Reasons To Rewire An Aluminum Wired Home

Why Should You Rewire Your Home?

There are only a handful of reasons to rewire a home that has been originally wired with aluminum wiring. The resistance of electricity due to the properties of any metal determines the reasoning of using a particular metal as a conductor. Silver is the best known conductor of electricity and is used in nearly all soldering of electronics and circuit boards. The higher content of silver in the solder, the better and more expensive a circuit board. Gold is another good conductor but not as efficient of a conductor as copper. Gold is most known for its resistance to corrosion combined with its great conductor properties.

Melted receptacles created by loose aluminum wiring connections.

Melted receptacles created by loose aluminum wiring connections.

Melted aluminum wiring inside of a metal box in an attic.

Melted aluminum wiring inside of a metal box found in an attic.

It is important to know the procedures that an electrical contractor intends to take before you hand them the keys to your home. There are many questions to have answered to assure that you are comparing apples to apples when comparing estimates from an electrical contractor to rewire your home.

The differences between the uses of aluminum and copper conductors:

  1. Conductivity: Aluminum has a volume conductivity of 38.2% less than copper. This basically means that aluminum wire cannot handle as much electricity as copper wire. The electrical industry did make an adjustment knowing this difference of conductor properties. By raising the size of wire by one gauge this would allow for the needed possible current on the wire. In other words for a 20 amp home circuit you can use a #12 copper wire or a #10 aluminum wire, or for a 15 amp circuit you would have a #14 copper or a #12 aluminum.

  2. Durability: There is another reason regarding aluminum wiring that an experienced electrician should understand and communicate to a homeowner. Aluminum wiring is less dense than copper wiring and thus less durable and flexible. If great care and skill is not taken when twisting and bending aluminum wiring, the aluminum conductor inside of the insulation can break. When twisting the conductor down on an attachment screw there is a possibility of splitting the conductor which over time can lead to arcing and a possible electrical fire.

  3. Melting: If any overheating is applied to aluminum wiring it permanently and dramatically affects the conductor. Aluminum melts at a much faster rate than copper and turns to molting liquid metal very easily which if near a combustible material will ignite.

  4. Corrosion: Aluminum is more subject to corrosion and weather than copper. Over extended time aluminum will scale over with corrosion and creep its way between any connection between aluminum and any other dissimilar metal.

  5. Temperature: Aluminum wiring will also change density between hot and cold exposure thus flattening the connection of any termination of an aluminum electrical connection. In other words, all aluminum connections get loose over time and must be tightened by an experienced and licensed electrician.

As you can see there is good reason to be concerned about the wiring of your home if it is aluminum. If you are located in Orlando or anywhere in the central Florida area give us a call to come out and take a look at your home. We can provide you with a full home electrical inspection and determine the best route to go. There are many ways to ensure that an aluminum home is safe.

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