The short answer is he's the go-to electrician for the seller's agent. I met them both yesterday at the house for a walk-through. First the electrician gave me his speech about how wonderful and safe aluminum can be. Why, the government wouldn't have approved its use if it wasn't safe! Comments about the worth of government approval aside, they wouldn't have banned the use of the aluminum compound used in the the house in 1972 if it weren't a problem.
Don't worry! Your insurance company will pay if the house burns down, even if you don't fix the wiring. I explained to him that I wasn't really concerned about who would pay for the house. My wife and children will be sleeping down the hall.
Oh, well, it only slightly increases the risk of fire. Yes, very true, but why should I assume even a slight increase in risk? This is, after all, not my problem yet.
Well, it's not really a problem. It's not like they did something completely stupid and spliced copper directly to aluminum. Didn't they? Open this junction box, right here, and tell me what you see. Right, so try again (I admit I got lucky there, I just assumed the Bob Vila wannabe former owner would have done that).
Really, it's not unsafe. They still use aluminum wiring in the 220V service drops! Yes, they do. Multi-strand aluminum with antioxidant applied to connections. Not single-strand aluminum, which is what you've been hired to fix.
He's coming back to do the work next week, he figures he'll be in the house 3-4 days. If I were the suspicious type, I might think that he already had the time set aside.
I made sure to remind the agent that we do not have a signed contract from his clients yet, and the planned closing date is fast approaching.
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