Thursday, March 03, 2005

Aluminum Wiring and Waiting For Title Report

Yesterday I was faxed my copy of the receipt for the my earnest money deposit. I just spoke with the title company this morning and they are still waiting for the title report to come back. It was ordered Friday and they say they are taking about 5 days to process, so it should be here soon. Once that is in, if the title is clean, we are free to close. They are also going to fax me a list of my charges today so I know exactly how much money I need to bring to the table.

As I mentioned earlier, the property is old and has aluminum wiring. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, the price of copper rose quite high and houses were built using aluminum wiring to save money. But aluminum has since been found to have some problems - namely, it is more susceptible to thermal expansion and contraction than copper. What this means is, as the wires heat and cool, they tend to come loose from their connections, which of course, creates a fire hazard. There are several options to dealing with this. From what I've read, there are pigtail connectors that can be installed at all outlets and switches to transition from aluminum to copper wiring before connecting to the switch or outlet. Aluminum wiring also presents some corrosion issues where it is joined to other metals (like at the grounding point), so antioxidant paste needs to be used. I've got a licensed electrician scheduled to work on the property Monday morning and I expect him to spend most of the day working on this place. His rate is $58/hour plus parts.

I'm going to try to post a picture of the property here. Right now, the only one I have is the shot from the MLS listing.

I am also having a second phone line installed in my home today. This will be a dedicated fax line. Right now, I am using my work fax number. This is actually pretty nice since our system converts all incoming faxes to PDF files and emails them, but I obviously can't continue using this forever. I'm currently looking for some fax software for a home PC that can do the same thing. If anyone knows of any, please let me know.


Anonymous said...


Try I read about in one of David Pogue's (NYT: Circuits) columns.

With this service, they provide you with a generic fax number to which people send you faxes. The faxes are then converted to .tiff format and emailed to whatever email address you wish.

It's kind of clunky, but overall, it's a good service.

Shaun said...

Thanks for the tip, however, I've found what I was looking for. There's a nifty little product called SnappyFax from It will answer fax calls coming in to your fax modem, convert them to PDF, and email them. It's a one time cost of $19.95, as opposed to a monthly fee from faxaway. The drawback is that I need to leave my computer on all the time. But, that's pretty much what I do anyway, so it's not a big deal. And I already have an actual fax machine, so I don't need any service to send faxes. I wanted something that could accept a fax and forward it to wherever I might be at the moment, thus allowing me to get faxes sent to my home from anywhere.

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