Aluminum is extremely good of electricity therefore, it is a very popular material used for making wiring systems. Further, it is strong, light weight and much cheaper than copper wiring systems. Nowadays, aluminum cables are mostly used for distributing power to our homes and offices. It is considered as a reliable material when it is used in a right manner and with correct installation and regular maintenance.
In Canada alone, there are almost half a million homes which are wired using only aluminum wiring.Many studies have found out that houses with aluminum wiring are more prone to fire hazard than those with copper wiring. Researchers suggest that aluminum wired homes are 50-55 times more likely to experience electrical-fire related hazards. Due to the immense rise in prices of copper, aluminum was greatly used for wiring systems in 1960s and 70s, but soon several issues were reported when such systems were used in branch circuit wiring. However, it is important to note that the issues were not associated directly with aluminum wiring, but the main problem was with its application and circuit.
Aluminum is more reactive than copper therefore, when exposed to air it tends to oxidize thereby, resulting in over heating which further cause failure at termination points. The heat resistance capacity of aluminum is much lesser than that of copper and it also has higher expansion rate. This is a major problem because, it can lead to loose connections and terminations, increasing the possibility of melting and also fire hazards. Many people in Winnipeg have faced these problems because of improper wiring and circuits and not just solely because of aluminum wiring. It is important to understand that both aluminum and copper systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but in both cases it is essential to ensure that wiring systems are properly installed.
Pros and cons of aluminum wiring
As already discussed, aluminum wires are lighter than copper therefore, it is extremely easy to handle such wires while working with them. Further, aluminum is much cheaper which makes this material very convenient for long distance use and because of this reason aluminum is used for distributing power. However, aluminum is reactive and is also highly susceptible to corrosion therefore, periodic replacement of such wires is required.
Pros and cons of copper wiring
Copper wires are much more stable than aluminum and they can also handle higher temperatures. Also, copper has long life and resistance therefore, they are not required to be replaced as often as aluminum.
However, copper is expensive than aluminum so, you’ll required more investment when it comes to installing copper wiring systems. Copper wires are also much heavier and require more structural support which may lead increase in cost of installing such systems.