How long will the electrical wiring in your home last? Real term

  • Dec 11, 2020

Good day, dear guests!

This article will focus on the actual lifespan of copper cables and their connections, disregarding the lifespan of sockets and switches, so how it is a consumable part to be replaced and the lifetime of the latter - depends solely on the mode of use and on the careful attitude of the user.

Author's illustration
Author's illustration

But, as for the service life of the power wiring in the house, it depends not only on the quality of the material, but also on the quality of the electrical work. For those and for others, there are two terms: actual and warranty service life.

Warranty service life

The warranty period for the conductor is assigned by the manufacturer and is not less than that required by GOST:

  • VVG cable in accordance with GOST 16442-80 - service life not less than 30 years;
  • PV in accordance with GOST 6323-79 - at least 15 years;
  • Ball screws according to GOST 7399-97 - at least 10 years.

In addition, there is a warranty period for electrical work. He is appointed individually under a contract and especially large verified companies, depending on the complexity of the network, may even provide a guarantee - up to 5 repair cycles, despite the fact that repairs are renewed every 7-10 years. Thus, in the worst case, the guarantee of such companies for work is 35 years.

A completely normal question arises: how can it be that the service life of the VVG cable is 30 years, and the warranty for electrical installation is 35 years?

Of course, everything here is conditional, and in 30 years nothing will become of the VVG cable, and even the PV will withstand such a period. In private houses, of course, no one monitors the number of years passed, but in production, when the service life of the material ends cable lines, - simply retesting the network under load and visual inspection for damage to the insulation - and the operation continues!

And here the question smoothly flows into the actual cable life.

Before answering, I will briefly outline the process of assigning warranty periods by the manufacturer himself and why they end up being underestimated than they really are.

Production of copper power conductors (illustration by the author)

As in any other production, in the manufacture of power cores, each batch of the final product is tested on special stands (test stands for durability). These stands simulate (simulate) daily operation and all kinds of critical situations under the action of certain loads, repeating them with a frequency thousands of times higher than the flow rate life.

Power cables are tested from underground installation to open air. The whole testing process fits into several days: the characteristics of the power cable are examined around the clock under sudden temperature changes and fluctuations in humidity.

Production of copper power conductors (illustration by the author)

Insulation testing is carried out using high-voltage rectifiers. The insulation resistance of the cable before and after testing should remain the same. The power cores are tested under DC overvoltage. The condition of the cable during the tests is determined by the leakage current.

Additionally, the propagation of combustion is investigated during the group laying of conductors.

After carrying out the tests, experts issue a conclusion and a warranty period is applied to the cable label, which is checked within the scope of the stand!!! (And the stand's capabilities are limited by the terms specified in the GOST).

Actual service life

In fact, with proper operation, a copper cable will serve for hundreds of years, and even the old "poor" aluminum wiring with mounting strands installed in old grandfather's houses from the 60s - still works! And this is for a minute - already 60 years !!!

Electrical work (Source: https://electriksan-rostov.ru/)

The organization, providing a 35-year wiring warranty, uses in advance the correct protection of power lines (machines) and reliable connections when disconnection, in order to take good care of the conductor and not overheat it in the future, only in such cases can we talk about the operation of the cable for sure - for the duration of your life!

P.S.

By virtue of my first education as "Engineer for systems of automation, telemechanics and communication on the railway", I had a conversation with electricians and electricians at railway stations. These are the people who maintain the power lines and equipment at railway stations and the routes between them. Power lines along the railway tracks stretch throughout Russia, and even in the most severe conditions, a copper conductor does not serve for 3 decades, but for much longer!

... until they steal :-))))

Traffic light (Source: https://nkass.ru/)

I would be glad if the article was useful for you !!!

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