Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Copper is beneficial for your house

Copper for your home

Ask your neighbourhood electrician when you have a wiring problem, and chances are he'll suggest you re-do internal wiring by replacing aluminum with copper. Property Plus Western takes a closer look at the two materials, and figures out why copper is a better bet


Ask your electrician, and he'll explain the difference between aluminum and copper wiring.The reason why your flat came with aluminum as the original wiring was the price factor - it is the cheaper of the two.

High-end projects are a different ball game though, with copper cables and wires being the preferred ones in projects like Tata Housing, Rahejas or Hiranandani Gardens.

Benchmarking of amenities has become a reality in the branded construction houses' projects, explains Nainesh Shah, Executive Director, Everest Developers."Minimum quality levels are adhered to, so you won't find much of a difference in this category,"he adds.

Explains a technical supervisor at Neelkanth Constructions,"All metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. However, copper and aluminium are the two materials which are used as conductor materials in cables including house wiring cables."

Dilawar Nensey, joint MD, Royal Palms explains that as the housing sector is growing rapidly in India, demand for house wiring cables is increasing. Explaining why his projects utilise copper cables and wires, he says it is because copper has several important properties.

"Copper has higher conductivity, lesser resistivity, is corrosion resistant, has a higher melting point and is more flexible than aluminum,"he explains.

Amit Brid, who provides electrical wiring services to the Neelkanth Group, explains that the conductivity of copper is about 40 per cent more than that of aluminium."This means that copper has higher short circuit capacity as it can withstand heavy overloads, therefore increasing the conductor life. Thus the danger of fire hazard is greatly reduced,"he adds.

It is not just wires and cables where copper makes a foray into our homes, water carrying pipes are also available in copper. Mukesh Patel of Neelkanth Group feels that it is because of reasons like residents' health, efficiency and durability that more and more builders are emulating their counterparts in the West by opting for copper pipes and fittings instead of the conventional GI and PVC plumbing materials.

"Copper, comparatively lower in cost to other metals, is now being used in kitchens, for bathroom fittings, and external water and drainage pipes," he says.

Outlining the advantages of copper over other metals, Amit Brid explains that since copper is non-corrosive and longer lasting, leakage is impossible in buildings, if the concealed fittings are of copper.

Mukesh Patel points out that biological research suggests that copper in plumbing arrests both bacterial and fungal growth. Dilawar Nensey recalls a study by the International Copper Promotion Council, which said copper pipes stop growth of the E Coli bacteria, present in pipe water.

Apart from a wide range of sizes, copper pipes and fittings are available with protective plastic finishes or nickel, chromium, silver and gold plates.

Truly, a win - win situation for all the lifestyle-plus home seekers!

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