What You Should Know About Aluminum Wiring

Question & Answer

If your home was built between the mid 1960s and late 1970s it may have aluminum wiring. Homeowners today are finding many insurers may not provide or renew insurance coverage on these homes unless the wiring is inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), or repaired or replaced as necessary. You should check with your insurance company for their requirements.

If repairs are required, remember that if you’re hiring someone to do electrical work in your home, by law it must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor.

Before making the repairs, the Licensed Electrical Contractor should do an assessment and take out any necessary permits so the work is subject to review and inspection by ESA.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Certificate of Inspection for your records. Once repairs are completed, ensure that a copy of the Certificate of Inspection is provided to your insurer.

Myths and Facts about Aluminum Wiring

Myth:   Aluminum wiring was recalled because it is known to be a fire hazard.
Fact:    Aluminum wiring itself is safe if proper connections and terminations are made without damaging the wire, and any devices used are approved for use with aluminum wire.

Myth:   Aluminum wiring is no longer used for interior wiring systems. 
Fact:    The Ontario Electrical Safety Code permits the installation of aluminum wiring. It may still be used today for interior wiring systems in residential homes, as well as other structures such as large commercial and industrial feeders. Electrical distribution companies use it widely throughout their distribution systems as well, including the supply service cable to most residences.

Aluminum wiring can be used so long as proper connections and terminations are made in accordance with The Ontario Electrical Safety Code and the manufacturer’s instructions.

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