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Old 05-21-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
8 posts, read 10,718 times
Reputation: 10

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We just moved to Omaha from another state. We found a house we liked and have a contract on it. The home inspection discovered aluminum electrical wiring. Even had a burnt wire in the eletrical panel. Everything we've read on the internet indicates it is hazardous. Our problem is the seller says he won't repair it. Does anyone know if its normal in this area to insist it be fixed as a condition of sale?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:38 PM
 
15,166 posts, read 25,977,063 times
Reputation: 22200
Quote:
Originally Posted by regansmom View Post
We just moved to Omaha from another state. We found a house we liked and have a contract on it. The home inspection discovered aluminum electrical wiring. Even had a burnt wire in the eletrical panel. Everything we've read on the internet indicates it is hazardous. Our problem is the seller says he won't repair it. Does anyone know if its normal in this area to insist it be fixed as a condition of sale?

Thanks for any advice.
The house has a SERIOUS electrical problem that could cause a house fire. Run, don't walk from the deal.

And the seller is under NO obligation to repair the house. You made an offer pending a home inspection. Based on the inspection, you are making an offer. He has a choice to accept or reject.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:05 AM
 
1,287 posts, read 2,266,191 times
Reputation: 1267
Quote:
Originally Posted by regansmom View Post
We just moved to Omaha from another state. We found a house we liked and have a contract on it. The home inspection discovered aluminum electrical wiring. Even had a burnt wire in the eletrical panel. Everything we've read on the internet indicates it is hazardous. Our problem is the seller says he won't repair it. Does anyone know if its normal in this area to insist it be fixed as a condition of sale?

Thanks for any advice.
Unless you are willing to pop for a re-wiring, I wouldn't even think of buying that house. Aluminum wiring was popular for a short period of time several years ago, until it was found to be defective/hazardous.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:33 PM
 
262 posts, read 930,852 times
Reputation: 216
Run away from that house as fast as you can. My girlfriend's apartment complex was built in the 70's with aluminum wiring. This past winter, a wire on one of her junction boxes shorted out and it wound up sending a surge of electricity to everything on that circuit. Unfortunately, nothing was on a surge protector and almost everything got fried as a result. Her DVD player would have started on fire had she not unplugged it when smoke started coming out the back.

I've talked to two electricians and they both told me that the aluminum wiring probably played a role in this. It just degrades too easily and I think any house is a ticking timebomb. Rewiring a house usually isn't cheap either.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,661,817 times
Reputation: 2433
There's nothing inherently wrong with aluminum wiring, but it DOES need to be sized correctly (ie, larger than copper).
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:49 AM
 
Location: galaxy far far away
3,110 posts, read 4,845,045 times
Reputation: 7227
Quote:
Originally Posted by regansmom View Post
We just moved to Omaha from another state. We found a house we liked and have a contract on it. The home inspection discovered aluminum electrical wiring. Even had a burnt wire in the eletrical panel. Everything we've read on the internet indicates it is hazardous. Our problem is the seller says he won't repair it. Does anyone know if its normal in this area to insist it be fixed as a condition of sale?

Thanks for any advice.
A friend here in phoenix talked her parents into selling their home, and she sold her home. Together they moved into a brand new house with two sections. It was part of a new development.

Little did they know the electrician's assistant was going back to the houses each night and changing out the copper wire for aluminum. You guessed it. An aluminum wire was bent up over one of the beams and wasn't capped. One morning they woke to smoke and within an hour the house was burned to the ground. They lost everything.

There's a reason electricians switched to copper. If you found that aluminum wiring in one spot, it's elsewhere in the house. I wouldn't buy without a provision to strip out the aluminum wire and replace it with copper. It doesn't really matter if it's "normal" to ask for it. No matter how much you love the idea of that house, you'll have a hard time getting any sleep if you don't fix it. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,832,962 times
Reputation: 7469
The seller may have priced the house so low he isn't going to budge on his price. Get an estimate on a total rewiring of the house and then decide if the house is still priced right.

GL2
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,378 posts, read 69,795,705 times
Reputation: 37474
Quote:
Originally Posted by regansmom View Post
The home inspection discovered aluminum electrical wiring.
Everything we've read on the internet indicates it is hazardous.
Does anyone know if its normal in this area...
to insist it be fixed as a condition of sale?
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsMeFred View Post
There's nothing inherently wrong with aluminum wiring, but it DOES need to be sized correctly (ie, larger than copper).
Real close to completely accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
The seller may have priced the house so low he isn't going to budge on his price.
or cave or not budge for twenty other reasons
what the seller *might* do a separate issue

Quote:
Get an estimate on a total rewiring of the house...
and then decide if the house is still priced right.
You shouldn't need a complete rewiring of the whole house.
But replacing all the devices and the "pigtails" in each box is prudent.
It's a PITA and still not cheap if done well/correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by regansmom View Post
Does anyone know if its normal in this area...
Aluminum wire was "normal" for a brief period in the mid 60's all over the country...
but a LOT of houses in that era, often entire developments had it used in them.
---

Bottom Line:
Unless there are OTHER and rather substantial reasons you want this specific house... keep looking.
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