How to Choosing the Right Electrical Wire

We’ve all done it. Walk into a building supply store and head for the electrical department to shop for some electrical wire for a project that we’ve reception . In most cases, we’ve no idea what one sort of wire is from the opposite . Even more, we couldn’t tell the difference from 100-amp wiring and 200-amp wire, including the difference between 20-amp and 30-amp wiring. this easy set of facts is enough to form my hair get up on the rear of my neck, fearing the risks of getting an electrical fire at some point.More often than not, the terms wire and cable are wont to describe an equivalent thing, but they’re actually quite different. Wire may be a single electrical conductor, whereas a cable may be a group of wires swathed in sheathing. The term cable originally mentioned a nautical line of multiple ropes wont to anchor ships, and in an electrical context, cables (like wires) are wont to carry electrical currents.Whether indoors or outdoors, proper wire and cable installation is of paramount importance – ensuring a smooth electricity supply, also as passing electrical inspections.

Size of Wires:

Each application requires a particular wire size for installation, and therefore the right size for a selected application is decided by the wire gage . Sizing of wire is completed by the American wire gage system. Common wire sizes are 10, 12 and 14 – a better number means a smaller wire size, and affects the quantity of power it can carry.for instance , a low-voltage lamp cord with 10 Amps would require 18-gauge wire, while service panels or sub panels with 100 Amps would require 2-gauge wire.

Voltage & Ampacity:

Considering voltage is critical when choosing electrical wire, and what the circuit is working will determine the voltage required. Ampacity required determines on the dimensions of the wire and therefore the run. Take a glance at this wire gage chart below for a better check out how voltage and ampacity relate in 12V systems.

Wire Lettering:

The letters THHN, THWN, THW and XHHN represent the main insulation types of individual wires. These letters depict the following NEC requirements:.

T – Thermoplastic insulation
H – Heat resistance
HH – High heat resistance (up to 194°F)
W – Suitable for wet locations
N – Nylon coating, resistant to damage by oil or gas
X – Synthetic polymer that is flame-resistant



Types of insulation vary by the sort of electrical wire. Often times insulation will vary to change performance in certain environmental conditions, or to form the wire easier to figure with. The differences in wire insulation come from variations of polymer structures.Most of the stranded wire offering at Del City has PVC insulation, however, there are others just like the cross-link wire with Cross-Linked Polyethylene and thermoplastic. There also are three sorts of cross-link wire with varying insulation thickness.

Types of Wires :

There are mainly 4  types of wire:

Triplex Wires :

Triplex wires are usually utilized in single-phase service drop conductors, between the facility pole and weather heads.they’re composed of two insulated aluminum wires wrapped with a 3rd bare wire which is employed as a standard neutral. The neutral is typically of a smaller gauge and grounded at both the electrical meter and therefore the transformer.

Main Feeder Wires :

Main power feeder wires are the wires that connect the service weather head to the house. They’re made with stranded or  solid THHN wire and therefore the cable installed is 25% quite the load required.

Panel Feed Wires :

Panel feed cables are generally black insulated THHN wire. These are wont to power the most junction box and therefore the breaker panels. a bit like main power feeder wires, the cables should be rated for 25% quite the
particular load.

Single Strand Wires :

Single strand wire also uses THHN wire, though there are other variants. Each wire is separate and multiple wires are often drawn together through a pipe easilty. Single strand wires are the foremost popular choice for layouts that use pipes to contain wires.

Color Codes:

Different color wires serve different purposes, like

Black : Hot wire, for switches or outlets.
Red : Hot wire, for switch legs. Also for connecting wire between 2 hardwired smoke detectors.
Blue and Yellow : Hot wires, pulled in conduit. Blue for 3-4 way switch application, and yellow for switch legs to control fan, lights etc.
White : Always neutral.
Green and Bare Copper : Only for grounding.

copper vs. aluminum wire:

While copper is that the most conductive metal, it are often heavy and expensive. So, for top voltage, long distance electrical applications, aluminum wire are often used. It’s a suitable conductor that typically requires a thicker gauge, but it’s much lighter and fewer expensive than copper wire. for instance , power lines use aluminum wire rather than copper.


Homes typically have many sorts of home wiring these includes the electrical wiring for lighting, installation of appliances, telephonic network, heating and ventilation.The home wiring is additionally useful for running the pc network and residential theater.The standard home wiring consists of three wires black, white and bare copper. The black wire carries the electrical current also called because the hot wire, white wire is that the neutral wire and therefore the bare copper wire is ground wire.Read more

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Hi there, I’m Suraj Singh!

I am an entrepreneur and digital marketing consultant from Chennai, India. In 2017 I founded my own digital agency, Startup Short SEO Tools, where I help leverage SMBs Social Media, SEO, and Content Marketing to increase your traffic and generate qualified leads for your business .

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