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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Called to a house for a second option on the electrical. They just bought the house and have not moved in. Split level ranch garage underneath, walk into a nice finished family room all finished space. The house was built in 64 I think and has from what I can tell all original circuits are al. with a ground. In a few areas the kitchen has been upgraded. His question to me was should the house be rewired? I was the second electrician to see the house. The home inspector did note the al. at the panel.What do you think? should the house be rewired or left as is? I told him about arc faults, that could be used for all the al. ckts. There around 7-8. The first electrician said he thinks about 95% is al. and recommends rewire.
 

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I lived in a house for 3 years that had aluminum wire- I never lost a nights sleep. Make sure the devices are copper/aluminum and leave it be-- perhaps check the terminations at disconnects, panels, etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did tell him rewire should be done, but I had second thoughts thinking the house has been there since it was built with no apparent problems. I 'll have to ask about the insurance thing, I didn't think of it.Thanks for the responses. And the al/cu devices
 

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There isn't a chance in hell that I could, in good conscience, tell him that he needs a rewire. I have done these inspections for potential home buyers hundreds, if not thousands of times.

What I recommend is AL rated devices and connectors, downsized breakers, and AFCI's, but only as an option.

I would also suggest that over time, as budget permits, he should consider rewiring circuit by circuit with copper for insurance and resale purposes down the road.
 

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That house is just a ticking time bomb. It's only a matter of time before it reaches critical mass. No licensed contractor in his right mind would or should declare the house to be safe. Just "inspecting" it can do more harm than good, as aluminum wire does not like to be fiddled with. Even though it's lasted this long, do you think the situation is getting BETTER as time goes on? Mind you, I'm referring only to the 15 and 20 amp branch circuits, dedicated appliances like the range and air conditioning are more than most likely inert from a safety standpoint as there's only 2 easily inspectable terminations involved with those.

If you "inspect" aluminum wiring and declare it safe, it's on YOU if there's a future issue, and your name will forever be associated with anything that goes wrong.
 
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I used to be a lot more lenient about rewires than I am now. After doing a good number of them over the last two years, knob & tube units, I just can't say leave it.

I now have hundreds of pictures of all the hidden stuff that could of caused some serious damage, fire, etc... All on homes that appeared to be in good condition. The only way I'll certify that it is okay, is when they tear down all the sheetrock in the place so I can see all the wiring, and at that point, why not do it?
 
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