a home is not against residential building codes. Like many other building materials, there are simply safer and better choices. That being said, one way to remediate aluminum wiring that is recognized by the National Electric Code is the use of AlumiConn connectors. The little widgets clamp down on the aluminum wiring and then copper is used from the AlumiConn connector to the receptacle, thereby reducing the probability of having a loose connection from years of expansion and contraction.

In the end, you can buy the house and not have to replace the aluminum wiring. The ability to catch it before closing and include it in the renovation budget is paramount. Don’t let this costly mistake happen. Know beforehand and have a plan in place.

About the author

757Offers buy's homes! We eliminate the need for a real estate agent, close quickly, and most importantly, perform. With over 20 years experience in the real estate environment our dedication to helping is hyper focused to the high stress scenarios real estate can create. We solve problems and provide options!

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