Frank Cozzolino, we need you.

11 Mar

Being an avid fan of Holmes on Homes, I have undying respect for Frank Cozzolino of Solutions Electrical. In the process of installing a couple of dimmers and timers I have run across something I had sort of expected but hoped not to find. This is the kind of thing Frank would be ready to jump on, deciding, no doubt, to do a complete re-wire. The most disturbing part is that some of the older aluminum wiring has a cloth jacket, which tends to degrade over time, so when you try to work on it the jacket can crumble as you manipulate it. Another problem with aluminum wiring is when you combine it with newer copper wiring, they don’t get along well. Apparently the big problem is that the two metals have different rates of expansion from heat, which can loosen the twisted connection over time, and eventually can cause arcing. I found such a connection today  when I went to install a timer for the light outside the front door. Not only was there a copper to aluminum connection, the marrette (canada) or wire nut (US) was just sitting in the bottom of the electrical box.

I fully intend to eventually replace all the old aluminum with new copper romex. Some of these lines are easy to access, such as basement lights and outlets, but some are a little more difficult, such as wall switches. If we were gutting the house this would be a piece of cake, to do so without disturbing the drywall can be a bit of a challenge.

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