Electrical life: how long will it last? Review + Video

Electrical life: how long will it last? Review + Video Service life of aluminum wiring in the apartment. Surely all the owners of houses and apartments sooner or later faced the question of what is required to replace the electrical wiring, how to use it rationally, what are the advantages and disadvantages of certain types, service life, etc. At the moment, we offer you information that will help you understand as best as possible all the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum wiring, and also consider whether it is worth changing it to copper.

In addition, in general, the question of how long the service life of the electrical wiring in the apartment and house is will be considered.

General information

Advantages

First, it is worth noting immediately the fact that aluminum wiring is not the most reliable and high quality, and is not able to boast of any special merits in comparison with other species.

But be that as it may, it is this type of electrical wiring that is carried out in many Soviet-built houses and apartments (Khrushchev).

So, for a start it is worth dwelling on the advantages of this type of electrical wiring:

  • Lightness (aluminum has much less weight compared to the same metals, which are most often used in electricity as conductors).
  • Resistance to corrosion (when exposed to air, the metal immediately oxidizes, forms a film that protects the rest of the wire from further corrosive process).

If we speak according to chapter 7. 1.

PUE, paragraph 7. 1. 34 electrical wiring must be performed with cables that have copper conductors. Aluminum cables and wires, the cross section of which is from 2.5 square millimeters, can be used to connect individual electrical devices that can be attributed to engineering equipment or when connecting powerful electrical equipment using an aluminum cable with a cross section of conductors starting from 16 square millimeters.

In accordance with all of the above, at the moment, aluminum in electrical wiring is most often used in silicone-type cables with a large cross-section (we are talking about tens and hundreds of square meters), where the cost and weight of the material is an extremely important factor. In this case, the savings can be very tangible - aluminum is a fairly cheap metal, and the amount of material used still makes it possible to spend less when compared with other types of wires. A true example of this will be the incredible popularity of self-supporting insulated wires, the conductors of which are made precisely of aluminum. For aerial cable laying, this conductor will be one of the best and most suitable for the situation. At the same time, according to the PUE, chapter 2.

1. paragraph 2. 1. 14 and chapter 7. 1.

paragraph 7. 1. 131, the cross-section of the aluminum cable for branching through the air must be at least 16 square meters.But still, in new, recently built houses, aluminum wiring has not been used for a long time, and there are reasons for this.

Disadvantages

But this type of wire has disadvantages, and at the same time there are quite a few:

  1. The metal is fluid.

    Aluminum has tensile properties, which has extremely negative consequences when the connection of wires is screw type. After some time, the wire connections begin to weaken, even overheat, burn and oxidize, up to a complete loss of contact.

  2. Brittleness of aluminum as metal. With aging and a long service life, the wires simply begin to break, and this most often happens with frequent loads and overheating. This should also be taken into account when you are replacing old-style twists - during unwinding and re-twisting, there is a huge risk that the vein will simply break.

All the disadvantages described above, to one degree or another at the very end, lead to the fact that the entire electrical supply system becomes short-lived and its operational life decreases several times. And to the question of what is the service life of the electrical wiring in the apartment, you will receive a truthful, and most importantly, an exhaustive answer - as long as its insulating layer will last. Depending on the method of installation and conditions, the operational period will be from 5 to 27 years.

A little about the important factors

So, so that you know what exactly can be dangerous aluminum wiring, It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the following factors:

  1. In accordance with international standards, wiring made of a metal such as aluminum has long been recognized as officially hazardous (in terms of fire).
  2. Cases of wiring fires have been recorded more than once, which caused the death of people living in the house / apartment.

  3. In apartments and houses where an aluminum electrical network was used, fires were recorded 55 times more than with other electrical wiring.
  4. This type of wiring is still allowed to be used, but only in houses and installations that were built before 2001, according to chapter 7. 1. PUE, paragraph 7. 1.

    34.

  5. Strictly it is forbidden to connect aluminum and copper wiring by twisting and some other methods in order to prevent fire. We propose to consider separately how to correctly connect aluminum and copper together.

These factors can be a real cause of fire in the home electrical network, and as a result, a fire may occur. You can clearly see how dangerous it is, and what other threats lurk in aluminum electrical wiring, in the video.

It is for this reason that we strongly advise against using this type of wires for a house or apartment, and especially if you want to do wiring in a wooden house or just in a country house, where you rarely visit.

Is it worth replacing the old wiring

The answer to this question will always be unequivocal - YES! One of the things that speak in support of replacing aluminum wiring is how much maximum stress it can handle. Even the electrical wiring that functions 100% and was used before will not be able to withstand the loads of the modern world. But it is also forbidden to install more powerful electrical wiring (with a large section), because this can lead to a fire. Copper cable is able to withstand the level of modern loads, and metal is more reliable and fire resistant.

For this reason, replacing aluminum wiring will be worthwhile. Moreover, it is great if you choose the best option.

Electrical life: how long will it last? Review + Video The financial side of the issue can also become one of the difficult moments. Replacing electrical wiring in an apartment or throughout the house can sometimes turn out to be a tidy sum. In addition, to completely replace the old wiring, it is required to re-drill all the living rooms, and if you are not a jack of all trades, which means you cannot cope with the task yourself, then there is another way out of their position - you can make a couple of separate lines, in which there will be copper cables so that they take on the main load of the electrical network, and the remaining aluminum lines will be used only for lighting.

In addition, you can always hide new wires under the skirting board or in the door frames. Thus, you can reduce the stress on the aluminum electrical wiring, and you can make it more reliable and safe.

Yes, the service life of electrical wiring in an apartment building is not eternal, and if you take on this laborious process yourself, then get ready for high costs. Firstly, you need a tool for electrical installation, and it will be great if you can ask your relatives and friends for everything you need. Secondly, it is worth setting aside time for this, and it can be extremely difficult at the modern pace of life.

And thirdly, you should be prepared for the fact that you can spend less time on repairs than cleaning after it. But sometimes there are such life situations when it is simply not possible to completely or at least partially replace the electrical wiring, and in this case you should be aware of the most important rules for using aluminum wiring in modern conditions.

Returning to houses and apartments in 2020

It is worth noting immediately the fact that despite the recommendations on the PUE for the use of copper wiring in in residential buildings, the use of aluminum is again permitted by order of the Ministry of Energy No. 968 t 16. 10.

2017. In this case, the aluminum cable does not mean what was laid back in the 1960s, but cables whose cores are made of an alloy, where up to 99% aluminum and up to 0.5% iron are used, which can be seen from the table below. ..

.Alloys 8030 and 8176, which were developed by competent specialists of RUSAL, are suitable for these requirements. From March 20, 2020, amendments to the set of rules "Electrical installations of public and residential buildings. Rules for design and installation" came into effect, which make it possible to apply them until now. All this suggests that aluminum wiring will soon return to Russian homes.

All the requirements for operation

If you nevertheless decided to use aluminum wiring in your apartment or your own country house, then it is worth considering the following requirements:

  1. The cross section should not be less than 16 square millimeters (this has already been said, but it is better to recall).
  2. Use special crimp-type contacts (and also a special lubricant that will prevent contacts oxidation and keep the contact resistance low).
  3. Use welding electrical aluminum wires for junction boxes (high financial and labor costs, so this option is rarely used). If you will not carry out the work yourself, then it is worth checking the process so that you can adhere to all the technical points.

In addition, it will probably be useful for you to know what the maximum load on aluminum wires with different cross-sections can be.

All data are presented in the table. And it is worth remembering that regardless of what type of electrical wiring is carried out in your house, you should definitely adhere to fire safety rules, as well as electrical safety and operating rules. You will also have the opportunity to protect your home and family from unwanted consequences and accidents.

What problems can appear when connecting copper and aluminum

Although initially we were talking about the life of an electrician, it is worth talking about what problems may be due to the connection copper and aluminum. Not so long ago, electrical wiring was made exclusively of aluminum, and this was enough for a few household appliances.

But with the development of the world of electronics and household appliances, the load on electrical circuits increased, so it was necessary to connect the old and new wiring.

When copper and aluminum come into contact, a chemical reaction occurs, which in the future begins to deteriorate the electrical contact, and the connection point begins to overheat and this may even cause a fire in the wiring (fire). At high ambient humidity, this process occurs extremely quickly, because a thin film is formed between the conductors, which has a high degree of resistance, which results in heating and breaking the circuit. But still, every electrician knows how to connect an aluminum wire with a copper one so that there are no unpleasant situations in the future.

Methods of connecting wires from different materials

There are several main generally accepted and common devices that make it possible to eliminate contact between two materials, which are extremely aggressively at each other.

Let's take a look at everything separately.

Terminal blocks

They can be equipped with bolting or clamping mechanisms. This design provides a connection in one terminal made of aluminum, and to the second of copper conductive material, which are able to contact each other safely through a steel plate. It is made of a neutral metal that will not react with aluminum and copper - usually brass plates or tinned copper plates. For example, the frequently used terminal Wаgo 2273 can connect at a time from 2 to 8 conductors with different cross-sections, and make mounting on a DIN rail with a special mounting adapter.

The bolt clamp in the block will be more reliable and used for low voltage power purposes. Most often it is applied with the "nut". It is a small box with a fork, which is made of a material with dielectric properties, in the shape of a walnut. Inside it is a block of metal plastic through which contact is made between copper and aluminum wires. All these methods refer to detachable types of connections, namely for multiple disconnection and connection (if necessary).

Crimping method

Electrical life: how long will it last? Review + Video It also happens , that when laying and installing electrical wiring, it becomes necessary to perform a high-quality one-piece connection of aluminum and copper wires by crimping using sleeves. This is most often used for entry into an electrical cabinet, a distribution device or when connecting a cable to an installed unit, where it is impossible to replace aluminum with copper (or vice versa). This method is more costly, since it requires the use of a special tool, but at the same time, when performing many installation work of this type, professionals often make a choice in its favor.

Crimping helps ensure more durable and reliable contact. In this way, in the production, they fasten the conductors of aluminum and copper to especially powerful consumers.

To carry out the work, a special tool and copper-aluminum sleeves are required. They can be squeezed even with a standard hammer and metal pads, which is not fully correct, or there is a professional hydraulic manual press. It is recommended to use a clamp not only for crimping, but even for ferrules. By the way, they can also be made half of aluminum and copper for connecting an aluminum cable to a device with copper terminals or leads.

Bolted connection

When working with electrical wiring, it often happens that an ordinary person who is not engaged in installation work at home conditions, there may be a great need to create an excellent contact between copper and aluminum wire.

It will not be advisable to run to the store to buy tools and materials if the work is done one-time, but everything is required to be done efficiently. In this case, it makes sense to use bolts with nuts and several washers. The main thing in this method is to separate the two metals using washers, as indicated in the photo.

A bolted connection can be made even in a junction box, which is an integral part of any electrical leash both in the apartment and in the house. Thus, even wires with different conductors in cross section will be connected through the bolt with ease and quality.

The wire rings must necessarily be turned in the direction of twisting, and this is required so that the rings do not unwind and do not become larger in diameter, but, on the contrary, wrap around the bolt as tightly as possible.

This information will be very helpful if you do not carry out a complete replacement of the wiring, but partial, as described above (so that the old and new wiring does not "contact" in a negative sense). This is, perhaps, all that we wanted to tell you about the advantages, disadvantages and dangers of aluminum wiring. Hopefully you have weighed the pros and cons and made the choice for safe electrical wiring.

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