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Electrical Wires Guide: Common Types of Electrical Wire Used in the Home

TThese The very next wiring project you do will become a lot easier if you know which wires go where, whether you are at home, work, or on a site.

Installation of electrical wires requires not only patience and expertise but knowledge too because a person battling to find out the type of wires, on-field, might do more harm than good, no matter the years of expertise he/she has.

Why is finding the right wire important?

Everything is interconnected in the process of electrical wires installation. You need to identify the right wire and examine the blueprint because it helps to choose the right type which makes for a suitable installation process.

Knowing the types of electric wire might come in more handy than anticipated. This is more applicable to people who are determined to get the wiring done but possess only half the knowledge.

Imagine a junction box opened in front of you with wires going ‘haywire’, covered in dust, and leaving you clueless as to which wire does what? Now think of the time and energy that you’d have to put into contemplation before you finally get to start the job let alone finishing it quickly.

Now, a person with knowledge of the household and especially the wiring done would understand right away what he/she has to do as most of the homes have more or less the same wiring patterns and the types of wires used.  This makes fixing the mess easier, ultimately but only if you know the types of electrical wires.

Types of cables
Types of cables infographic


Read More: Electrical Checklist for Your New Home

Types of Electrical Wires

So here are a few common types of cables that you need to know about:

UF Cables

When it comes to locations that come in constant contact with water, Underground feeder cables are your go to cables.

Underground feeder cables are a type of nonmetallic cable that can be buried directly. UF cables carry high voltage and are made up of neutral and hot wires. You will also see a bare ground wire running through it.

Nonmetallic Cables

Nonmetallic cables supply most of the common applications that you use within a household. These applications might include anything from lamps to refrigerators and from TV to microwaves. The nonmetallic cables run comfortably inside the walls and flooring of your house in a concealed manner. These have different gauges and ampere ratings such as from 6,8,10, going to 14 gauges with subsequent amp ratings.

The nonmetallic cables also come in different color codes in accordance with the gauges. For example, white color is for 14 gauge wires and yellow is for 12 gauge cables and the list goes on. If you remember the color of the wire you can easily find out the purpose of each wire.

Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables are a type of copper conductor cables used for radio frequencies transmission. This type of cable can carry signals over a great distance which also makes these suitable for carrying internet connections. These copper wires are amazingly safe to be installed adjacent to different metallic objects without worrying about power loss.

Low voltage wires

Low voltage wires, as the name indicates, are used for lighter applications such as those requiring 50 volts or less. For example; speaker systems, door bells, or sprinkler systems where the gauge may range from 12 gauge to 22 gauge. One can easily identify these wires because these are very different from other cables.

Armored cables

Wherever there’s a risk of mechanical aggression in installation, you’d find steel or aluminum reinforced cables. You might also find these armored wires in places where there’s a threat of rodents. You might come across the following type in areas with a threat of explosion or fire.

For electric panels

As the name indicates, you’d find these cables mostly running in and out of switch boxes inside the house. Electric panel cables are amazingly flexible and can be twisted and turned easily. This allows for easy manipulation inside the pipes and switch boxes.

Power cables

You’ll find power cables as the main energy conductor for home spaces and even industries. Mostly used for low voltage applications and as a means to supply the variable frequency drive.

Fire resistant cables

You might have often wondered how does wiring sustains under extreme conditions? Well, here’s the answer – through fire resistant cables. Yes, these cables ensure a constant supply for emergency utilities. You’ll find these cables in smoke extractors, water pumps, signaling, alarms, and other appliances.

Rubber cables

You’ll find the rubber cables running throughout the fixed installations in the industries. Rubber cables are also used for mobile power supplies.

Solar cables

Who knew there are specific cables for solar panels too? But yes, these exist. Solar cables connect photovoltaic panels for starters, and are also used for establishing connection between AC and DC inverters. Solar cables’ sturdy design protects it from high temperatures and prolonged sunlight exposure making it ideal for this purpose.

Medium voltage cables

Medium voltage cables are perfect for voltage requirements from 5kV to 35kV. This makes these cables ideal choice for rough weather, as a precaution for natural disasters, for substation construction, and so on. In isolated areas where it’s difficult for high voltage wires to reach, medium voltage cables do the job.

Medium voltage cables are flexible, can be easily installed, and are generally long lasting. These cables also offer protection against high impact, oil, friction, and other harsh conditions.

Depending on your use, you can find the perfect medium voltage cables at Pakistan cables online very easily.

Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables are a type of connector cable used to connect desktops, laptops, or other devices with compatibility with the internet world. You can establish an Instant network device connection with a commonly used Cat-5 or Cat-6 cables. Such cables have about 8 pins offering better connectivity.

Though it might contain a very small amount of voltage but it is safe for human interaction. However, one should be wary of dealing with wires bare handed as one wire might come in contact with other high voltage wire and this can prove to be dangerous.

Fiber Optic Cables

Types of Fiber optic cables glass fibers that are covered in plastic and here the light is used for storage of data instead of electromagnetic waves. Fiber optic cables are quickly becoming the transmission cable of choice due to their capability to transmit data at blazing fast speeds.

You’ll mostly be dealing with fiber optics during internet upgradation or when you are looking to receive the best TV reception possible so mostly with TVs and computers. However, you need to be careful with these wires too as they are quite thin and might break upon excessive pressure or due to unprofessional installation.

Phone Lines

Phone lines are generally classified as electromagnetic interference or twisted pair type. These Phone lines are used not only for establishing landline connections but for also setting up internet, mostly the dial-up technique.

Where dial-up could interfere with your phone connection, DSL doesn’t and hence lets you stay connected.

So these are most of the electrical wires that are commonly used in and around the house. If you still have any questions you can ask us right away. We’d be happy to help you out. Pakistan Cables offers the best quality 99.99% pure copper wires and cables.

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