It is compulsory for you, as a homeowner to make sure that the house stays in pristine condition. It not only maintains the house but also uses a lot lesser money than it should in later times. A major future cost depends on the rewiring of the house. This can be prevented if the initial wiring is done systematically and with utmost care.
There is a fine line between wire and cable. Both the products are essential for the household. A cable is a collection of wires bound close to each other. It is done so as to increase the overall surface area of the cables. This reduces the overall heat loss from electrical transmission. Cables are widely used in electrical transmission between Electric Sub-Stations because of their property of less heat loss.
The wires in today’s time are made of Aluminium and Copper. This metal offers less resistance and is easily minable as it is present in abundance in earth’s crust. A metal wire should be suitable for home through various perspectives
- Should be cheap.
- Longer life.
- Resistance should be low.
- No leakage of current should take place.
- Should be insulated
THICKNESS OF WIRES
Wires come in different widths. A broader wire would allow greater amount of current to flow through them. Similarly the wires with less thickness would allow lesser current to flow through them. Both the types of wires are used in home but in different places. A thicker wire would be used near the meter box as it would carry a lot of current. Similarly, a less thick wire would be used in rooms as the appliances used in those rooms would use consume less current.
A wire would melt if it transmits more current than it should. If a 5 amp rated wire passes current of 7 amps, it would melt.
WHY WIRES ARE MADE OF COPPER
Copper being a metal, is a good conductor of electricity. They have a high current carrying capacity. It is also very efficient as the heat loss is very less. It is cheap and very strong. Copper is not easily affected by fluctuations in temperatures like Aluminium is. A copper wire would neither expand nor contract if it undergoes changes in temperature. A wire’s temperature would increase if it is carrying a lot of current.
That is why copper wires should be used in homes.
Our House receives AC power supply. As opposed to DC supply, which we receive from batteries and cells, AC is more powerful and harmful as compared to DC. An electric shock from AC would be more lethal than DC. If there is any leakage of current in the wires, the residents can get an electric shock. That is why the house should be well earthed. Earthing prevents this leakage of current to some extent as all the extra current flows to the earth. The resistance of the earth wire should be less than 1 ohm. This is done because the extra current, however large it may be, should flow into the earth easily.
WIRES ACCORDING TO REQUIREMENTS
There are many appliances in our home that work at different values of current. A LED needs about 30 mili-ampere current. An average Microwave oven consumes 5 amp of current to power itself. So a thick wire should be used in the kitchen. Similarly, an air conditioner takes 6 amp of current to power itself when working at full load. So wires of appropriate thickness should be used to power these appliances.
WHEN TO REWIRE A HOUSE
Houses built before 1980 used aluminium wires. Old aluminium wires can cause fire in house. It is safer to rewire a house every 40-45 years as precautions must be taken to prevent fires. Rewiring must be done with copper wires. It is also advisable that all existing homes must be rewired immediately if they are wired with aluminium.
Rewiring must be done by an electrician as they have precise tools and information on how to rewire a house.