Through the mid-60s and 70s, as the Vietnam Era was progressing, home builders were encountering a problem: copper was becoming too expensive for use in residential homes. As copper was being used for the war effort, they needed an alternative material to wire homes. They found this in the aluminum wiring. Unfortunately, aluminum has issues when compared to copper, being a much softer and malleable material. Here are some facts about aluminum wiring and why you should consider having it changed in your home.
Properties of Aluminum
As much as you might have heard negatively about using aluminum as a wiring material, it does have its uses, such as in larger electrical circuits. The main issues that make it a bad material for home wiring can be described in three ways:
- Softness: This means that aluminum is relatively easy to nick, cut, or crush when making necessary connections. If care wasn’t taken in the installation, damaged spots in aluminum wiring can create hot spots and risk overheating while the current is flowing.
- Creeping: Creeping refers to the microscopic expanding or contracting of a material under different conditions; in this case, aluminum expanding and contracting when put under a charge. Repeated expansion and contraction can loosen the wiring from the terminals that hold the wire in place, resulting in loose connections and fire hazards.
- Rusting: When materials rust, they form a layer of oxide on their surface. In aluminum’s case, the white oxide that builds up is not a very good conductor of electricity and can interfere with the proper flow of power (again leading to overheating).
So, if you know your home was constructed in the mid-60s or mid-70s, it may be time to consider a home rewire to avoid fire dangers. You can hire an electrical inspector from Wiretech Company to come to your home and properly assess the situation and give you an estimate on how much it would cost to have a technician come and make the necessary changes.
Wiretech Company can make your home a safe and secure place today. We also perform electrical installations and renovations as well as offer energy-saving options that can help save you money on your monthly energy bill. Contact us for more information!