3 Benefits To Upgrading Your Old Aluminum Wiring To Copper
While most homeowners may know that copper wiring is the standard form of wiring in most modern homes, that hasn't always been the case. There have been several different standards over the years for a variety of different reasons, and one of those older standards used to be aluminum wiring. Even though aluminum wiring has fallen out of favor as a wiring option over the years, it is still present in a number of homes all over the country. It is always a good idea to make sure you know what kind of wiring is present in your home, and if you don't, it might be in your best interest to call in a professional electrician and have them take a look for you, because while aluminum wiring might not be inherently dangerous, it might be be worth your time and money to have it replaced with more modern copper wiring. Aluminum wiring can be considered safe to keep in your home, but only if it has been properly cared for and worked on over the years, which is rarely the case. Copper wiring carries a number of excellent benefits over aluminum wiring, which is partly why copper wiring is the industry standard for aluminum wiring replacement. If you still have aluminum wiring in your home and you are still on the fence about whether or not it is time to have it replaced, take the time to read through this short list our team of professionals have put together listing just a few of the many benefits that making the switch to copper wiring can have on your home.
Conductivity of Aluminum Wiring vs. Copper Wiring
If it's a question of which type of wiring is the better conductor, copper wiring wins hands down. Aluminum wiring just can't handle the same kind of electrical load that copper wiring of the same size can, and in order to cope with this shortfall, it was common practice to use aluminum wiring that was of a bigger gauge, but that also wound up taking up more space. Making the switch to copper wiring will not only help to free up some extra space in your walls since you will be able to use smaller gauge wiring, but your new wiring will also be able to more effectively channel the kind of power you need throughout your home to meet you and your family's electrical needs.
Copper wiring also enjoys a greater degree of durability than aluminum wiring thanks in large part to the same qualities that tend to make it a better conductor as well. Compared to copper wiring, aluminum wiring is much less dense, and this affects its level of conductivity in much the same way as it affects its level of durability. Aluminum wiring is much more flexible than copper wiring, making it extremely easy to damage if the people working on it don't have the right skill or just happen to make a mistake. Any kind of bending or twisting can easily cause the aluminum conductors inside the wiring to break, leading to arcing and the serious risk of electrical fires.
Melting Issues with Aluminum Wiring
Due to its lack of durability and the quality of aluminum in general, things can go wrong very quickly if your aluminum wiring is exposed to any kind of overheating. Aluminum has a much lower melting point than copper, and any excess heat can have a very negative effect on the aluminum conductor inside your wiring. In fact, the excess heat from electrical overheating can even cause your aluminum wiring to liquefy, leaving you with a molten file of metal that can easily set any combustible materials ablaze that might happen to be nearby.