Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


11:02PM | 04/04/04
Member Since: 04/04/04
1 lifetime posts
Last week my kids were complaining because the television in the living room kept powering down to the point of almost shutting off and then turning back up to normal power. Later, when the TV was off, that I noticed a crackling noise coming from an outlet in the living room. There is nothing plugged into this outlet. When I looked closer, there were sparks coming out of it, then it stopped.

Today, an outlet in the master bedroom started crackling and shooting sparks. The lights in both bathrooms and my son's room began flickering and then eventually shut off. None of the lights or outlets work in the bathrooms or his room now. The living room power is working fine. Oh yes, and we have that WONDERFUL (not!) aluminum wiring.

I have a call in to an electrician and am hoping that someone comes out tomorrow but was wondering if someone could "guess-timate" what they think the problem might be and what kind of financial burden i am looking at. I don't want to get screwed over.


05:15AM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
I'm not an electrician, but do you think it's safe to leave the power on??? Is your fire insurance paid up to date?



06:09AM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 01/18/99
47 lifetime posts
Actually aluminum, if installed properly. can be quite safe. It appears that the aluminum wire has expanded and contracted on the connection and became loose. I would look had all receptacles to see if they are nice and tight with a little no-ox compound applied. From your description it appears that you have a loose neutral connection in the circuit somewhere, they can be hard to find. The job is labor intentive and may take awile to find the problem. Good luck.


06:40AM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 02/21/04
138 lifetime posts
Most electricians will probably shy away from aluminum wiring. You will probably get plenty of estimates to replave it. $$$$$$. You should try to find a contractor who specializes in aluminum branch circuits. Look in the yellow pages, ask for references from electricians who don't want to touch it, the local supply house, or ask the local inspector.

Tom O

01:53PM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
It is possible that your receptacles might not be rated for Aluminum. You could examine one & if it is listed for use with aluminum, you should find something that looks like this "CU/AL."

I no longer make repairs to Aluminum branch circuits, the liability just doesn't seem to be worth what few bucks I'd make.

For much more info on aluminum, you might try visiting

Keep in mind that some of what you see is in the nature of propaganda.


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