My house is old and built in the 50’s so the house was made with aluminum wiring. we’ve had a few houses catch in the neighborhood and lately we’ve been having weird stuff happening. First the stove and the microwave cant go at the same time without tripping the breaker.

Then the ceiling fan in the living room started to making this humming clicking noise and then one day it started to smell like it was burning so we dismantled it.

Now we come back after being gone for 3 days and we turn the power on and only after a few hours the breaker is very warm and I definitely smelled something burning until I turned it off.

What’s going on??

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    Aluminum wiring isn't the end of the world, but it does need some diligence. Can you shoot us a photo of your circuit breaker panel(s)? That's part of the solution. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 28 '19 at 19:34
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    Well, something's up. All of the symptoms listed are danger signs; you absolutely need an electrician to come in. I can't say if they are caused by the aluminum wiring, but the solution would be the same in any case. – user3757614 Apr 28 '19 at 20:27
  • Can you post photos of your breaker panel? Also, is your stove electric or gas? – ThreePhaseEel Apr 28 '19 at 21:05

Do you know if any of the outlets in the house are newer or all original? Reason I ask is newer outlets are often designed for copper wires only. And mixing aluminum with copper wires is a no-no, it corrodes. Corroded wires can then lead to bad grounds (as if any house from the 50s even used grounds) or arcing.

If the breaker is getting warm, it could be a short somewhere causing that line to draw more power than it's designed for. The breaker is suppose to trip and prevent that, but something could be faulty. I can only guess without seeing the type of box you have.

You should consider having an electrician come out and look at it. Shouldn't cost too much just to have someone inspect the box.

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  • "just inspecting the box" I would guess will be high tens of dollars. However I suspect the electrician is going to recommend "full rewire" which will be more. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Apr 30 '19 at 8:55

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