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A Guide to Wire and Cable

>> Apr 26, 2013

What are the main types of wire and cable that you’ll find in your home? Most wiring and cabling will involve Twin and Earth connections for residential homes, which provide a way of supplying electricity to lighting and different forms of electrical appliances. When deciding on the best wire and cable solutions for your home, you’ll need to think about how much voltage you’ll require, as well as about different safety requirements that need to be met if you want to avoid hazards.

Wiring represents single strand conductors in bare or protected sheaths, while cables include two or more conductors that are insulated, and can be twisted together - you can find single and multi conductors, twisted pairs, and coaxial cables. Twisted pair cables involve conductors twisted together, with cables more typically used for distributing telephone lines and Internet, with wiring more used for electricity.

Wiring and cabling is typically run through electrical connections within a breaker panel or fuse box, which also contains shutdown and flip switches. Moreover, wiring and cabling is often run behind walls, and includes conducting and safety connections that should, in the UK, align with IEE regulations. How much voltage each wire and cable can handle will depend on its size and level of insulation - copper wiring is typically the most common option for buildings, and is defined by its voltage rating and size gauge. Earthing wires are green and yellow, neutrals are blue, while live wires are brown, black, and grey.

Different gauges are also available for wiring and cabling - 14 gauge wires and cables can typically handle 15 amps, and a max voltage of 120, making them best for lights and basic power points; 12 gauge wires and cables go up to between 120 and 240 volts, and can be employed for smaller appliances and lighting. 10 gauge wires and cables can handle 30 amps, go up to 240 volts, and are often used for larger appliances; 8 gauge wire and cables are larger and can handle 240 volts, while 6 gauge cables and wires go up to 240 volts, and are used for the largest power sources.

Twin and Earth cables are among the most popular in a home, and are commonly used for lights and appliances; this cable configuration consists of two insulated conductors for live and neutral, with an earthing conductor for safety. The twin core wiring conductors are sheathed in PVC, with the complete cable often run behind walls, or trimmed to be used for shorter circuits. While used in average sized homes and buildings, Twin and Earth cables can also be combined with three core mains flexes, used for two way lighting in multi-unit buildings.

One of the most popular examples of Twin and Earth cabling is the 6242Y designation, which is used for both dry and damp premises, and is designed in the UK around a standard BS6004 rating - this type of Twin and Earth cable can typically handle up to about 300 to 500 volts, and is commonly used around the home. When selecting the right wires and cables for your home, always make sure that live wire conductors are properly insulated, and that cables are grounded.

Author Bio
Jane Fonda is a keen DIY enthusiast and blogger about home renovation. She strongly believes in electrical safety and recommends 6242yh twin and earth cable for the home. When not renovation her home she spends the vast majority of her time advising friends and family!

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