Brian Henderson wrote:
> Unfortunately, my parent's house, which was built in the mid-60s, has
> all aluminum internal wiring. The dining room has started to fail in
> parts, the light switch to the ceiling lights doesn't work anymore, I
> ran an extension plug for the lights to an independent outlet so my
> mother can get light but really, the whole house needs to be
> completely rewired with copper.
> I'm just afraid that I'll get tapped for the job if I suggest it. :)
I don't mean to be macabre; however, a rewire beats the hell out of
the possible alternate, a premature funeral.
While I've had no direct experience with Aluminum wiring but I've read
enough to think rewiring isn't needed nor necessary....The wire itself isn't
the problem just the connections......however leaving faulty switch, plug or
junction boxes without proper Alum/copper terminals is a fire waiting to
happen......not to mention independent of wiring type switches etc. will
fail over time or with repeated use.....if a new switch didn't deal with the
faulty light then a junction box would be a likely culprit...back to that
dangerous thing......anyway if you can't by choice, skills or code just
swapping out receptacles, switches and junction boxes isn't anywhere near
the cost of a rewire. Rod
You should be afraid of far more than that if it's really as bad as the
post makes it sound -- the extension cord trick is probably as bad if
not worse than the problem itself.
As someone else has noted, it's not always necessary to totally re-wire,
but certainly a rework of the connections sooner rather than later is in
My guess would be that they attach the new wire to the old wire, and as
they pull the old wire out on one side, the new wire is fed into the
wall. Basically, you're using the old wire as a fish tape.
Thanks to junctions and snags, it's probably not as easy to do as it is
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
By disconnecting the existing cables at all accessible points and abandoning
them in place, removing all outlets, and fishing new cable through walls,
floors, and ceilings. Sometimes this requires small access holes to be opened
up in walls or ceilings, which are then patched later, but there's no need
whatever to gut the house.
For a single-story home with an unfinished basement below, and an accessible
attic above, it's really pretty easy. The hardest part for me was getting
wires from the basement to the attic; I finally solved that problem by
installing a large conduit inside a closet. I put it in one of the front
corners, so it's not readily visible. The current owner of that house has been
there for more than 20 years, and I bet he's never seen it.
Thanks to the cable having been secured to the framing during original
construction, it's normally impossible to do it that way.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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