Des Moines Copper or Aluminum Wire - Which Is a Better Conductor
If you are staying in a home that is four or five decades old, then in all probability, it may have aluminum electrical wire. The surging prices of copper in recent times have again prompted builders to consult licensed electricians as to whether aluminum could be a good alternative for home wiring and Electrical Safety.
Copper electric cables
Copper cable has been used successfully for creating home electrical wiring for the past 30 years. Copper is a good conductor of electricity and allows the flow of electricity without heating the wire excessively. This is because a lesser charge is produced when current flows through the copper cable. Copper also has a good tensile strength and can be soldered easily, which properties that add to its popularity as a preferred are wiring material. On the flip side, copper wire needs rubber insulation, and its high price is the drawback of using this material as an electric cable.
Aluminum electric cables
According to electricians, aluminum wire is fast replacing copper wires because of its low cost and also because it is also an excellent conductor of electricity. Aluminum wires are being used in residential buildings as well as commercial complexes for creating circuits that deal with heavy loads such as air conditioning units. Aluminum wiring is being used in various appliances primarily because of its ability to resist corrosion. Therefore, appliances can enjoy longer shelf life if their coils are made using aluminum wire.
However, aluminum wiring also comes with its own set of disadvantages. It has high resistance, and tends to generate more heat as compared to copper cables.
If you are still contemplating which electrical conductor to install, then seek the advice of a licensed electrician to make a better informed decision. An expert professional would be able to suggest that many new aluminum alloys have recently been introduced in the market. Aluminum 8000 series alloys are known to have better conductivity, strength, creep resistance, and workability as compared to pure aluminum. All previous designing flaws of the aluminum wire can be eliminated by using these alloys.
The good news is that these new aluminum alloys are 25-40% cheaper than copper wires. Also, as per section 310.14 of NEC guidelines, AA8000 wires are recommended for home electrical wiring.
Hire a licensed electrician who will assist you in selecting the right wire and install it in your home as per the NEC guidelines.
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