Aluminum Wiring

Things you should know about aluminum wiring in houses.

Aluminum is not as conductive as copper, gold, or silver. Aluminum has has a higher electrical resistance than these other metals and expands and contracts much easier than copper. As the “load” or amperage increases on the conductor, it expands. When the load decreases, the conductor contracts back to its original size. This constant expansion and contraction, combined with oxidation, cause the terminations to become loose. Once loose, they will arc and will eventually lead to a fire. Small aluminum conductors make a poor substitute for copper.

When used properly, aluminum wiring can be safe. It is widely used for high voltage transmission lines to the service entrance conductors feeding your home. The connection methods for larger wires require anti-oxidant compounds and take the expansion and contraction into account. Under these circumstances, larger appliances and large “feeders” to not pose as big a problem. The problem lies when used as smaller conductors such as #10 AWG for a 20 amp circuit, or #12 AWG for a 15 amp circuit in a home.

Contact A.S. Electric, Inc. to ensure your home or office is safe.