Copper Vs. Aluminum Wiring
Most wires in homes and businesses use copper. Copper wiring is ideal for electrical use as it is very conductive and even when it rusts, there is still uninterrupted electrical flow to the home and business.
Residential and commercial buildings constructed in 1950’s to 1970’s switched over to aluminum wiring due to the increased costs of copper and the cheaper cost of aluminum. Interestingly, aluminum has better conductivity when compared to copper but aluminum wiring does have some serious hazards, such as:
1. Aluminum is much softer than copper. This can be dangerous as the wiring can easily be cut and damaged exposing the electrical wires to the elements.
2. When aluminum rusts, it slows down the continuity of electricity to the home
3. Aluminum increases and decreases in diameter when it becomes hot. This can cause loose wires and connections
The above hazards should be taken seriously as they can cause overheating and electrical fires leading to injury.
Presence of Aluminum Wiring
If you experience some problems with your electricity, the home may have aluminum wiring present. Below you will find signs of aluminum wiring:
1. Periodic flickering of lights
2. Light switches and outlets are warm and changing colours
3. Repeated tripping of breakers and fuses
4. Sparks or smoke coming from receptacles and switches
If any of these signs are present, contact a TDR electrician immediately to inspect the house for aluminum wiring.