The use of aluminum wiring in the Best prefab homes has an interesting history. Many modular and manufactured homeowners experience confusion regarding the aluminum wiring builders use in manufactured and prefabricated houses. In reality, it is perfectly safe to use aluminum wiring. However, you need to be aware of some important considerations, which we discuss below.
Myths about Aluminum Wiring
We often hear that authorities do not permit the use of aluminum wiring in manufactured homes, but this is not true. If you use proper installation materials and methods, you can use aluminum wiring in your prefab home without issue. Traditionally, home electrical wiring uses copper since the introduction of home electricity in the 19th century. Aluminum wiring was introduced to North American homes in the mid-1960s, . At the time, the price of copper wire was very high, and aluminum was a cost-effective alternative. This is why aluminum became very popular in the best manufactured homes wiring since the 1960s.
Is Aluminum as Good as Copper?
It’s true that copper is a stronger conductor than aluminum. But, modular home manufacturers can use larger aluminum wires to increase conductivity. These larger wires offer the same performance and conductivity as copper wires. Most branch circuiting wires in homes use 14 gauge copper. The equivalent aluminum wire is 12 gauge. The installation methods for both copper and aluminum are the same.
These are some of the myths and misconceptions about using aluminum wires in a modular prefab home. If you use aluminum to wire manufactured homes, you should use special connectors. Issues often arise at connections like switches, light fixtures, receptacles, and at the panel. There are also connectors that work well with both aluminum and copper wires. These include small connectors that bear the Al-Cu or Co/ALR label, and large connectors that bear the Cu-Al or Al-Cu label.
You can also use electrical breakers and panels that bear the Cu-Al or Al-Cu label. In addition, you can have switches that are suitable for use with both aluminum and copper wires. These switches will bear the Co/ALR label, and you may use them for either type of wiring. Other approved connection systems for aluminum wiring existed, but they disappeared as copper became the preferred wiring material in all types of homes.