Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/18/2013 8:29 AM

Aluminum wiring connections tend to come loose

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
 

Q The condo I'm buying has aluminum wiring. According to my home inspector this is a fire hazard. But he says correcting the problem in the unit I'm buying doesn't eliminate the issue entirely because the adjoining condos also have aluminum wires, and a fire in one of those dwellings could spread to my unit as well. What he says makes sense, but I'm not sure what to do about it. What do you recommend?

Q. You have a wise home inspector. Aluminum wiring in the building should be a matter of concern to everyone who lives on the property or who owns any of the units. The issue should be brought to the attention of the homeowners association (HOA) and to the individual owners of each condo. All owners should be advised to have their wiring upgraded by a licensed electrician.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

From the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, aluminum wiring was commonly used for 110-volt circuits in many homes. Its use was discontinued when loosened connections were found to cause fires. Fortunately, this does not typically require replacement of the wiring. Instead, the aluminum wire ends can be retrofitted with specialized hardware by a licensed electrician who is familiar with aluminum wire issues. The HOA should hire a qualified electrician to evaluate and upgrade the wiring in all of the affected condos.

Q. The Masonite siding on our home has become warped and soft. The fact that we have this type of siding was not mentioned by our home inspector five years ago when we bought the property. Since then, we've learned that Masonite siding was the subject of a class-action lawsuit and that it's known to be defective. The cost for new siding is more than $10,000. When we called our home inspector, he said the siding went bad because it wasn't installed properly. That sounds like an excuse to me. Shouldn't he be liable for this? And how about the sellers and the agent? Shouldn't they have said something?

A. Home inspectors who are good at what they do are usually aware of problems inherent with Masonite siding, and if they are competent, they point out these issues to their clients. Unfortunately, your inspector failed to make this disclosure. In many cases, Masonite siding can last for years without significant deterioration, but the potential for deterioration should have been mentioned in the inspection report.

If the home inspector disclosed nothing about the Masonite siding, he may have missed other problems as well. Therefore, it would be wise to have the home reinspected by a more qualified inspector. This time, do some investigating to find an inspector with many years of experience and a reputation for thoroughness. Call several real estate offices and ask who is the most thorough inspector in the area.

As for the sellers and agent, they were probably unaware of the siding problem or of specific issues involving Masonite. Unless there was visible damage or deterioration when you purchased the property, there may be no reason to hold them liable.

• To write to Barry Stone, visit him on the web at www.housedetective.com, or write AMG, 1776 Jami Lee Court, Suite 218, San Luis Obispo, CA 94301.

Action Coast Publishing

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.