Aluminum Wiring


Kern River Home Inspections strongly believes that electrical safety in your home shouldn’t be something to be brushed aside. Just the smallest lapse and turning a blind eye can put your household and your loved ones at risk. One of the electrical hazards that homeowners in Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi and Kern River Valley should keep an eye on would be Aluminum Wiring. Between 1960s and 1970s, aluminum wiring was considered a standard and was oftentimes substituted for copper wiring due to its cheaper price. However, because of its innate characteristics, aluminum wiring can be unsafe to your home.


According to US Consumer Product Safety Commission, multiple cases of electrical fires and even deaths were linked to the use of aluminum in home electrical wiring systems. Although properly maintained aluminum wiring is acceptable, aluminum corrodes and oxidizes more easily than copper. These qualities lead to loose connections, where the wires handle current very poorly; resulting in overheating and eventually, electrical fires.

Here are some tips on how homeowners can potentially determine aluminum electrical wiring in their homes. First, it is very important to know when the house was built. Houses built, expanded or re-wired between 1965 and 1973 are more likely to have aluminum wiring. You can also check the wirings if the word “Aluminum” or initials “AL” is either printed or embossed on the wire cover. Some aluminum wires have specific brand names such as “Kaiser” or “Alcan” on the plastic wire jacket. Other warning signs are identified in a Home Inspection, but if you have recognized these basic and obvious signs, DO NOT attempt to open, touch, or do repairs yourself. Working with electricity is definitely a major life safety hazard. We strongly suggest to only have a professional Home Inspector or Electrician to look into this for you.


Fortunately, Inspectors from a reputable Home Inspection Company like Kern River Home Inspections are highly qualified to further identify such cases.



This article was created by Kern River Home Inspections, providing home inspections, commercial inspections and mold inspections to Bakersfield and all of Kern County