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Wasting my time replacing 1970's nm cable where accessable?

Wasting my time replacing 1970's nm cable where accessable?

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Old 04-19-18, 10:57 PM
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Wasting my time replacing 1970's nm cable where accessable?

Some places in my unfinished basement I can see both ends of old nm cable from the 1970's or earlier since my house was built in 1971. Would I be wasting my time removing these and replacing them with modern nm-b cable?
 
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Old 04-19-18, 11:39 PM
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A lot is going to depend on the condition of the insulation of if you have aluminum conductors . If the insulation is getting stiff and dried out or the wire is aluminum I would replace .
 
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Old 04-22-18, 08:11 PM
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I wouldn't bother replacing parts of circuits. Adding a new junction box and moving the wires around will usually cause more problems than just leaving them as-is.

If you can easily replace a circuit, or are renovating part of the house anyway - then definitely replace and upgrade.
 
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Old 04-22-18, 09:01 PM
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I agree with Zorfdt.

I'd worry only if insulation is falling apart.
Even with aluminum wiring, I would not replace them unless the entire run is readily accessible. However, you should inspect every connection and convert to copper with alumiconn where possible.
 
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Old 04-24-18, 04:06 PM
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I called a local electrician today who gives FREE estimates. What kind of through me off talking to him on the phone was that he had no idea what "Kaiser" aluminum wire was and kept insisting that aluminum cables are not a problem at all. He says he charges $65hr and he gives free estimates.

I kept telling him that these aluminum cables went to outlets and he kept saying similar to "Yeah, what's the problem?" and I kept saying that they're a FIRE HAZARD I read and he said "No, they've probably been coated" or something. He hasn't even been over to look!

I'm wondering if I should have him over since the estimate if free. I also want a couple circuit breakers installed, so that's why I called too.
 
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Old 04-24-18, 04:11 PM
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Doesn't sound like he has much if any experience with aluminum cables.
 
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Old 04-24-18, 04:20 PM
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Maybe he does know aluminum cables and knows it is not that big of a deal if installed properly. I think that might be better than him saying "You better get that replaced before your house burns down and your insurance won't cover you if they find out" and then giving you padded estimate!

skeeter
 
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Old 04-25-18, 10:20 PM
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Had an electrician here today. He quoted me "about $500-600" to remove and replace the 3 aluminum cables I have. He said "It's a relatively easy process and you're lucky that you have such an easy situation to rectify" He said it would most likely take one man about 4 or 5 hours max to complete everything at $75 hr plus some nm-b cable and recepticles (outlets).

One is a "straight shot" from the panel to the washer in the basement and two go from the unfinished basement and about a foot or two up through the first floor to an outlet on the wall each. They were dedicated AC outlets, since the breakers are labeled AC 1 and AC 2.

I feel that's pretty fair to get rid of the 3 remaining circuits that are aluminum from the early 70's.

Today I was inspecting one of the outlets and the screws were loose.

He told me that "whoever installed the aluminum circuits knew what they were doing and that the screws are aluminum on the devices" at least that's what I think he said.
 
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Old 04-25-18, 11:58 PM
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Glad you were able to get them removed and you are happy with the price.
 
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Old 04-26-18, 07:08 AM
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Today I was inspecting one of the outlets and the screws were loose.
That is one of the major problem with aluminum wires.
Aluminum expands wit heat more much more than a copper or brass and when it expands under a screw, aluminum wire gets crushed. When the wire cools, it contracts, but since the wire was crushed, now you have a loose connection.

So long as the wire is kept from heating up, it works mostly fine and to keep it from heating up, you have to make sure that there are no oxidation, have correct type of connector or devices.
 
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Old 04-26-18, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by lambition View Post
That is one of the major problem with aluminum wires.
Aluminum expands wit heat more much more than a copper or brass and when it expands under a screw, aluminum wire gets crushed. When the wire cools, it contracts, but since the wire was crushed, now you have a loose connection.

So long as the wire is kept from heating up, it works mostly fine and to keep it from heating up, you have to make sure that there are no oxidation, have correct type of connector or devices.
Exactly, and that's why I want to finally get rid of the aluminum cables. And luckily I only have 3 short cables instead of the entire house to do. If it was the whole house I couldn't afford it and would most likely do all the "repairs" or do one at a time over years or something.
 
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