A home electrical system primarily will consist of a conducting material such as aluminum and copper wiring that is covered in a protective plastic. There are three major wires that run through a home. There is the hot wire that is colored either red or black, a neutral wire that is white, and a ground wire that is green. In some older homes the ground wiring may be black as well. Peterkin Electric would like to go into more detail about the different types of wiring in a home and how they work together to bring your home the power it needs.
What are the Different Types of Electrical Wiring?
When installing wiring in a building, you have wiring and then there are cables. Cables are essentially a cluster of wires that are fed through a single plastic cable. However, inside the cable you can find a number of different wires. Here are the different types of wiring:
Non-Metallic Sheathed Cable: Non-metallic cables are one of the most common types of electrical wiring and or cabling used. The non-metallic cable consists of the hot, neutral, and ground wiring, and all fit in the plastic sheath. The outer sheath is color coded to label the different gauges and amps of each non-metallic cable.
• White – 14-Gauge Conductor and 15-amp Circuits
• Yellow – 12-Gauge Conductor and 20-amp Circuits
• Orange – 10-Gauge Conductor and 30-amp Circuits
• Black – 6 and 8 Gauge Wire and 55 to 40-amp Circuit
• Gray – Reserved for Ground Cable
Underground Feeder Wire: An underground feeder cable is essentially a non metallic cable containing the same wiring but is designed to be buried underground. An underground feeder cable is used for outdoors. Underground feeder cables are mostly used for landscape lighting, detached garages, and crossing power lines outdoors.
THHN/THWN Wire: A THHN/THWN defines the cables thermoplastic and fire resistance tolerance. Both of these cables are often used in homes as they are fire resistant, some up to 194 degrees. In most cases these cables are hidden within the walls. However when they are on the outside they are fitted inside flex plastic cable or metal tube know as conduits.
Metal Clad: A metal clad cable is when the same electrical wiring runs through the cable. However, this cable has a metal cover that helps protect the wiring. Metal Clad cables are used in high risk areas or areas more prone to damaging the wiring.
Low-Voltage: Low-voltage wiring is between 22 to 12 gauge thickness and is insulated with a thin cable sheathing. Often low-voltage wiring will have the combination cables twisted in pairs of wires that is used for small electrical components. Low-voltage is often used on doorbells, sprinkler systems or speakers.
Phone and Data: Other wiring you will see in a home is a phone or data wiring. Even though these lines tend to be very small it can contain four to eight wires inside the cable. Phone and data wiring is obviously used for phone lines, fax machines, and other similar devices.