Other than aesthetics and efficiency, safety is another priority concern for homeowners. Common safety measures taken by homeowners include installing alarm systems, fire resistant walls, and burglar-proof windows and doors, to name but a few. However, there’s one thing wrapped in plastic sheaths or hidden behind walls that can also affect the safety of your home–it’s electrical wiring.
Your home’s electrical system is designed to transport electricity throughout your home without presenting any fire or electrocution hazard. As long as it’s installed and maintained by an experienced electrician, your home’s electrical wiring won’t pose any threat to you and your family’s safety. It’s smart though, that you know the primary components and types of home electrical systems. Generally, it’s composed of the meter, main breaker panel, and circuits. The following are the common types of electrical wiring that can be used in homes as well as their basic properties:
In the 1960s up to the mid-1970s, aluminum wiring became a fairly popular option as copper prices were very expensive. Due to its malleability and lightweight properties, aluminum is easier to work with compared to other materials, especially when wiring is to be done over long distances. Although aluminum is more cost-effective, electricians warn homeowners that this type of wiring must be installed properly, otherwise it can increase the risk of house fires.
Copper is a metal that is well-known for its excellent electrical conductivity and ductility. Unlike aluminum, copper is a more stable and reliable material to use for electrical wiring. It allows for smaller conductors to be utilized for transmission of power loads, thereby reducing wiring expenses. Since copper has high tensile strength, it can handle significant stress with minimal wear and tear. Needless to say, copper wiring is the first choice of most electrical experts and modern homeowners.
Silver and Silver Alloy Wiring
Silver and silver alloy wirings are new in the scene, but are mostly used for industrial applications requiring superb conduction. Silver has higher conductivity than copper, but is considerably more expensive, making it impractical for expansive electrical wiring projects.
Copper vs. Aluminum Wiring: Which to Use?, DoItYourself.com
Get to Know Your Home’s Electrical System, DIYNetwork.com