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josephsapien

1969 Home wiring

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Good chance of it.  Aluminum wiring first entered the market in '65.  When the problems with differential expansion/contraction, corrosion, etc first to light, public opinion started going south.  A re-formulated aluminum along with instructions from manufacturers helped solved some of those issues, but by '72 public opinion was so bad that manufactures took it off the market.  Market prices for copper and aluminum likely figured into that also.  That's my understanding of it.

The CPSC has said that a house with aluminum wiring is 55 times more likely to experience an electrical fire.

The issues were never actually the aluminum itself but the manner in which solid runs (un-stranded) of wire were connected to other runs and eventually terminated at breakers, devices, fixtures and appliances.  Stranded aluminum wiring is still used today by utilities.

I don't recommend its replacement anymore, just that the connections at each end of every run of solid aluminum conductor be replaced with Alumicon connectors.  Sounds easy but it's labor intensive and frustrating when the device boxes are small as the connectors are quite large.

Edited by Marc

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32 minutes ago, Marc said:

Good chance of it.  Aluminum wiring first entered the market in '65.  When the problems with differential expansion/contraction, corrosion, etc first to light, public opinion started going south.  A re-formulated aluminum along with instructions from manufacturers helped solved some of those issues, but by '72 public opinion was so bad that manufactures took it off the market.  Market prices for copper and aluminum likely figured into that also.  That's my understanding of it.

The CPSC has said that a house with aluminum wiring is 55 times more likely to experience an electrical fire.

The issues were never actually the aluminum itself but the manner in which solid runs (un-stranded) of wire were connected to other runs and eventually terminated at breakers, devices, fixtures and appliances.  Stranded aluminum wiring is still used today by utilities.

I don't recommend its replacement anymore, just that the connections at each end of every run of solid aluminum conductor be replaced with Alumicon connectors.  Sounds easy but it's labor intensive and frustrating when the device boxes are small as the connectors are quite large.

Thank you sir.  Copper wire is commonly used now, right?  There was no copper wiring during the 60's and 70's?

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Thank you sir.  Copper wire is commonly used now, right?  

Yes.

Quote

There was no copper wiring during the 60's and 70's?

Sure there was.  Some folks chose aluminum between '65 and '72 because it may have been cheaper but copper was always available.  I think prices for raw aluminum fueled its entry into wiring back then.  Public opinion delivered the death sentence.

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23 minutes ago, josephsapien said:

The home inspector should identify whether the home has aluminum or copper wiring in the report, right?

Ohio doesn't regulate home inspectors,.  They don't have your back.  No one does.  Ohio inspectors can do as little or as much as they like.

All the more reason to do a careful job of screening sample reports.

Edited by Marc
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Thank you very much, sir, for the heads up regarding home inspection trade in Ohio.   I knew about real estate agents in Ohio but I had no idea that State of Ohio does not regulate home inspectors.  

I live near Solon, Twinsburg cities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  Lots of older homes in these cities.  I see people buying older, poorly designed and homes with defects, all the time.  These homes are not cheap, people get into debt to buy these homes.  I wonder, what are they thinking?  Its like sheep being lead by real estate agents to slaughter.  

The other day I heard new home buyers complaining about 450k homes built by Ryan and Pulte.  Doesn't make sense to me.  Why buy nearly 5000 sft of living space for a 4 member family.  Take out 450k loan and then complain about shoddy construction!?  Money doesn't grow on trees.

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2 minutes ago, josephsapien said:

Thank you very much, sir, for the heads up regarding home inspection trade in Ohio.   I knew about real estate agents in Ohio but I had no idea that State of Ohio does not regulate home inspectors.  

I live near Solon, Twinsburg cities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  Lots of older homes in these cities.  I see people buying older, poorly designed and homes with defects, all the time.  These homes are not cheap, people get into debt to buy these homes.  I wonder, what are they thinking?  Its like sheep being lead by real estate agents to slaughter.  

The other day I heard new home buyers complaining about 450k homes built by Ryan and Pulte.  Doesn't make sense to me.  Why buy nearly 5000 sft of living space for a 4 member family.  Take out 450k loan and then complain about shoddy construction!?  Money doesn't grow on trees.

They're not savvy in things real estate.

In regard to choice of inspector, agents and buyers both have a stake in it but they're are not the same kind of stake.  The buyer's stake is in the condition of the house.  The agent's stake is in the threat poised by the inspector's report to the closing of the sale (and hence his commission).

SInce home inspection reports never help agents sell a house, a report without much of any consequence is, over time, rationalized by agents as the best report for the buyer.

The buyer suffers the consequences of the agent's influence on his choice of inspector.  He becomes badly damaged by things that didn't make it into the report and he doesn't even know it.  No one told him.  No one is savvy.

A state regulatory body could ask their legislature to pass a bill that counters this conflict of interest but the Board members are not savvy either.  Despite their experience, they don't get the mechanisms involved and don't see how badly the buyer is damage from major issues unreported.  Over time, the practice of soliciting agents to refer them to buyers is rationalized as the norm.

If a bill were to somehow make it to the legislative committee, buyers wouldn't attend and testify because, like I said, they aren't savvy enough.  'No one has told them.  No one is savvy.'

When the committee does a headcount of attendees and finds only a few, if any, testifying in support, the bill dies.

There's few who deliberately do wrong.  Few are the savvy.  I don't have the solution.

I do expect a salvo of responses but I'm ready.  My seat belts are buckled.

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2 minutes ago, Marc said:

They're not savvy in things real estate.

In regard to choice of inspector, agents and buyers both have a stake in it but they're are not the same kind of stake.  The buyer's stake is in the condition of the house.  The agent's stake is in the threat poised by the inspector's report to the closing of the sale (and hence his commission).

SInce home inspection reports never help agents sell a house, a report without much of any consequence is, over time, rationalized by agents as the best report for the buyer.

The buyer suffers the consequences of the agent's influence on his choice of inspector.  He becomes badly damaged by things that didn't make it into the report and he doesn't even know it.  No one told him.  No one is savvy.

A state regulatory body could ask their legislature to pass a bill that counters this conflict of interest but the Board members are not savvy either.  Despite their experience, they don't get the mechanisms involved and don't see how badly the buyer is damage from major issues unreported.  Over time, the practice of soliciting agents to refer them to buyers is rationalized as the norm.

If a bill were to somehow make it to the legislative committee, buyers wouldn't attend and testify because, like I said, they aren't savvy enough.  'No one has told them.  No one is savvy.'

When the committee does a headcount of attendees and finds only a few, if any, testifying in support, the bill dies.

There's few who deliberately do wrong.  Few are the savvy.  I don't have the solution.

I do expect a salvo of responses but I'm ready.  My seat belts are buckled.

I don't see how you could have put it better.  I agree with you, without any reservations.  I salute you for speaking your truth and I am grateful to you for speaking on behalf of the home buyer.   Much obliged to you.   THANK YOU.  

 

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I am not jumping onto Marc's bandwagon.  I have the greatest respect for him, but he does have a bad attitude about real estate agents. 

All real estate agents are not "bad".  Marc often makes statements that do not reflect the entire inspection profession.  Not that they are always wrong, just not fair nor balanced. 

Every real estate agent does not want a poor inspection done.  Every real estate agent is not in the business to screw people.  

As soon as this conversation turned from aluminum wire to statements about real estate agents and bad inspectors, you lost me.  I do not care who buys what or when or for how much.  Never have and likely never will.   I love conversations about housing trends, but abhor statements that are emotional. 

 

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34 minutes ago, Les said:

I am not jumping onto Marc's bandwagon.  I have the greatest respect for him, but he does have a bad attitude about real estate agents. 

All real estate agents are not "bad".  Marc often makes statements that do not reflect the entire inspection profession.  Not that they are always wrong, just not fair nor balanced. 

Every real estate agent does not want a poor inspection done.  Every real estate agent is not in the business to screw people.  

As soon as this conversation turned from aluminum wire to statements about real estate agents and bad inspectors, you lost me.  I do not care who buys what or when or for how much.  Never have and likely never will.   I love conversations about housing trends, but abhor statements that are emotional. 

 

Les, the language has changed since my last post on this topic to suggest that the vast majority of agents and HIs are not aware that some of their actions might be creating a conflict of interest highly damaging to the buyer.  Here I use the word 'savvy' to mean 'unaware'.  For the most part, there are no guilty parties, or even malice, just a lack of awareness.

With each post by others, I improve.

Edited by Marc
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3 hours ago, Les said:

I am not jumping onto Marc's bandwagon.  I have the greatest respect for him, but he does have a bad attitude about real estate agents. 

All real estate agents are not "bad".  Marc often makes statements that do not reflect the entire inspection profession.  Not that they are always wrong, just not fair nor balanced. 

Every real estate agent does not want a poor inspection done.  Every real estate agent is not in the business to screw people.  

As soon as this conversation turned from aluminum wire to statements about real estate agents and bad inspectors, you lost me.  I do not care who buys what or when or for how much.  Never have and likely never will.   I love conversations about housing trends, but abhor statements that are emotional. 

 

I think Mr. Marc's opinion about real estate agents does reflect and echo the opinion that a majority, not all, people have about real estate agents.   I personally think that used car salesmen and real estate agents (not all) are among the sewer scum of society.   And this is not a emotional statement.  

Having said that, you are obviously correct.  And full of profound wisdom.  Not every real estate agent wants a poor inspection done.  Not every real estate agent is not in the business to screw people.   Brilliant.      

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2 hours ago, josephsapien said:

I think Mr. Marc's opinion about real estate agents does reflect and echo the opinion that a majority, not all, people have about real estate agents.   I personally think that used car salesmen and real estate agents (not all) are among the sewer scum of society.   And this is not a emotional statement.  

Having said that, you are obviously correct.  And full of profound wisdom.  Not every real estate agent wants a poor inspection done.  Not every real estate agent is not in the business to screw people.   Brilliant.      

I do trust you are being sarcastic.  Regardless, it does lower my respect of you.  It is not my nature to place people in tiny boxes. 

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27 minutes ago, Les said:

 

I do trust you are being sarcastic.  Regardless, it does lower my respect of you.  It is not my nature to place people in tiny boxes. 

I just realized that you are the moderator.  I couldn't care less about your level of respect for me.  

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I do apologize for being indelicate while posting about an incendiary topic, for insulting one of the most valued members of this forum and for misleading a new member.

Edited by Marc
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1 hour ago, Marc said:

I do apologize for being indelicate while posting about an incendiary topic, for insulting one of the most valued members of this forum and for misleading a new member.

I just thought i would point out that the original post was: Is a 1969 home likely to have aluminum wiring in Solon, Ohio?

Everyone is welcome to their own opinion but lets try and stay on topic and not drift or hijack threads into other topics that belong in their/your own threads.

That being said I admire your humility. 

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8 hours ago, Les said:

Regardless, it does lower my respect of you. 

I am not jumping onto Marc's bandwagon either but lets attack the comments not the commenters. :)

This just drifted off topic.

No I'm NOT trying out for moderator... it's an awful job!

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16 hours ago, Michael Brown said:

I am not jumping onto Marc's bandwagon either but lets attack the comments not the commenters. :)

This just drifted off topic.

No I'm NOT trying out for moderator... it's an awful job!

3 good points 

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RE: "Wiring" ... I've been "learned" that one of the reasons for the use of aluminum branching wiring was more evident (or possible) from the early to mid-1960s to mid and late 1970s (give or take) was due to the Viet Nam  war. Due to copper being used for munitions, thus aluminum seemed to be appearing more in homes during that same time frame. I have no idea if that is actual fact or not, but does at least seem plausible.

I used to suggest pig-tailing or the Alumicon products, but have stopped even that over past several years. I advise my client to have an electrician make sure the switches, receptacles, etc.. are all AL-CU rated. Early products used to be only CU rated. In my view the devices with the AL-CU ratings should sufficiently hold either aluminum or copper ... even with aluminum and its larger 'expansion/contraction' properties.

 

Edited by Nolan Kienitz

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11 minutes ago, Nolan Kienitz said:

I used to suggest pig-tailing or the Alumicon products, but have stopped even that over past several years. I advise my client to have an electrician make sure the switches, receptacles, etc.. are all AL-CU rated. Early products used to be only CU rated. In my view the devices with the AL-CU ratings should sufficiently hold either aluminum or copper ... even with aluminum and its larger 'expansion/contraction' properties.

 

1

That's not entirely correct. Remember that the first aluminum wiring that came out in 1964 was an alloy that was just not well suited to household wiring because it was so brittle. There's no rating of a device that can make up for that problem. Every time the wires are handled, there's an increased risk of fractures that can lead to hot spots in the wires. That alloy was used up to about 1972. After 1972, the improved alloy came out and was much better. You really can't discuss aluminum wiring without making a distinction between the two. They're like night & day. 

As for devices, early ones were only listed for copper, but then when aluminum wiring was introduced some devices had labels that said CU/AL or AL/CU. These proved to be problematic in their own right and were really not suited for use with aluminum wire - most especially those with stab-back connections. This shouldn't have been surprising because there was no UL standard in place at the time to govern such labeling - it was entirely at the whim of the manufacturer. In 1972, UL came out with the AL/COR (aluminum, copper-revised) standard. Those devices are, indeed, manufactured and intended to be used with aluminum wires. (This doesn't include breakers, by the way, which are fine if marked AL/CU.) Confused, yet? 

Bottom line: don't recommend AL/CU or CU/AL switches & receptacles. 

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On 11/5/2017 at 10:54 PM, mjr6550 said:

Depends a lot on the location. I the Philadelphia and surrounding area aluminum wiring was seldom used.

That was probably due to Unions.  Most big cities used mostly copper for that reason.

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On ‎11‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 8:42 AM, Marc said:

Yes.

Sure there was.  Some folks chose aluminum between '65 and '72 because it may have been cheaper but copper was always available.  I think prices for raw aluminum fueled its entry into wiring back then.  Public opinion delivered the death sentence.

My dad was building homes in the late 60's and early 70's. He told me that there was a time that there was a shortage of copper wiring and his electrician informed him that the copper was approved for residential use but was not allowed in his commercial jobs. Due to the limited amount of wiring the electrician used aluminum in the homes. The electrician charged the same price and my dad did not care as long as the wiring was code approved and he could sell the house. 

He also gave the buyers a choice of hardwood flooring or carpeting in the bedrooms because the cost to him was almost the same.  

 

 

 

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Single residence, the wiring can be inspected regularly and upgraded to copper whenever practical.

A late 60's condo building with Al in the walls is a concern for a buyer. You have no control over wiring in the other units, incorrect devices installed, etc. and the associations are slow to do anything about it. So my advice to clients is to steer clear, or become very vocal about electrical inspections and maintenance throughout the building, $$$

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