Aluminum is a very good conductor and has been used in wiring for a long time before copper was introduced. Aluminum is not more in use now as copper has been replaced with it. However, copper wiring is not considered as the wiring best feasible and suitable after 1980 and has been standardized as well. Before, 1980 aluminum was in use for all sorts of wiring in houses and buildings. With time, it was discovered that aluminum was more expensive and defective as well. Before 1972, the Canadian standards associated stated that almost 55 percent of fire incidents that took place was because of aluminum wiring. Therefore, if you are not sure of the wiring at your house, better to have a look at it and find out which type of wiring is either aluminum or copper. If it is of aluminum, then replace it with copper.
Working of aluminum Wiring
The working of aluminum wiring is exactly the same as of copper wiring but there is a significant problem with aluminum wiring i.e. fire catchy and other hazards. The major problem that belongs to aluminum wiring lies in its connections i.e. whenever electricity is flowing through connectors and cables, the wires get expanded due to heat. In other words, it can be said that the thermal rate of aluminum is higher than copper. When the electricity stops flowing through aluminum wires and connectors, it cools down and contracts again. Meanwhile, the connections can become loose and create havoc.
The aluminum wiring tends to get oxidized and is not much compatible with appliances that are designed for copper wiring. Therefore, in an aluminum wiring place, you must take the help of an experienced electrician as you may create trouble yourself. Some of the qualities of aluminum are explained below in detail.
- Greater Resistance: The aluminum consists of greater resistance to the flow of an electric current. Therefore, the conductors of aluminum are required to have greater diameter when compared to copper conductors.
- Ductile: It is seen that aluminum has a greater chance of wear and tear. It breaks quicker than copper when bent or applied to any other abuse while copper is pliable. Therefore, old aluminum wires are more intended to break down quickly causing excessive heat and may endanger chaos.
- Corrosion (Galvanic): In case of any exposure to moisture, aluminum will tend to experience galvanic corrosion whenever it has a near contact with other metals.
- Oxidation: The aluminum’s wire outer surface is tending to deteriorate more whenever oxidized i.e. exposure to oxygen is made. The oxidation process of aluminum is easy and quicker than copper. The aluminum oxide is the compound produced as a result of oxidation. Moreover, oxidation with time is deteriorating connections of wiring and may result in a fire hazard.
- Malleability: The aluminum is very soft in nature and malleable as well making it very sensitive for compression. Therefore, any screw if overtightened may result in loose connection, and increment in electrical resistance will be observed resulting in hazard.
- Vibrations: The currents are causing vibrations in the aluminum wires while passing through it. Such vibrations are more in aluminum than in copper and may result in loosening connections.
At Panel Upgrade Experts, we offer Aluminum Wiring Repair Calgary.