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Electrical Wire and Cable

Electrical wire comes in a wide array of sizes and types, each designed for its own unique purpose. The wire is generally insulated and made of copper. Proper electrical wire and cable installation is imperative, so in order to choose the right wire for your needs, it is important to understand the different types of wires and the applications of each.


Wire size is indicated by its gauge, with larger numbers representing smaller sizes or gauges of wire. The most common gauges are 10, 12 and 14. For the purposes of safety, you should stay at around 80 per cent of the max wattage that your gauge is capable of carrying. The same gauge numbers are used for both solid and stranded wires.


A wire's colour informs users what it can safely carry. White insulation is generally considered neutral, but it can also be used as a hot lead in some situations, while green insulation and bare copper carry ground wire. If there is any confusion between wire colouring, make sure to consult a professional electrician.

Solid vs. Stranded

Electrical wire comes in two forms: solid and stranded. Solid wire is a solid conductor, while stranded wire consists of multiple smaller wires that are twisted together to form a single conductor. Generally speaking, solid wire is cheaper, but not as effective in many applications. On the other hand, stranded wire is often preferred for its flexibility and ability to withstand stress fractures. When shopping, take wire quality into account, as not all wires are created equal. High-quality wire is indicated by an increased number of strands.


There are various types of electric wire, each of which has its own purpose. The most common type is a single-conductor stranded or solid wire, with a polyethylene insulation jacket. Other types include coaxial cable, twisted pair, jacketed cable, moulded cable, ribbon cable, enameled and wire wrap. When selecting the right wire type, make sure to consider wire application and the amount of current it needs to carry. No matter which type you choose, be sure to invest in crimp connectors, waterproof wire connectors and electrical terminals to both connect and terminate the wires you are working with.

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