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Thread: Buying a house, Aluminum Wiring?

  1. #1

    Default Buying a house, Aluminum Wiring?

    Hello everyone,

    I put in an offer on a house last week (one with enough room for all my tools!). One of the conditions was insurance. I have run into a little bit of a problem. My Insurance company wants an electrician to certify in writing that everything is "safe".

    Anyone know how I get this done? The offer clock is ticking...

    Who has had problems with their insurance agent with regards to aluminum wiring, and how did things work out?

    (Mike H., it is in Norton Estates, looks just like my folks)

    Thanks,

    David.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Caledon
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    44

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    David, I have had two houses that have had aluminum wiring, in each case it was because copper was too high priced on the market as like now. I've lived in this present house for 27 yrs. There have been no problems to speak of, the worst has been making sure that the insulated wire connecters are cu rated. You can also "pony tail" copper wire at each box and then use copper connectors, or so I'm told, but I never have. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by That Dave Guy View Post
    Anyone know how I get this done? The offer clock is ticking...

    Who has had problems with their insurance agent with regards to aluminum wiring, and how did things work out?

    (Mike H., it is in Norton Estates, looks just like my folks)
    I searched the forum and found a few references to folks who've ripped it out, and others who had talked about hiring an electrician to do the inspection. Here's one, two - you might know that guy, and here's a bad example... Brrr.

    My wife's cousin used to live in Norton Estates, close to southdale. Nice area, lots of mature trees, reasonable lot sizes.

    Does this mean that your kitchen is finished? Where are the photos!?

    ta,
    ...art

  4. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    Edmonton
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    441

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    My sister-in-law has lived in a house since it was new that was built in 1972 and has aluminum wiring & has never had a problem. Nor has any of her neighbors. Suggestion...if your broker wants something in writing then suggest that he hire & pay the electrician or go to a different broker. Survey your neighbors & use the same agent that they use.
    Lee

  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    In the T.A.R.D.I.S.
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    Richard I(n) Smithville

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMulder View Post
    , and here's a bad example... Brrr.

    ...art
    Hey Art....I resemble that remark . Glad to help set some kind of example. As a follow up, I have not had this happen again, nor have my neighbours( who have the same wiring) had a problem like it.
    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y108/RichardF/Scarborough009-1.jpgAn expert at anything was once a beginner.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, ON
    Posts
    399

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    Quote Originally Posted by That Dave Guy View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I put in an offer on a house last week (one with enough room for all my tools!). One of the conditions was insurance. I have run into a little bit of a problem. My Insurance company wants an electrician to certify in writing that everything is "safe".

    Anyone know how I get this done? The offer clock is ticking...

    Who has had problems with their insurance agent with regards to aluminum wiring, and how did things work out?

    (Mike H., it is in Norton Estates, looks just like my folks)

    Thanks,

    David.
    Just hire an electrician and have him look things over. Typically they are just looking for any modifications to the system that might make things unsafe, otherwise it should not have any bearing on whether you can insure the house or not. My parents have been living with aluminum wiring for 35 years in their house, no biggie as long as you use proper receptacles, switches, and connectors that are designed for aluminum wiring connections.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Atikokan, Rainy River District, Ontario.
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    6,262
    Real Name
    just what you thought :^')

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    David my son bought a house in rural Kanata, year and a half ago, partial aluminum wiring, the real estate agent had a pair of certified house inspectors check the house out, wiring as well as the rest of the house.
    Specialist checked the septic tank and bed, there was no problem getting insurance etc,
    Hope this helps
    Leo Van Der loo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    1,320

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    Hi Dave

    Is it the house you told me about?? If so, I drove by to take a look at it, looks like a good house, needs abit of work but has loads of potential....

    Aluminum wiring.....my house is aluminum, I wouldn't be concerned. Here's what you do. Go to ESA's website, call 1-877-ESA-SAFE, take out a general inspection permit, costs $69, an inspector will do a general inspection, any deficiency will have to be repaired in 90 days, once repaired, you get a certicate of inspection to give to your insurance company.

    Is it too late write it into your offer??? You could make it a condition, then the current owners would be responsible for the cost of the repairs.

    http://www.esainspection.net/

    Give me a shout if you need help.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike in London; 05-30-2007 at 08:16 PM.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    Thought I'd include a couple of links I sent Dave.

    http://www.esainspection.net/pdf/Fla...s/06-03-FL.pdf

    http://www.esainspection.net/General...h_001.php?s=12

    Don't use Home Inspectors to certify wiring is safe, they are not qualified to make that certification. The only one that can make that accessment is a Hydro or ESA Inspector. An Electrical Contractor can make repairs or recommendations and it's his responsibilty to make sure changes or repairs meet current codes, but only the Inspector can certify that wiring meets the current Code and your proof for your personal records and insurance purposes is the "Certificate of Inspection".

    Also, if you hire an Electrical Contractor, the permit is taken out in that contractors name, be sure you request a copy of the "Certificate of Inspection".

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike in London; 06-01-2007 at 04:45 AM.

  10. #10

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    My 1st house (new in 1974) had that type of wiring. One house on the crescent has had a fire and I suspect it was from the wiring. Problems with connections corroding / loose. I would open all the boxes, inspect all plugs & switches and connectors, tighten everything. Make sure all are aluminum compatible. After years of others owning the house, hard to say what modifications have taken place.

    hobby woodworking since 1972

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Edmonton
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    441

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    While your doing what Bryon suggests, do one circuit at a time taking note of the breaker number when you cut the power. Then use one of those markers that imprints on a strip of tape a number. When you check all of the receptacles, switches etc. imprint the circuit number on the back of the face plate. Down the road, if you have to work a circuit, the number on the back of the plate will tell you which circuit breaker to throw to cut power.
    The other aspects mentioned by Bryon are not problems due solely to aluminum wiring....they can all be found with copper wiring as well. In a used house who knows who has been foolin with the wiring.

    Lee
    Lee

  12. #12
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    Bill

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    My previous house had both aluminum and copper. The only wiring problem I had was a neutral that was making a bad connection in the panel - it was one of the copper wires.

    I fully agree with identifying all circuits but I just put the circuit number into a spreadsheet and the location of the lights and plugs for that circuit beside it. Document hangs by the main panel for quick reference.

    billh

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