Clover Electric Blog
How Dead Switches and Outlets Could Be A Symptom of Larger Electrical ProblemsDo you have light switches or electrical outlets that don't function correctly? There can be a variety of causes for electrical problems. The affected circuit controlled by a switch or outlet may not be completed because of another component. A switch may control an outlet which is unoccupied by a lamp or any other electrical device. Also, an outlet may be connected to a switch which is in the off position. Another cause may be related to a defective breaker, or a breaker which was tripped or turned off, but never switched back on.
Switches or outlets can also fail when they are damaged by arcing. If the arcing was caused by aluminum wiring, a hazardous condition may exist. If your home or building was constructed before 1972, or during the late sixties, it could have aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring was used legally during those years, but outlawed for installation in new homes, commercial buildings, remodels and renovations after it was discovered it could lead to electrical fires.
Although aluminum wiring itself is generally no more hazardous than copper, its splices and connections with other metals present a real hazard because they can become corroded and cause arcing. Because arcing in these connections can lead to fire within surrounding materials, aluminum wiring has been discontinued.
However, many homes still contain aluminum wiring, and research conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed that buildings with aluminum wiring pose a fire risk which is 55 times greater than the risks with similar structures wired with copper. So, if you discover an electrical outlet or switch which doesn‚Äôt appear to be working correctly, it‚Äôs possible this outlet or switch has been damaged by a connection with aluminum wiring. If you have safety questions about this type of problem, or any electrical concerns regarding your residence or commercial building, please contact us immediately. Our licensed electricians are trained and to perform professional electrical safety inspections, and can repair any type of electrical problem.