In Canada alone, there are almost half a million homes which are wired using only aluminum wiring.Many studies have found out that houses with aluminum wiring are more prone to fire hazard than those with copper wiring. Researchers suggest that aluminum wired homes are 50-55 times more likely to experience electrical-fire related hazards. Due to the immense rise in prices of copper, aluminum was greatly used for wiring systems in 1960s and 70s, but soon several issues were reported when such systems were used in branch circuit wiring. However, it is important to note that the issues were not associated directly with aluminum wiring, but the main problem was with its application and circuit.
Pros and cons of aluminum wiring
As already discussed, aluminum wires are lighter than copper therefore, it is extremely easy to handle such wires while working with them. Further, aluminum is much cheaper which makes this material very convenient for long distance use and because of this reason aluminum is used for distributing power. However, aluminum is reactive and is also highly susceptible to corrosion therefore, periodic replacement of such wires is required.
Pros and cons of copper wiring
Copper wires are much more stable than aluminum and they can also handle higher temperatures. Also, copper has long life and resistance therefore, they are not required to be replaced as often as aluminum.
However, copper is expensive than aluminum so, you’ll required more investment when it comes to installing copper wiring systems. Copper wires are also much heavier and require more structural support which may lead increase in cost of installing such systems.