Types of Electrical Cables

Types of Electrical Wires and Their Uses

Nowadays, almost everything is powered by electricity because of the development of technology. We require a constant, uninterrupted supply of power whether indoors or out, which is made possible by using the proper type of wires.

Not only does the electrical sector rely on wires for electricity transmission and supply to our homes and workplaces, but even the telecommunications industry equally depends on many types of wires for constant data transmission.

Identifying the proper wire or cable is a major challenge when installing new wiring. However, while inspecting the old wiring in your house, determining the type of wire can provide important information about the circuit to which the wiring connects.

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Types Of Electrical Wires

There are several types of electrical wires in the market, and each variety is used for a distinct purpose. It might be difficult to determine which type is suitable for your application.

  1. Poly Vinyl Chloride Wire
  2. Single Strand Wire
  3. Multi Strand Wire
  4. Flexible Wire
  5. THHN/THWN Building Wire
  6. Low-voltage Wire
  7. THW Building Wire
  8. Main Feeder Wire
  9. Panel Feed Wires
  10. Speaker Wire
  11. Non-metallic Sheathed Wires
  12. Automotive Primary Wire
  13. Phone and Data Wire
  14. Flat Cord Wire

1. Poly Vinyl Chloride Wire

PVC Cable
Poly Vinyl Chloride Wire

Polyvinyl chloride is generally known as PVC, and it is a thermoplastic substance that is utilized in the production of PVC wire. \The single or multiple-core PVC insulated wire is known as a polyvinyl chloride wire. PVC wires are utilized extensively because of their outstanding qualities, including chemical stability, robustness, heat, durability, and water resistance.

In recent times, PVC has started to be used mostly for making different electrical wires. The wire usually contains no jacket, except in the case if it contains many cores.

The PVC wire is most suited for low and medium-voltage wires as well as low-frequency insulation needs. PVC electrical wire and hook-up wire are both acceptable options for inside devices and electronic equipment wire.

2. Single Strand Wire

Single Strand Wire
Single Strand Wire

The single piece of metal wire makes up single-strand wire, commonly referred to the as solid core wire. The single-strand wire is used in situations where durability is a crucial consideration because it is hard and durable.

The wire has a single conductor and it is appropriate for usage in outside areas and in demanding applications. The single-strand wires are widely used for hanging outside lighting or CCTVs where the wire will be exposed to climate as well as other corrosive substances.

These wires are used to carry telecommunications signals as well as mechanical loads. However, the wire’s cross-section is, Generally circular, and various cross-sections including square, hexagonal, flat rectangular, or others can be formed for aesthetic or technological reasons, which include high-efficiency voice coils in amplifiers.

The Multi-strand wires are made up of several thin wires bunched together to create a single thick conductor.

3. Multi-Strand Wire

Multi Strand Wire
Multi-Strand Wire

The Multi-strand wires are made up of a number of thin wires bunched together to create a single thick conductor. In comparison to single-strand wires that have a similar cross-sectional surface, multi-strand wires are much more flexible.

In comparison to single-strand wires that have a similar cross-sectional surface, multi-strand wires are much more flexible. As the cross-section of multi-strand wires is not fully formed of copper, it, therefore, has higher resistance.

Due to the gaps between the several strands, the multi-strand wire offers a greater overall diameter compared to a single-strand wire with similar electrical resistance as well as current capacity.

5. Flexible Wire

Flexible Wire
Flexible Wire

The cable composed of many strands of thin copper wire is referred to as flexible electrical wire. This wire commonly contains ten to dozens of cores as well as a small bending radius.

The flexible electrical wire is useful for many commercial and domestic uses. The crane hoists mainly depend on flexible wires to transfer electricity from the control panel to the crane lifts.

The perfect illustration of a flexible wire is the oldest landline cable which used to bend as well as provide consumers flexibility when they pulled it. The RVV wire is among the most commonly used flexible wire.

6. THW Building Wire

THW Building Wire
THW Building Wire

THW or TW stands for thermoplastic which is highly heated as well as water-resistant. Control boards, air conditioning systems, refrigeration equipment, control wiring of machine devices, and automated washers are some of the common things where a W/THW electrical wire tracer is used.

The usage of solid THWs is required in various general ground wiring applications, such as CATV connections as well as swimming pool pumps.

It is indeed crucial to being aware that THW wires are not common, just like the majority of electrical cables and wires.

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6. Main Feeder Wire

Main Feeder Line
Main Feeder Wire

The wires that attach the service weather head to the home are known as main feeder wires. It is produced by using standard or solid THHN (T- thermoplastic insulation, HH high heat resistance, X- synthetic polymer which is fire resistant) wire, which is installed in 25% greater than the load needs.

7. Panel Feed Wires

THHN wire with black insulation usually makes up panel feed wire. These provide electricity to the circuit breaker panels as well as the major junction boxes. This wire must be rated for 25% greater than the total load, similar to the main feeder wires.

8. Speaker Wire

The amplifier is attached to a pair of speakers using a speaker wire. The term “speaker cable” is widely used in several regions of the world.

The majority of the best speaker wires are composed of copper because of their outstanding electrical conductivity.

Selecting wire that is composed entirely of copper is highly advised if you want the best quality wire.

9. Non-metallic Sheathed Wires

Non-Metallic Sheathed Wire
Non-metallic Sheathed Wires

NM-coated wires also known as non-metallic, are utilized for wiring inside homes. It can be made up of two or more insulated conductors and the ground conductor that is either insulated or bare.

It is beneficial to electricians due to its being reasonably priced and simple to use. The flexible electrical wire having a plastic exterior is listed after the well-known company name.

The white, black, and ground wires of a non-metallic-sheathed cable are all mostly bare copper wires, as well as when the cable possesses two wires, they will be one white and one black.

The white, black, and red insulated wires with the one bare copper ground wire are all included in three-wire cables.

11. Automotive Primary Wire

Automotive Wire
Automotive Primary Wire

The automotive main wire is a type of electrical wire used for automobiles. The automotive primary wire is generally produced from copper or aluminum and it is used to join different electrical elements in a vehicle.

The automotive primary wire is commonly thicker than some other varieties of electrical wire, and it is generally covered in a hard substance, like PVC. This type of wire is developed to handle the extreme heat as well as vibration which are commonly seen in vehicle usage.

The wiring of the engine, lamps, tail light, as well as interior lighting, are a few popular uses for primary wire in automobiles.

11. Phone and Data Wire

Data Wire
Phone and Data Wire

Low-voltage wires are used for both telephones and internet connections. The category 5 cable is the most effective type for telephone and internet transmission because it includes eight wires that are combined in four pairs.

Moreover, category 5 cable provides good quality as well as capacity compared to a normal telephone wire.

Despite the fact that the data cable doesn’t convey much voltage, it is still risky for data wiring to come into contact with home wiring. Therefore, handle it with care and keep your hands away from exposed wires.

12. Flat Cord Wire

Flat Coard Wire
Flat Cord Wire

The flat Flexible Cord wire is also referred to as “continuous-flex wire”, this type of electrical wire is widely utilized in portable moving equipment because it is able to withstand physical stress.

Moreover, it is mostly used in extension cables as well as temporary electricity for exhibitions and functions.

Furthermore, because the wires are covered separately instead of repeatedly enclosed in various materials as circular cables are, they are less in weight as well as provide better flexibility.

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