My mom wants me to replace a light fixture in her house. The the old light is an ordinary single-bulb fixture found in millions of homes across the country. The new light is a halogen pendulum light like I have in my house (which is where she got the idea). Now, I have no problem doing minor electrical work. I have installed many light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc. with no difficulty. I even installed the halogen light that she likes in my house.
The problem is that my mom’s house was built in 1971 and has aluminum wiring. Every light fixture I have ever bought says, in big letters, “NOT FOR USE IN APPLICATIONS WITH ALUMINUM WIRING”. The manufacturers seem to think that this is important. I know that aluminum wiring is bad and can cause fires. However, it is also my understanding that, if left alone, it doesn’t cause problems.
My dad (who has died and therefore is no longer available) has installed lights in other rooms in the house. The house is still standing. None of the lights he installed had halogen bulbs, if that matters.
So, do they make light fixtures for use with aluminum wiring? If so, how can I get them or identify that they are for aluminum applications? Will I burn my mom’s house down if I ignore the warnings and install it anyway? Can a readily available light fixture be converted for use with aluminum wiring?
I really want to avoid hiring an electrician for this. For one, hanging a light is really a simple procedure that I should be able to handle. Also, expense is a bit of an issue. Most importantly, however, is that I have already recommended that my mom hire professionals for some tasks around the house. While it has gotten things done, it has left a bit of a bad taste for me. My dad has only been gone maybe six months. I am the oldest son (actually the only son – I have a younger sister). I’m feeling a bit of, I don’t know, masculine need to take care of stuff like this. It’s my mom – I should be able to take care of her, not have to hire people to do it for me.
I would prefer not to burn the house down, though. One day, it will be a stop on the tour of Austin: The Boyhood Home of Drum God. Tickets on sale now.