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Nov 08, 2022

What Are the Benefits of Replacing Old Aluminum Wiring?

If you live in an older home built between 1965 and 1975, there’s a good chance it has aluminum wiring. Electricians began using aluminum wiring from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s because it was a cost-effective alternative to copper. Unfortunately, aluminum was far inferior in terms of safety and quickly became associated with an increased risk of house fires. Today, builders and electricians don’t use it anymore. However, aluminum wiring is still present in many homes and commercial premises. If you have aluminum wiring in your property, replacing it with copper wiring should be a priority.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of replacing old aluminum wiring.

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Greater Thermal Expansion and Contraction

Aluminum wiring expands and contracts with temperature changes more than copper does. Over time, this can lead to loose electrical connections as the wires push on the terminal screws. Loose electrical connections can cause arcing and sparking, resulting in electrical fires. It’s advisable to hire an electrician to perform an inspection and find out what kind of wiring you have in your home. Knowing the type of wiring you have in your property keeps you aware of any risk factors you might face down the line.

Lower Conductivity

Aluminum wiring has a volume conductivity that is 38.2% less than that of copper wiring. In other words, aluminum has a high resistance to electrical current flow, so it cannot handle as much electrical current as copper wiring. Electricians make up for this deficiency by using a larger gauge of aluminum wiring.

Corrosion

Aluminum wiring is more susceptible to corrosion than copper, especially when the wiring is exposed to very strong acid or alkaline environments. Corrosion on aluminum wiring impedes its conductive ability and may cause intermittent flow, which can lead to electrical fires.

Less Durable

Aluminum wiring is less dense and less flexible than copper wiring, so it’s more likely to get damaged when subjected to bending and other forms of abuse. Besides, screws can change the shape of aluminum as they press down on the wiring, leading to gaps that can cause arcing.  If an electrician doesn’t take great care when bending or twisting aluminum wiring, they can easily damage the wiring. Moreover, aluminum wiring will wear out over time and progressively resist electrical current, thereby increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Three Signs Your Home Has Aluminum Wiring

  • Wire casing is labeled as aluminum
  • Wiring in your electrical panel has a shiny silver appearance
  • Face plates, receptacles, or switches are hot to the touch

Hire The Professionals at Mr. Electric to Update Your Electrical System

Replacing old aluminum wiring will not only improve electrical safety in your property, but it will also lower your energy bills and possibly your insurance premiums. If you’re looking for an experienced electrician to help you find out what kind of wiring you have in your home and perform electrical wiring, look no further than Mr. Electric.

Mr. Electric is here to serve your residential and commercial electrical needs. Whether you’re in need of electrical wiring, electrical panel replacement, lighting installation, electrical outlet replacement, or an electrical safety inspection, we are ready to get the job done right.

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