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Protecting Your Copper Wire

Copper wire is a long-lasting, corrosion-resistant alternative to aluminum wire, but this powerful conductor’s high value can also make it vulnerable. Copper’s high value in the scrap metal trade makes it a popular target for theft, and exposed, unprotected copper wire may be cut and stolen if you don’t take precautionary measures. While it generally has a longer life than aluminum wire, this valuable alloy must be protected if you want to enjoy its longevity to the fullest extent.

The Value and Usefulness of Copper Wire

Copper wire comes in several varieties, like braided, solid and stranded, but one thing remains consistent no matter what: Copper is powerful and valuable. Not only does the material have a high resistance to heat and corrosion, but it’s a powerful conductor, and the alloy itself is valuable as scrap—it’s heavy, and scrappers offer a high price per pound. For this reason, copper piping and wires are often targeted for theft from vacant properties. That in mind, copper wire is still a very sound investment—it lasts longer, and doesn’t need to be replaced the same way that the comparably less expensive aluminum wire does.

Protecting Your Wire

Taking measures to defend your copper wire against theft and vandalism is critical to protecting its longevity and value. One way of doing this is with a braided sheath, like a steel braid. Steel braid wraps around insulated wire like coaxial cable, making it virtually impossible to cut. It’s also corrosion resistant and relatively flexible, making it appropriate for a variety of applications and strong enough to protect your cable from both the elements and would-be copper thieves. Another way of protecting your copper wire is to keep it indoors, or otherwise shielded from outside access. For example, air conditioning units are sometimes targeted for the copper wire coils inside—enclosing your window unit in a steel cage prevents easy access from the outside.

While copper theft has always been a moderate concern, it shouldn’t deter you from investing in copper wire. This alloy is one of the most reliable and long-lasting materials available, and thoughtful installation will protect it and you from any surprises. To learn more about using copper and how you can keep yours safe, contact Arcor Electronics.