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

Thread Starter

Electra Guy

Joined Feb 4, 2008
17
Just a quick question. Copper or Aluminium. Which do you like better and why... My preference is copper even if its more expensive.
 

m4yh3m

Joined Apr 28, 2004
186
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
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,840
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.
 

Ratch

Joined Mar 20, 2007
1,068
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
 

-Excalibur-

Joined Jul 20, 2008
19
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...
 

Thread Starter

Electra Guy

Joined Feb 4, 2008
17
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.
For the legal issue are you talking the actual house wiring or the service entrance conductors?
 

Thread Starter

Electra Guy

Joined Feb 4, 2008
17
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
Actually had a client have a two inch section of copper on their A/C unit stollen. Cost over $300 to fix.:eek:
 

thingmaker3

Joined May 16, 2005
5,073
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.
 

Thread Starter

Electra Guy

Joined Feb 4, 2008
17
Sure, copper is harder to haul around, but that's why God invented apprentices.
Oh, Man thats just evil!:eek:


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.
HereHere, Copper is easier to pull.:)
 
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linchiek

Joined Jul 23, 2008
110
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...
then use gold...... :D
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,840
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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