Does your home have aluminum wiring in it?
If it was built in the 60’s and 70’s, there is a chance that it does. Aluminum wire has the potential to be dangerous in a home if not properly maintained. For a better understanding of the properties and safety concerns regarding aluminum wire, I suggest reading this article.
One of the main issues we encounter when called out to residential homes with aluminum wiring, is the installation of incompatible / non-aluminum rated devices.
Not all Plugs and Switches are created Equally.
In order to safely change your devices, you must ensure the new devices are rated to be used with aluminum wire. Devices so rated will be identified with the marking CO/ALR. The selection will likely be more limited than the non-CO/ALR types, and they will tend to be a little more expensive. But, they’re safe.
Below is an example of what can happen when mixing aluminum wire with a non-CO/ALR device. The damage this device sustained happened in less than a year from installation. The homeowner first noticed a burning smell and when they found it was coming from the receptacle, the turned the breaker off for that circuit. Now, imagine if they weren’t home.