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What Type Of Electric Wire Is Used In Homes?

Dec 08, 2021 Honrey Cable

Take a walk inside your home and its vicinity, including the backyard, the garage, and the outdoor lighting panels. You will notice that there different types of wires and cables that make up your home wiring system. Essentially, there are different types of home wiring. In the past, home wiring cables comprised single conductor wires. Recently, however, any experienced electric wire manufacturer mainly focuses on producing multi-conductor cables. Multicore cables are convenient for use in home wiring systems due to their flexibility. Nevertheless, manufacturers still produce single-core cables because of inevitable instances where you have to mix single and multicore conductors.

Here are some common types of electric wires used in homes:

1. THHN/THWN wire

THHN and THWN wires are single conductors with distinct color-coded insulations. Their initials portray their insulation properties. Specifically, THHN is an acronym for a thermoplastic high heat-resistant nylon-coated wire. THWN is an acronym for thermoplastic heat and water-resistant nylon-coated wire. These types of wires are applicable in open areas such as garages and basements and short exposed runs around your home.

It is important to note that THHN and THWN wires consist of color-coded sheathings that pinpoint their core functions. For instance, black, red, and orange colors identify hot wires. However, you must be aware that color codes may vary depending on the electric wire company responsible for the wire’s production.  It is also worth mentioning that THHN and THWN wires are often applicable inside conduits, and you should never handle them when the circuit is on.

2. Flexible wire

This type of electric wire consists of multiple thin stranded wires that offer maximum flexibility. This wire type you intend to perform an installation that requires constant sharp movements. However, you have to remember that there are several types of flexible wires. The PVC sheathed soft wire also known as RVV cable is arguably one of the most popular flexible. It is applicable across a wide range of applications including industrial machines and automobiles that require constant sharp movements. The PVC sheathed software also forms a critical wiring component for most home appliances refrigerators and microwaves.

A flexible wire also comes in handy when dealing with home lighting installations. However, there are some BS7671 stipulations that you need to adhere to I you choose to use this electric wire type for lighting systems. First, you need a heavy-duty flexible wire for all lighting installations. BS7671 regulations dictate that you have to provide adequate protection against mechanical damage for all lighting applications.

3. Shielded wire

A shielded wire consists of one or more insulated conductors encased in a highly conductive layer also known as a shield. Generally, cable manufacturers use two main types of shields namely, a braided shield and a foil shield. However, a braided shielded cable is the most popular option because braids provide more protection against electromagnetic interference than foil shields.

Even though most people overlook the value of a shielded wire, it plays a critical role in today’s society. I cannot overemphasize the value of investing in a shielded cable in a world where most processes rely on constant data transfer. Usually, the most significant threat to data transfer is electromagnetic interference. Fortunately, a shielded wire has the capacity to repel any form of electromagnetic interference that may cause data decomposition.

This wire comes in handy when dealing with installations in industries that use machines that emit electromagnetic interference. Some of these industries include the petrochemical and the fertilizer industry. Nevertheless, you must always ground the shielded electric wire to create an amicable avenue for eliminating electromagnetic interference.

4. Low-voltage electric wire

There are different types of low voltage wires used in home wiring applications. The most common low-voltage wires include speaker wire, landscape lighting wire, doorbell wire, and sprinkler system wire, to name a few. Their electric wire size ranges from 22-gauge to around 12-gauge, depending on the type of wire in question. Low-voltage wire insulations typically consist of PVC material.

Low voltage wires are relatively cheaper than standard electric wires. So, you might feel a temptation to use them for other applications rather than their proper purposes. My dear, you must always ensure that you use this type of wire strictly for low voltage applications. Any attempt to consider the electric wire price over its actual intended use often ends in disaster.


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