What is electrical wires?
When you hear the word "wire" or "cable," you probably think of electricity. And when it comes to electric wiring, these terms are used interchangeably. But there are some key differences between the two.
A wire is one electrical conductor, and a cable is multiple conductors encased in the sheathing.
Electric wires are typically made of aluminum or copper. They're either bare or insulated and can be covered in a thin layer of PVC that's colored to indicate whether the wire is a neutral, ground, or hot wire in your electrical installation. We discuss wire colors later on in this guide.
Cables contain at least one neutral wire, ground wire, and hot wire twisted or bonded together—the number of wires depends on its purpose. The wires are then insulated and encased in their own color-coded layer of PVC before being wrapped in an outer sheath to make up the single cable.
How to Identify Wires and Cables？
When you're working with wires and cables, it's important to know how to identify them. Each jacket will have information printed on it to help you choose the correct product for your job. A letter code provides the attributes of the wire, along with material, gauge, and voltage rating.
For example, THHN is the most commonly used type of wire in conduit and cable trays for services, feeders, and branch circuits in commercial or industrial applications. Below are the letters and attributes you'll regularly see in residential wiring:
T: Thermoplastic insulation
H: Heat resistance
HH: High heat resistance (up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit)
W: Suitable for wet locations
N: Nylon coating, resistant to damage by oil or gas
Electrical Wire Color Coding
Electrical wire color coding is a system that uses color to indicate the purpose of each wire. The colors help identify the wires, which is important in an industry that relies on standardization.
The purpose of the electrical wire color coding is to make it easier for electricians, as well as advanced DIYers, to identify which wires are hot and which are neutral. This helps prevent any potential accidents from occurring when working with electricity.
The most common colors used in electrical wire color coding include black for hot wires, red for hot wires that connect to switches or outlets, blue and yellow for hot wires pulled through a conduit (blue is often used for three- or four-way switch applications and yellow is for switch legs that control fans and lights), white for neutral (can be hot if marked with black or red to indicate it's no longer a neutral), green and bare copper only for grounding purposes."
What is the red wire in electrical？
Have you ever wondered what the red wire in your home's electrical system is for? You're not alone. Here's the scoop on what red wires are, and how to use them safely.
Red wires are usually used as secondary hot wires. These wires carry a current when a device is switched on, but they do not carry a current when the device is switched off. This means that you can always tell whether or not there's power running through a red wire by testing it with a tester—if there's power flowing through the wire, it'll light up.
Red wires are also hot and should be clearly marked to avoid the dangers of electrocution. Red wires are commonly used when installing ceiling fans, where the light switch may be hidden above or behind them.
Wire sizing is the process of determining the proper size of wire for your electrical circuit based on the amperage it will carry. It is critical to the safety of your home's electrical system that all wires are properly sized—if they are not, you may experience a voltage drop, which can create a risk of fire.
The gauge of a wire relates to the current-carrying capacity or how much amperage the wire can safely handle. When choosing the right wire, you must consider the gauge of the wire as well as what it will be used for.
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