Buying or Selling a Home with Aluminum Wiring

Many residential homes built from the mid 1960s through the late ’70s were wired with aluminum. It’s important that the buyers and sellers of homes with aluminum wiring in Cobourg, Port Hope, and the surrounding communities of Northumberland County understand what’s fact, what’s myth, and what should be done prior to a sale.

The two concerns with residential aluminum wiring are (a) house insurance, and (b) safety. Each insurance provider can set different requirements. Some insurers will be satisfied when the home has been inspected and repaired by a qualified electrician, especially if they receive a copy of a certificate of inspection that proves the electrical system has been approved by the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario). Some insurers may require the replacement of aluminum wiring with copper.

As for safety, when properly installed and maintained, the aluminum wiring is safe. Aluminum wiring is commonly used today in commercial applications by electrical distribution companies, and may still be used today for residential homes. There’s good reason, however, for the stigma surrounding aluminum wiring — namely, house fires! Improper installation, incompatible  connections and components, and the absence of “best practices” concerning this wiring can lead to dangerous failures.

For more information, check out this ESA link for safe living and informed selling and buying of homes in Cobourg, Port Hope and all of Northumberland County.