Electrical wiring is used in practically all kinds of settings with all kinds of requirements. The truth is that a wire that is perfect for one application may not be the best choice for another application. But because they are in a wide range, you will always be in a position to select the best for the wiring project you have and any specific requirements there could be. Here are some of the factors that affect your selection.
Labeling – If you are keen enough, you will find that electrical wires have letters on them. These usually represent insulation types. For instance one labeled H means that it is heat resistant whereas one labeled HH means that is highly heat resistant. T could indicate thermoplastic insulation, N for nylon coating that is resistant to gas and oil damage and W could indicate that the wire is suitable for wet conditions. They could come with multiple letters to indicate the different properties. If you are not too sure about the kind you are about to buy, get professional help or make enquiries and go through reviews to find out the specifications.
Wattage load, ampacity and gauge – They are very important considerations to help you get the correct wire for the correct application. Wattage load indicates how much wattage it can accommodate, ampacity stands for the amount of electricity that can flow through the wire and the gauge is simply the size of the wire. These aspects are mentioned on appliances, making it easier for you to know which wires to go for. You can of course get assistance from an electrical technician if you are not too sure about the interpretations to help you find the most suitable one.
Size – Every application will come with a certain size that is suitable for installation. Wire gauge is what determines the size with the most common wires being sizes 10, 12 and 14; the higher the number the smaller the wire size. The size of your wire is important because it can affect the amount of power it can accommodate.
Color codes – When it comes to electrical wires, different colors serve different purposes. Black ones are commonly used for outlets and switches whereas red wires may be ideal for switch legs. Bare copper and green wires are for grounding whereas whites are always neutral. Some are best for all kinds of internal wiring, especially in appliances; your application should help you choose the correct color code.
Wire type – Electrical wires come in different types including triplex, panel feed, main feeder, single strand and nonmetallic sheathed wires. Your application again will determine which wire type is most suitable. When buying your wires, you can always get a professional help you with the selection and probably even with the installation of whatever you are working on. Wrong wire use could have serious consequences and they are what you should be trying to avoid.