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Posted: 5/21/2005 8:30:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 9:01:37 PM EST by Offspring]
I am in the process of buying my first home. I just got the home inspection back and there were a few problems noted. Are these major issues that should keep me away from this house? The prices and availabilty of homes in Florida are crazy right now. Very few homes, and very high price tags. This one had a $99k price tag and I offered $97k.

Sorry for the images. They sent the inspection to me as a PDF and it was password protected so I couldn't edit it.






Link Posted: 5/21/2005 9:02:29 PM EST
BTT, shameless bump.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 9:32:06 PM EST
From what I have read: Stay away from Aluminium wiring. At best it will seriously reduce the value of your home. At worst, it can be a fire hazard. Do a lot more research on the subject.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 9:47:50 PM EST
Aluminum flows under pressure. That is, most types of connections will come undone after time and make a break that may arc and present a fire hazard. Before, I went to sleep, it would be replaced with copper.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 9:52:10 PM EST
Well here's my $0.02.

I don't see anything on that report that concerns me. All of the problems except for the AL wiring can be fixed in a good days work. As far as the wiring goes, it's hard to give you a detailed answer without knowing the age and condition of the wiring. AL wiring has a bad stigma, but if it's properly installed it's not (IMO) any more of a hazard than CU wiring. And it certainly wouldn't be a deciding factor on whether I purchase a house or not. With that said though, I do recommend you have a licensed electrician inspect the wiring at the very least. If were in your shoes and I purchased the house I would replace all of the receptacles and switches with new ones (listed for use with AL wiring), making sure to use the screw terminal and NOT the quick connect hole in the back. I would also check the connections at every light fixture, tighten all of the breaker connections, and tighten the connections at every other electric appliance.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:17:52 AM EST
My gut is telling me to run, but there isn't a lot of options to run to. The house is being sold as is. I guess I can try to get the seller to fix the electrical, but it is doubtful they will.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:41:40 AM EST
Option for AL wiring. It is okay to pigtail all the AL conductors to CU if you use a special purple wirenut. This wirenut contains a special purpose dielectric grease which prevents the two from coming apart due to their expansion ratios. Make sure your outlets ans switches are rated AL/CU. These wire nuts are expensive. How much remodeling are you going to do? You can use the old work method and rewire a 2000 sq ft home in about a week. Email me if you have Q's I do alot of wiring and am glad to help.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:47:56 AM EST
No problem.

Have the seller install "CO/ALR" fixtures, switches, outlets

Have the work inspected by an electrician.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 4:21:49 AM EST
There was quite a lot of alluminum wiring installed in the Houston area in the 70's, however where I live it was outlawed.
It is not as good as copper period.

If I bought the house I would sleep in it but this winter that sumbitch would be rewired for sure. Sooner or later if you don't pigtail the wires like mentioned in another post you will have problems. There used to be electricians thar specialized in that, but if you are going to spend the money just rewire it. If you have underground service entrance I would leave that alone. Eventually it will give out, at which time you can go back with copper. It may be twenty years before it bothers you so what the hey. If it was installed in pvc instead of direct burial it may last your stay there.

I would consider the alluminum to be a liability and try to talk them into rebating some towards a rewire. Doesn' hurt to try. Over here a rule of thumb on rewiring is 100 dollars an outlet,on homes where you don't disturb sheet rock or ceiling, it may vary with electrical contractors. Some may do it cheaper, that specialize in rewiring old homes.

You can do it yourself a little at a time, and save a lot of bucks if you have the time.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 4:29:32 AM EST
in charlotte county where you are buying your home aluminum wiring is legal for panels leads and jumpers and is popular due to the cost factor.
There is nothing wrong with it at all just as long as the panel is maintained properly. Making sure all your lugs are tighten and inhinbitor is used to coat the exposed ends is important. Nothing to be worried about at all. It's very minor stuff. Any licensed electrician can due this. If you're main panel has aluminum leads you will need to schedule with FPL to disconnect your service so that the electrician can access the meter box safely.
Relax about the wire, you're fine.


J
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 4:44:25 AM EST
Not a major concern. If it was a Federal-Pacific breaker box I'd replace it, and use "No-Loc" on the connections, but the rest I'd just leave alone if it was in decent shape.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:50:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aim4MyHead:
in charlotte county where you are buying your home aluminum wiring is legal for panels leads and jumpers and is popular due to the cost factor.
There is nothing wrong with it at all just as long as the panel is maintained properly. Making sure all your lugs are tighten and inhinbitor is used to coat the exposed ends is important. Nothing to be worried about at all. It's very minor stuff. Any licensed electrician can due this. If you're main panel has aluminum leads you will need to schedule with FPL to disconnect your service so that the electrician can access the meter box safely.
Relax about the wire, you're fine.


J



I am in Escambia County. Pensacola to be exact. I am feeling better about the aluminum wiring. I am working on getting an electrician out to inspect and give an estimate. The hot water heater is bad, but Gulf Power does a gas to electric swap for free. I just need to pay to get installed.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 8:17:39 AM EST
Pigtail with copper at the box and every outlet/sw and you will probably be fine.

Side note: The Scarebus A380 is built throughout with aluminium wiring.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 8:20:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Offspring:
My gut is telling me to run, but there isn't a lot of options to run to. The house is being sold as is. I guess I can try to get the seller to fix the electrical, but it is doubtful they will.



Trust you gut. There is some reason you feel that way. There will be another house.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 8:27:04 AM EST
I would NEVER buy a house with aluminum wiring.

Find out what it would cost to re-wire the whole house, and knock that much off your offer to buy. I doubt it will surprise the seller.
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