electrical wires and cables pdf

Electrical wires and cables pdf

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Published: 23.04.2021


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More often than not, the terms wire and cable are used to describe the same thing, but they are actually quite different. Wire is a single electrical conductor, whereas a cable is a group of wires swathed in sheathing. The term cable originally referred to a nautical line of multiple ropes used to anchor ships, and in an electrical context, cables like wires are used to carry electrical currents.


Electrical cable and wires are considered as a same thing. In fact they are quite different. A wire is made of a single electrical conductor while a cable is a group or bundle of multiple wires inside a common sheathing.

Both of them are used for carrying electrical current. Nowadays due to the advancement in technology, almost everything is powered by electricity. Be it indoor or outdoor, we need supply of smooth, uninterrupted electricity which is achieved by using suitable type of wires and cables.

Not only the electrical sector uses cables and wires for power transmission and distribution to our house and industries, the Telecom sector also relies on various types of cables for uninterrupted data transmission. The labeling of the cables is very important and it provides a lot of information regarding its insulation types, numbers of wires and the gauge of the wires.

Take a look at some of labels written on the wires commonly used in home wiring. The most important label of them is about the insulation or the plastic coating around the conducting wires. Here are some of the common labels written on wires. The meaning of each letter used in the labels above is given below:. The residential wiring from the utility pole to the appliances or devices inside the home is divided into mainly five types.

The service drop cable is an overhead electrical line from the pole to the service weatherhead of a house. The service drop cable can be of many types given below:. Duplex Cable: The duplex service drop cable is a two core conductor i. It is used for supplying a single phase power to the building. Triplex Cable: The Triplex service drop cable is a three core conductor. It has two insulated conductors for phase line and a bare conductor for neutral line.

Quadruplex Cable: The Quadruplex service drop cable is a quad or four core conductors. It has 4 conductors; three of them are insulated conductors for phase lines and a bare conductor for neutral line. It is used for supplying a 3 phase power supply from the utility pole to the building.

The insulation used on these cables is XLPE that protects these conductors from moisture, heat etc. The panel feed wires supply power to the main distribution junction box. The non-metallic or NM sheathed wires are used for in-house wiring.

It may consist of 2 or more than 2 insulated conductors with an insulated or bare ground conductor. There is another layer of plastic XLPE sheathing for more protection.

The latest version NM type-B is currently used by electricians for interior installation. The conductors could be solid or stranded. The stranded conductors are easier to route through conduits. Single Conductor wire is the most popular choice for electrical layout inside a home.

It is available in multiple gauges, color for phase, neutral and ground identification and solid or stranded conductors. A single solid wire provides better connections but single stranded wires are easier to route through conduits. There are several types of cables and wires depending on their applications and uses. The types of cables and wires that are used for communication or signal transmission purposes are called communication cable.

There sole purpose is to transmit information. Here are 3 types of communications cables:. Coax or coaxial cable is type of electrical cable made from four layers, forming coaxial shape having common axis or center.

The central part of coaxial cable is a conductor covered by an insulating plastic layer which is surrounded by a metallic shield. On top that is a fourth layer of plastic insulation. The coaxial cable is used for transmission of high frequency signal. This is why the metallic shield is used for blocking noise interference.

It is commonly used for cable television signal distribution, signal transmission between antennas, transmitter and receiver. The coaxial cable is further divided into various types and each of them has their own application. Hardline coaxial or mostly known by its trademark name Heliax cable is a thick coaxial cable with its center solid conductor made from copper and the shield made from copper or silver tubing.

It is specifically used for high frequency broadcast transmission. It can carry hundreds of channels and is usually installed between a transmitter on ground and aerial antenna.

Radiating or leaky coaxial cable is another type of coaxial cable where the shield is deliberately designed in such way to radiate RF waves. The shield is made with slots tuned for specific RF wavelength that provide bi directional leakage effect between transmitter and receiver. This type of coaxial cable is used in places where antenna is not feasible such as underground tunnels, elevator shafts etc.

RG-6 is the most common type of coaxial cable used for signal transmission in residential and commercial applications. It is made from a solid copper wire with plastic insulation covered by an aluminum foil and a braided shield for protection against interference. It is used for audio and video signal transmission in application such as cable TV, Satellite TV signal and radio etc.

Triaxial is another type of coaxial cable which includes another layer of insulation and shield over the top of existing shield.

The second or outer shield is grounded to protect the inner shield from electromagnetic interference. Twinax cable is type of coaxial cable similar to RG-6 but with two inner conductors instead of one. The two insulated inner conductors are twisted together surrounded by a braided shield. It is used for high-speed short-range signal communication usually for 10 Gigabit Ethernet Network. Semi-rigid coax cable is another type of coax cable where the outer sheath is from solid copper with an inner conductor.

The outer shield provides better interference protection. Due to the tube like structure of the shield, it is not very flexible and is not meant to bent after initial forming. The rigid line coax cable is a modified form of semi-rigid cable made from two concentric tubes shield that provides extra protection for high power signal. Such cables are not meant to be bent which is why elbow and interconnects are used for bending. They are used for high power signal transmission between RF components of a transmitter and antenna.

This type of communication cable is made from two insulated wires twisted together to form a twisted pair. The purpose of twisting is to reduce the electromagnetic interference or noise. They are used in Ethernet network and telephone communication. They are further divided into two types based on their noise protection. The UTP cables do not have any extra shield for protection against noise.

They twisted pairs may reduce the noise but it still affects it. Various categories of UTP cables are used in residential and commercial building with various bandwidth e. The STP cable has an extra layer of foil that protects the wires from electromagnetic interferences. They are used for high-end applications where the cables may get affected by external environmental interferences.

Fiber optic or optical fiber cable is a type of communication cable made of flexible, transparent glass fibers known as optical fibers that transmit data in the form of light. There is another external protection layer that protects the fibers from interference. The fiber optics cable is classified into two main types;.

This cable allows only one mode of light to transmit. It is made of a very thin single strand of fiber that allows only single light wave to propagate. This decreases the number of light reflection which reduces the attenuation in signal. It provide high transmission rate at long distance with very low attenuation but at high cost. This type of fiber optic cable is made of relatively thicker fibers that allow more than one light waves so it can transmit relatively more data.

But the number of light reflections due to large number of waves at large distance causes attenuation and distort the signal at the receiving end. This is why it is used for relatively short distance transmission such as LAN, security system etc. It is a type of cable used for communication and power transmission. It is specifically designed to be buried directly underground without the need of extra insulation, sheathing or piping.

It is made of bundles of fiber optic cables with a thick metal core for stiffness. It has multiple layers of protection such as plastic insulation layer, waterproof layer as well as shock absorbing gel etc.

It is commonly used for residential electrical wiring. There are two types of NM sheathed cable based on number of conductors;. Two wires NM sheathed cable : This type of cables has two separately insulated conductors with a bare conductor for ground connection that makes a total of 3 conductors.

It means this cable contains 2 wires plus a grounding wire. Three wires NM sheathed cable : this type of cable contains 3 insulated wires with a bare grounding wire. It is used for three phase application this is why the individual conductor is marked with different phase color for identification. The NM wires are available in solid as well as stranded form. The solid conductor provides better connection at terminals but it is difficult to route through pipe or conduits. While the stranded conductors are more flexible and easier to route through conduits.

They are used for wiring inside wall and floors but not to be used in wet places such as external wiring. Metallic sheathed cable, as the name suggest is a type of armored electrical cable with a metallic protection over the insulated conductors. The conductors are separately insulated with plastic layer which is surrounded by a metallic sheath for extra protection.

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Electrical wiring is an electrical installation of cabling and associated devices such as switches, distribution boards, sockets, and light fittings in a structure. Wiring is subject to safety standards for design and installation. Allowable wire and cable types and sizes are specified according to the circuit operating voltage and electric current capability, with further restrictions on the environmental conditions, such as ambient temperature range, moisture levels, and exposure to sunlight and chemicals. Associated circuit protection, control and distribution devices within a building's wiring system are subject to voltage, current and functional specification. Wiring safety codes vary by locality, country or region. The International Electrotechnical Commission IEC is attempting to harmonise wiring standards amongst member countries, but significant variations in design and installation requirements still exist. Wiring installation codes and regulations are intended to protect people and property from electrical shock and fire hazards.


Electrical cable and wires are considered as a same thing. In fact they are quite different. A wire is made of a single electrical conductor while a cable is a group or bundle of multiple wires inside a common sheathing.

Electrical wiring

These wires are either made of solid or stranded.

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