From the 1960s to about 1972, builders and electricians experimented with aluminum wiring before starting to develop some better alloys for wiring purposes. Unfortunately, these breakthroughs came too late to prevent aluminum wiring from getting a very negative public image that killed consumer demand for it. Wires made with the inferior pre-1972 are associated with drastically increased risk of fires, and the pre-1972 alloy also had inadequate ductility and insufficient corrosion resistance. You may want to just replace your aluminum wiring with copper wiring, or you may have no other choice if you want to be able to get affordable home insurance.
- Aluminum has a higher electrical resistance
- Aluminum is a more brittle metal that does not stand up the constant bending and stretching common in electrical work
- Aluminum oxide has a very high electrical resistance, so it creates more heat and potential connection problems.
“Thanks to spiking copper prices in the 1960s, builders stared looking for less expensive materials to use for wiring houses and aluminum seemed to fit the bill.”