Aluminum Wiring Vs. Copper Wiring
Copper Vs. Aluminum Wiring
To put it simply, the difference between copper and aluminum wiring is that copper is more stable. Aluminum is much cheaper than copper, but because of some of the serious issues homeowners run into with aluminum wires, it’s no longer used in residential electrical wiring.
Problems With Aluminum
The number-one problem with aluminum wiring is that it’s less stable when electricity is applied to it. Aluminum is a great conductor, but it’s susceptible to expanding and contracting from the heat of electrical current.
In older homes, aluminum wires can slowly move and create loose connections. These loose connections can eventually cause the aluminum wire to disconnect from outlets and switches – creating a house fire risk.
Another problem with aluminum wiring is that when it’s exposed to air it oxidizes. Copper wire also oxides, but it just turns green – which doesn’t affect the conductivity. When aluminum wire oxides it forms a crust around it that isn’t conductive. This can cause issues with heat build up – posing another serious fire hazard.