Aluminum Wiring Vancouver: Facts & Solutions
Aluminum Wiring Repairs in Vancouver
Your aluminum wiring can fail or overheat without any prior signs of problems
Never take chances with the safety of your home and loved ones. Technical safety BC recommends eliminating the risk of poor-quality aluminum wiring terminations without waiting for any signs of problems. When the signs show, it might be too late. Stop worrying about your aluminum wiring terminations. We’ll take care of it.
Getting those aluminum wires checked and repaired should be your top priority. Here’s why:
Serious Fire Hazard
Aluminum wires are softer than their copper counterpart and oxidize more easily. This increases the risk of arcing and overheating.
Higher Insurance Premium
Insurance companies know that aluminum wires connections are generally less safe than copper wire ones, which translates into an insurance premium.
Poor Conductor Durability
Aluminum conductors are more prone to being nicked, cut, or crushed during termination, which can cause all sorts of problems.
Aluminum wiring joints loosen up over time, due to the impactful expansion/contraction cycles and oxidation. The key to keep it safe is to inspect and maintain connections every 5 years.
How can we help you?
Our team of Vancouver licensed electricians has been helping homeowners & strata buildings with aluminum wiring for over 10 years. Whatever aluminum wiring services you might need, our team is ready to help.
Electrical Safety Inspection
Have peace of mind with our complete electrical safety inspection, conducted by professional and licensed electricians.
Aluminum Wiring Remediation
Ensure the safety of your aluminum wires by having our professional team restore them to their optimum condition.
Aluminum Wiring Pigtails
Protect your home from aluminum wire termination failures with Canadian Technical Safety BC approved method for securing aluminum wires: copper pigtails.
Insurance Company Letter
Prove to insurance companies that your home is electrically safe with a Licensed Electrical Contractor letter to maintain or renew your insurance.
Why WireChief Electric?
Friendly Team of Electricians
We care about our clients’ properties and treat everyone with kindness and respect.
Our high-quality electrical services are fully compliant with the Canadian Electric Code.
You can always reach our team by email or phone during regular work hours.
We give each and every client the full picture and talk openly about timing and pricing.
No surprises. We give you a clear budget at the start of each project and stick to it.
Nothing gives you peace of mind better than our lifetime workmanship warranty.
Hear it from our clients:
Octavio of Wirechief got back to me immediately. He was efficient, knowledgeable, helpful and polite. He inspected our building as well for electrical safety and provided advice on safety. I would highly recommend Octavio and Wirechief
Ready to protect your home and family with Aluminum Wiring Repairs in Vancouver?
These are the most common questions about aluminum wiring repairs that we get from our clients.
Is Aluminum Wiring Safe?
Aluminum wiring is an acceptable wiring choice, if properly installed and used in the proper application. Problems with aluminum wiring began to show when it was used in branch circuit wiring (the smaller wires that deliver electricity from the electrical panel to the plugs, switches and lighting fixtures).
As with all wiring, aluminum wire is safe provided appropriate connections and terminations are made without damaging the wire and with approved materials installed in conformity with the Canadian Electrical Code. Today, the stranded aluminum cable is mostly used for main distribution wiring or feeder lines to bring electricity to the home.
Is AlumiConn a good method for repairing my aluminum electrical wiring?
AlumiConn is good, however, it’s not readily available in Vancouver, Canada. This more expensive method for repairing aluminum electrical wiring is mostly available in the US. The only method that’s approved in Canada for repairing aluminum wiring is Pigtailing.
Why should I hire a licensed electrician to fix my aluminum wiring?
Working with AW requires the specialized knowledge of a licensed electrician. When you work with an unlicensed electrician to do this kind of work, it can do your home more harm than good. You also won’t be able to get your wiring system certified as safe for insurance purposes unless the work is done by a licensed & insured electrician contractor.
What makes aluminum wiring so problematic?
The problems with aluminum wiring result from its physical properties. Aluminum oxidizes when exposed to air, resulting in overheating, and eventual failure at the termination points. Since aluminum wiring is softer and exhibits different electrical characteristics than copper wiring, particular attention is necessary to verify that appropriate devices are being used.
Can I get insurance for a house with aluminum wiring?
Yes, if the aluminum wiring is safe. When houses are wired with aluminum wiring most insurance companies require a complete electrical safety inspection by a professional and licensed electrical contractor before policies are sold or renewed. Electrical repairs are generally needed.
How do I know if my home has Aluminum Wiring?
If your house was constructed between the mid-1960s until the late 1970s, it could have aluminum wiring. You can check the type of wiring yourself by looking at the visible electrical wiring between the open floor joists, in the basement, or up in the attic. You can also look at the service panel, and check if the wire is marked with the word ALUMINUM or ALUM, AL, ALUM ACM, AL ACM.
What are the symptoms that may indicate aluminum wiring problems?
The following symptoms might indicate a problem with your aluminum wiring:
• Flickering lights that can't be traced to a failing bulb or other external cause.
• Plugs that don't work even with the circuit energized.
• Uncommon static on the radio, TV or computer.
• Switch plates and receptacle covers that are crooked, discolored or warm.
• Circuit breakers or fuses that trip for no evident reason.
• Unusual odor similar to that of burning plastic around switches and receptacles.
• Smoke or sparking close to electrical devices.
If you observe any of these problems, it is important to have a licensed Vancouver electrical contractor to check the electrical system immediately to determine the best and securest solution to this safety concern.
I don’t experience any of the above systems. Does this mean that my aluminum wiring is safe?
Absolutely not. Aluminum-wired connections are notorious for failing without prior indications or problems.
Is it possible that my home has both aluminum and copper wiring?
Yes. Some homes have a mixture of both aluminum and copper wiring.
Can my aluminum wiring problems be solved without replacing all the wires?
Yes, BC homeowners have three ESA authorized options, to eliminate the risks of aluminum wiring.
1-Installation of CO/ALR or AL/CU devices only.
This involves replacing all the wall receptacles and switches in your house with ones that are specifically rated for aluminum wiring. “Decora” devices and Tamper Resistant receptacles are not available in a CO / ARC form. Availability is limited to standard devices. This option does not address connections in lighting fixtures.
2-Copper Pigtails with Specialized Connectors.
The most usual method of addressing this problem is bridging a new copper pigtail wire between the existing aluminum wiring and any electrical device. This connection must be done using very special wire connectors along with appropriate anti-oxidant paste to increase conductivity and eliminate corrosion.
3-Complete home rewire using only copper wiring.
Clearly, this is the most secure, long-term solution to the aluminum wire dilemma. It is the most labor-intensive and expensive method, with investments ranging from $7,000 to $20,000 plus, depending on the size of the home. This option is the best for protecting the value of your home.
Any of the above options must be performed by a professional and licensed Vancouver electrician contractor to ensure the right installation procedures are strictly followed.