Which do you prefer? Copper or aluminum for electrical wiring.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Electra Guy, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Electra Guy

    Electra Guy Thread Starter Member

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    Just a quick question. Copper or Aluminium. Which do you like better and why... My preference is copper even if its more expensive.
  2. m4yh3m

    m4yh3m Senior Member

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    You must live someplace nice where the crack heads aren't stealing your copper fencing to pay for their habit. I'd give ya...1 time to replace it before you decided on something cheaper (if you lived in Atlanta) :p
  3. Mark44

    Mark44 Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that copper is a better conductor than aluminum.
  4. Bill_Marsden

    Bill_Marsden Moderator Staff Member

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    Aluminum has a disturbing tendincy to catch houses on fire over time. I don't think it is legal in many places anymore. Definately copper.
  5. Ratch

    Ratch New Member

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    Al might not be good for wiring if it is not installed correctly, but I believe it has the highest electrical conductivity per density/mass/weight than any other element.

    Ratch
  6. -Excalibur-

    -Excalibur- Member

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    If you're rich, Al (because it's light), plated in silver (better conductor than Cu).

    There should be some speakers with some super light "wire" consisting of eg. carbon coated in silver. Surely it wouldn't hurt some of those companies to at least try...
  7. Electra Guy

    Electra Guy Thread Starter Member

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    For the legal issue are you talking the actual house wiring or the service entrance conductors?
  8. Electra Guy

    Electra Guy Thread Starter Member

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    Actually had a client have a two inch section of copper on their A/C unit stollen. Cost over $300 to fix.:eek:
  9. thingmaker3

    thingmaker3 Retired Moderator

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    Aluminum is a PITA to work with. Copper is much easier to pull in, to make precise bends in for terminations, and does not require anti-oxidant for terminating on copper buss bars. Sure, copper is harder to haul around, but that's why God invented apprentices.

    Now, I'm sure some well meaning and well educated person will point out that aluminum is more malleable than copper and should therefore be easier to work with. This would indeed be true if the diameter of the aluminum didn't have to be nearly 30% more for the same ampacity. Bigger conductors also have more friction when being pulled through conduit, regardless of what's inside the insulation.

    As has already been noted, maintenance is higher with aluminum. As has already been noted, theft rates are higher with copper.
  10. Electra Guy

    Electra Guy Thread Starter Member

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    Oh, Man thats just evil!:eek:


    HereHere, Copper is easier to pull.:)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2008
  11. thingmaker3

    thingmaker3 Retired Moderator

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    What an odd coincidence, my apprentices all say I'm evil too.:cool:
  12. linchiek

    linchiek Active Member

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    then use gold...... :D
  13. Bill_Marsden

    Bill_Marsden Moderator Staff Member

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    If I were going to use exotic metals that scream "STEAL ME" it would be silver, which is still the best conductor among metals. Even silver oxide is a good conductor, and it wouldn't advertise itself quite so much.
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