3 Benefits Of Upgrading Your Old Aluminum Wiring To Copper
Aluminum wiring tends to have a somewhat interesting and slightly controversial history as a wiring material from over the years. We frequently encounter customers who ask us whether or not their home's old aluminum wiring is safe to keep in their homes, and if it would be safer for them to go ahead and have it replaced. The simple answer to this question is yes, aluminum wiring can be safe as long as it has been properly maintained over the years, but we frequently find that isn't the case. In addition, aluminum wiring is never going to be as efficient and safe an option as copper will be for a wide variety of different reasons.
If you have aluminum wiring in your home, and you don't have any overt electrical problems in your home, you might be able to put off upgrading your wiring for a little while at least. The unfortunate truth of the matter though, is that because of the way aluminum wiring is by nature, it is going to continue to develop problems the longer you leave it in place, making it a question that is not as much when you will need to upgrade it, but how urgently you are going to need to do so. To highlight just a couple of the benefits that come along with upgrading old aluminum wiring to copper, we have put together a short list that we hope you will find helpful.
Conductivity & Aluminum Wiring
Aluminum wiring generally has a conductivity of around 40% less than that of copper wiring, basically meaning that aluminum wiring just isn't able to handle as much electricity as copper wiring. The electric industry made some adjustments to the wiring because of knowledge of this difference, and compensated for the lower conductivity of aluminum wiring by increasing the gauge of the wire that was used, allowing for the needed current to travel through the wire. While this increase size of wiring doesn't necessarily make it more dangerous to your home, it is still a contributing factor, nonetheless.
Because aluminum wiring is much less dense than copper wiring, it is also both less durable and less flexible. If an electrician doesn't have the right skill when handling aluminum wiring, it is very easy to do serious damage to the wiring itself. It is exceedingly common for the aluminum conductor inside the insulation to break, especially in the event of twisting or bending done to the wire. Furthermore, when an electricity is twisting the conductor down onto an attachment screw, there is a serious possibility of splitting the conductor, leading to potential arcing and even electrical fires.
Because aluminum tends to melt at a much lower temperature than copper wiring, any kind of overheating that is applied to aluminum wiring can have a permanent and dramatic effect on the conductor. Aluminum can turn into a molten metal liquid very easily, and this molten liquid has the serious potential to ignite anything easily combustible that it comes in contact with, especially insulation and the like. This is one of the biggest reason to invest in aluminum wiring replacement in Northern Virginia.
To learn more, please call the Northern Virginia electricians at Express Service Pros today.