Updated: Jul 26
Many homes in the mid to late 1960s were constructed using aluminum branch wiring. Sharp price increases in copper sent many contractors searching for a cheaper alternative. In and of itself, aluminum is a good conductor of electricity. Its application in the branch wiring of homes presents some significant risks. Branch wiring is the wiring from the main panel to the various circuits powering outlets and lights throughout the home. The aluminum wire heats up as it carries the current through it. This heat expands the cable repeatedly over time. This can cause connection points to loosen and that is never a good thing. If an inspection turned up aluminum branch wiring it is not the end of the world or your new home purchase. There are very specific components that have been manufactured to mitigate the risks of aluminum wire. A licensed electrician can give you some alternatives that often stop far short of rewiring the whole home.