Serving Fort Bend and Harris County
Copper wiring is the standard for most homes in the Houston area, but from the mid-1960s to about 1972, a copper shortage and higher prices lead to increased use of aluminum in branch circuits. Aluminum wiring does not conduct quite as well as copper, and it tends to expand and contract more with temperature changes. Combined with poor termination practices, this can lead to increased resistance at the connections, overheating, and possible fires.
If you are concerned about any aluminum wiring you may have in your Houston home, talk to our experts at Aaron’s Electrical Service. We can inspect your wiring and recommend the most cost-effective solutions for your needs, from aluminum wiring repairs to complete replacement of your aluminum wiring. Our company is locally owned and operated, and we feature skilled, licensed electricians, top-quality work at great prices, and a lifetime warranty on all our services. We serve the Houston area, including Katy, Cypress, Kingwood, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and beyond.
Make sure your home in the Houston area is as safe as possible with an aluminum wiring inspection from Aaron’s Electrical Service. Call us at (832) 791-2935 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
Aluminum vs. Copper Wire
Aluminum wiring is about 30% less conductive than copper wiring, so to handle the same amount of current, it must be larger in diameter. It is also lighter and more flexible than copper, which means that it’s easier to carry large spools of wire and easier to route the cable through wall cavities, ceilings, and other restrictive areas.
The tensile of copper is lower, however, making it more prone to breaking. Plus, a thin layer of aluminum oxide will form over the bare conductor when exposed to air, which protects it from corrosion but increases the resistance at connections. Copper is typically the better choice for home wiring, as it is stronger, less prone to damage, and conducts better than aluminum, though it costs more.
Is Aluminum Wire Dangerous?
The wiring itself is typically safe when sized correctly for the load, but it must be installed properly for long-term reliability and safety. Any loose connections could lead to overheating, melted insulation, and fires. Securing aluminum wires in steel terminals can damage the aluminum, leading to premature failure. And if the aluminum is subject to frequent temperature changes, it can expand and contract, causing the wires to loosen in the terminals. Finally, poorly secured aluminum wires can flex back and forth, causing metal fatigue and breaks in the wire.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, homes with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have wiring connections at outlets that pose a fire hazard than those with copper wiring. Although aluminum wiring can be safe when properly installed, when there is a problem, it is unlikely that there will be any warning signs beforehand. That is why it is typically a good idea to repair or replace any aluminum wiring found in your home.
Aluminum Wiring Replacement Services in Houston
When you need an expert electrician to repair or replace the aluminum wiring in your Houston home, turn to Aaron’s Electrical Service. The cost of replacing aluminum wiring pays off in terms of safety and reliability for your home. We can repair existing aluminum wiring and make it safer by eliminating failure-prone connections at outlets or breakers with approved pigtail methods, or we can provide a full-home rewiring, replacing your aluminum wiring so that you can avoid future concerns.
Call (832) 791-2935 or contact us online to discuss your aluminum wiring repair or replacement options with our licensed electricians.
Aluminum Wire Repair
If your home was built during the ’60s or ’70s, you may have aluminum wiring. Over time, aluminum wiring expands and contracts more than copper, leading to loose connections. Aluminum doesn’t play well with others, so when exposed to oxygen or another metal and water, it becomes a poor conductor of electricity and can overheat. When this happens, you have some options for wiring repair or aluminum wiring remediation:
- Replacement: Complete replacement, where we replace your aluminum wiring with copper. It’s the most comprehensive solution but also the most costly.
- Pigtailing: Pigtailing involves attaching a short piece of copper wire to the aluminum wire using a special connector. The copper part is connected to your outlets.
- Alumiconn: Alumiconn connectors are a newer solution for pigtailing and use a lug-style connector to connect the aluminum and copper wires.
- COPALUM: COPALUM connectors are crimp-style connectors that permanently join the aluminum and copper wires together.
It’s important to remember that whether you need wiring repair or complete wire replacement, hire a professional electrician for the task. Your job is to look out for signs that your aluminum wiring is failing.
What are some signs that your aluminum wiring needs repair or remediation?
- Flickering lights can indicate a weak connection or overheating.
- Outlets and light switches are warm to the touch.
- There’s a burning smell, which is a clear sign of overheating and potential fire risk.
- Your circuit breakers or fuses keep failing.
- Discolored or charred outlets and switches mean that there may be arcing or overheating.
Don’t risk your family’s safety! Call the electricians you trust at Aaron’s Electrical Service 24 hours a day at 832-791-2935 if you’re experiencing any issues.
Why Choose Aaron’s Electrical Service?
At Aaron’s Electrical Service, quality, safety, and customer service are our top priorities, and we will work hard to ensure you are completely satisfied. Our company features:
- Skilled, experienced electricians
- Fair, upfront pricing
- Guaranteed on-time service
- Same-day service
- 24-hour emergency service
- A 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Great specials and discounts
Trust us for all your electrical repairs, replacements, new installations, and more. Call (832) 791-2935 or contact us online to schedule an aluminum wire replacement anywhere in the Houston area.