Many times when doing home inspections, what you find is within norms and it is fairly easy to make both buyer and seller happy when the report prints.  Sometime it doesn’t go that way.

I encountered a situation recently where an older home presented fairly well in most areas of condition.  The inspection was going fine.  Then it happened.  The original builder, way back in 1970 thought that using aluminum wiring all throughout the house would either be a cost savings or he was dealing with a scarcity of copper in the market.  Either way this was a home that had both the 220 appliances and all the plugs, switches and lights on aluminum wiring.  From the underground run from the street to every small part of the house. This is dangerous.  Your A/C, dryer, heater, etc can handle aluminum on 220 lines fine but the expanding and contracting of most 12 and 14 gauge wires in the walls and at connections to receptacles, switches and lights can arc, spark and cause fires over a period of time.  This older home was solid and displayed no previous fire indications so any seller would be dubious about this issue, but it is very real.  Any electrician would tell you that this has to be remedied as soon as possible to eliminate that fire potential.

It is my job to report all circumstances in an inspected home, regardless of the response.  A new buyer has to make the hard decision to examine this issue, with the facts provided.  Covering something up is not what I would do and putting light on a condition is always in the best interest of both parties.

Needless to say, I made the hard decision of being direct with the parties, spelled out the issue and possible remedies and I will be back to re-inspect it after the electrician has done his work.Dangerous-situation-outlet