4 Reasons to Replace Your Home's Aluminium Wiring with Copper
It's very rare to find aluminium wiring used these days, but it was utilized quite widely in the past due to its low cost. This can be an issue for homes that are still fitted with aluminium wiring, and it's really something you should think about having replaced with copper wiring. Rewiring an entire property will probably sound like something you don't really want to go through due to the associated cost and labour time, but it can be well worth the effort.
Here are just four reasons why aluminium wiring should be replaced with copper.
1. Aluminium Lacks Strength
One of the major issues with aluminium wiring is that it simply isn't as strong as copper, and that means it's significantly less resistant to damage. When any part of your home's wiring is worked on, aluminium wiring may twist and break relatively easily. It's also more common for aluminium conductors to split. This doesn't just increase the likelihood of power loss. It can also lead to electrical fires when arcing occurs between broken wires.
2. Aluminium is Susceptible to Corrosion
As time passes, aluminium wiring tends to develop a thin layer of corrosion. Unfortunately, this corrosion can dramatically reduce your wiring's conductivity, especially if it spreads between aluminium wiring and other types of metal. This means your wiring won't be able to deliver power as effectively, and this in turn makes overheating more likely to occur. Corrosion still occurs with copper, but it doesn't present the same issues.
3. Aluminium Has a Relatively Low Melting Point
Another issue with aluminium wiring is that it has a much lower melting point than copper wiring. If any overheating does occur, your aluminium wiring won't be able to cope with it nearly as well as copper. The wiring itself can be damaged as it overheats or even starts to melt, and it can also cause anything combustible to ignite if it happens to be close enough.
4. Aluminium is More Prone to Creeping
When electricians talk about creeping, they are referring to gaps developing between wiring and connectors as a result of frequent expansion and contraction. Unfortunately, this is another issue you're more likely to experience with aluminium wiring. Because it heats up faster than copper and expands more as it grows hotter, aluminium will be more likely to creep away from connections. This can lead to anything from loose wiring to electrical fires.
For more info, contact an electrician.