When it comes to electrical systems in homes, there have been a number of different standards that have come and gone over the years, and for a variety of different reasons. One of t hose old standards that has been replaced over the years has been aluminum wiring, but even as it has fallen out of favor, aluminum wiring is still present in many homes all across the country. It is always a good idea to take the time and find out what kind of wiring you have in your home, no matter how well your electrical system is working at the time, as this is the best way to stay aware of any of the risk factors you might be facing down the line. If you still have a home that has aluminum wiring, it might be time to start considering whether or not the right time has come to update your home’s electrical system and make the switch to copper wiring. While aluminum wiring can be safe to keep in your home, it is only safe as long as it has been properly maintained and carefully looked after over the years, and if that isn’t the case, making the switch to copper might become more of a matter of safety as opposed to one of convenience. When it comes to making the switch in your home to copper wiring from your old aluminum wiring, copper carries a number of benefits that you just won’t get with anything else. If you are still on the fence about whether or not you should invest in making the switch, take the time to read through this short list that our team of professionals have put together highlighting just a few of these benefits for your convenience.
When it comes to sheer conductivity, aluminum wiring just can’t hold a candle to copper wiring. Aluminum wiring has a volume conductivity that is 38.2% less than what you can expect from copper wiring of the same gauge, basically meaning that you just can’t channel the same amount of electricity through aluminum wiring that you would be able to transfer through copper wiring of the same size. This is normally made up for by using a larger gauge of aluminum wiring, but that extra wiring does tend to take up more space.
Part of the reason that aluminum wiring is less conductive than copper wiring is due to the fact that it is less dense than copper overall. While this affects its level of conductivity, it also tends to make aluminum wiring less dense and less flexible than copper wiring. If you have an electrician come out and work on your aluminum wiring, it is extremely easy for them to damage the wiring if they don’t have the right skill to do the work, or if they aren’t extremely careful in what they’re doing while they are twisting or bending the wiring. It is extremely easy for the aluminum conductor inside the wiring to break while twisting the conductor down onto an attachment screw, and you also have the possibility of splitting the conductor, which can very easily cause arcing and lead to possible electrical fires.
Since aluminum wiring is much less durable than copper wiring, things can go wrong very quickly if aluminum wiring is exposed to any kind of overheating. Excess heat can very easily negatively affect the aluminum conductor inside your wiring, as aluminum has a much lower point of melting than copper wiring. This means that even a little bit of overheating puts your wiring at risk of transforming into a molten liquid metal, which can easily ignite anything combustible that happens to be nearby.
In addition to all of the above, aluminum wiring is much more susceptible to corrosion than copper wiring. Over time, aluminum wiring has a tendency to scale over with corrosion, and this corrosion can easily find its way in between the connections between your wiring and any other type of metal, thus ruining your aluminum wiring’s level of conductivity. Copper wiring, on the other hand, doesn’t corrode in the same way. Copper wiring actually takes on a green color when it starts to corrode, and surprisingly, this corrosion doesn’t actually impede its conductive ability.
If you are looking for a professional electrician in the Topeka or Lawrence area, give us a call today at (785) 228-2478 (Topeka), (785) 845-2360 (Lawrence), or fill out our online request form.
For electrical service in Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas, complete our online request form, or call an experienced electrician today!