In recent years, there has been interested in using aluminum for electrical wires and cables. This is because aluminum has a lower salvage value than copper. In high theft areas, copper cables are often stolen because thieves can get money for them. The only draw back to aluminum is that it is less conductive so a cable must be 2 gauge sizes larger than copper. Despite the larger size, aluminum is still 85% cheaper compared to copper and to keep the diameter small, the aluminum is tightly compacted. It is also 30% lighter than copper.
Aluminum does have its downfalls though, it is very susceptible to moisture. If a bare Aluminum conductor is buried, its life expectancy is much less than copper. Also, because it is soft, over time, temperature changes causes terminals to loosen. Heat increases, then sparks and ultimately a fire.
For more information or assistance on choosing how which type of wires to install, contact Cyr Electric at (508) 755-1110 or toll free at (888) 422-2227