Question : Aluminum Wiring – What Would You Say to Family, Clients.

Question : Aluminum Wiring – What Would You Say to Family, Clients.

I wrote this email answer to a nephew’s question about aluminum wiring systems. (He’s house hunting.)

Aluminum wire replaced copper in the 70s (for a while) because of cost.

Allowances were not made (at first) for the different properties so some problems showed up. (Fires).

– Connections have to be made with wire looped around the screws rather than just under the screws because of the coefficient of expansion for aluminum is greater than copper. They move and loosen with temperature changes.

– As aluminum oxidized it increases electrical resistance, the opposite of copper, so an anti-oxidant paste has to be used.

– Aluminum is more brittle and heats up more than copper, so for a given amperage the wire gauge or diameter has to be larger. (This is sometimes handled by lowering the amperage at breakers or fuses.)

– Outlet, switches and conductors for major appliances have different metals used for conductors (copper) so specially made adaptive plug outlets and switches must be used. (You don’t just find them in ‘Reno’ stores.) (NOW they are appearing, 2014)

Those are the major factors.

If the wire size is correct (or the amperage is reduced), the switches and plugs changed to the correct type, all attachments done as required for aluminum, and the anti-oxidant paste applied to all connections, then the system will be safe and as good as the copper based systems.

This does have to be verified by an electrician with experience in aluminum wiring.  Unless they are over fifty or do a lot of renovations, there are many electricians out there who have never seen it. So ask.

*Sometimes sellers can provide a certificate or receipt from an electrical contractor verifying the system has been updated.

*If that’s the case then there is no real concern for the buyer, except that it will be an issue when they go to sell their house in the future.

*That is something to consider as it will be an increasingly rarer type of system in years to come.

That’s where my email ended. Those last few comments* address the future value and sales-ability of the home.

If you would give that advice to family, would you give it to all your clients?

Or would you leave it to the agents? As an inspector I would say Yes, as it is an element of the physical building.

What would you do?


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

Have You Got the Measels? The Internet Measels. I do!!

Have You Got the Measels? I do!

Yes I’m serious, but I’m talking about the internet measels.

It’s all over my blog, my website, my profile and it’s on other rsites I have looked at.

I’m talkingt about a plethora of links, ordinary words that are supposed to be there but they’ve been turned into links that take you away to other pages, other sites.

This is very distracting. Even worse it takes visitors and reader away from your work, sometimes to competitors sites.

Not exactly what you want is it?

You could easily look opon it as a cancer; healthy cells (words that you typed there) now morphed into ugly traps, cancerous to your message, distracting and likely to lead readers (potential customers) away to competitors or vendors for products related to the word used as the link.

These ‘links’ look similar to the normal ones, they are blue coloured text like the normal links, but they are double underlined.

Even as I write this, there is one lurking on this page. (It’s the “Tags:” lable for the next section.)


Has anyone else experienced this?

Do you know what I’m talking about?

Oh yeah, Help!


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

One Toke Over The Line

AR Points counter at 100,011One Toke Over The Line

This has been a goal of mine for a while now. I’ve just squeezed past the 100,000 points mark.

Todays login sees me at 100,011. That’s just over the line.

This summer has seen me close enough to anticipate reaching this goal.

However I’ve been away on several trips and busy in between so I’ve not been doing as much blogging. But I have been keeping up, reading and commenting, even doing it in airport waiting areas while on the go.

Back when I started, I really couldn’t imagine accumulating 1000 points, much less 100,000.

I really only started last November, I’ve been a member for longer but not really participating much. Then I started blogging and learning to blog in the process.

One of those (January) blogs got featured; It”s a new house, I don’t need an inspection, right?

One day out of the blue I got a phone call from a member, Charles Buell from Seattle. He encouraged me to become a rainmaker. Advice that I eventually followed.

I’ve found AR to be a friendly place with useful information on how to do things, write better blogs, insert photos and videos, find and use computer apps, etc.

Thanks to all those commenters who have become colleagues and inspiring examples.



Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post