How to Repair Aluminum Wiring

How to Repair Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring became popular in homes built between 1965 and 1973 because it is less expensive than copper wiring. However, aluminum wiring is known to cause safety issues due to oxidation and expansion/contraction properties. As a homeowner, it's important to understand how to properly repair aluminum wiring to prevent electrical fires and other hazards.

Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring is more likely to cause issues for a few key reasons:


Expansion and Contraction

Poor Terminations

Inspecting Aluminum Wiring

Before attempting repairs, thoroughly inspect the aluminum wiring throughout the home. Look for the following warning signs:

Any of these could indicate an unsafe connection that needs repair.

Repairing Connections

There are three main methods for repairing aluminum wiring connections:


CO/ALR Connectors

Repair Kits

Always follow manufacturer's instructions exactly when using special connectors and components.

Replacing Outlets and Switches

In some cases, the best solution may be to completely remove and replace:

When replacing:

Do not use traditional copper-only outlets and switches. The connections may eventually fail.

Hiring an Electrician

Due to the safety risks, consider hiring a licensed electrician if you are uncomfortable doing repairs yourself. Look for an electrician who is experienced with aluminum wiring.

Things an electrician can do:

While hiring an electrician may cost more upfront, they can ensure repairs are done properly and prevent serious hazards. Improper DIY repairs on aluminum wiring can make problems even worse.

Preventing Future Issues

To minimize future issues after repairs:

With periodic inspections and using caution to avoid overloading circuits, properly repaired aluminum wiring can be safe for continued use. But problems can still develop over time, so be vigilant.

Overall, exercise caution when dealing with aluminum wiring yourself. Inspect all connections thoroughly, use proper repair methods, and consider hiring an electrician if you have any doubts about safely making fixes. Carefully repaired aluminum wiring will remove the fire and shock risks, allowing your wiring to be safe and reliable for years to come.