The Types of House Wiring to Know About During Maintenance Electrician TrainingSeptember 13, 2018
When most people think of electricians or anything associated with the profession, the first thought that sparks their mind is often electrical wiring. Generally made of either copper or aluminum, wires conduct electricity and carry it to different locations. Knowledge of different wire types is essential to an electrician’s job when performing everything from basic to advanced electrical projects.
Before entering the profession, it is crucial for future electricians to familiarize themselves with characteristics of different types of wires in order to effectively and adequately perform specific jobs. Here is some useful information for students to know before they start training.
Different Wires Have Different Sizes and Insulation
Not all the same wires are used for different installation jobs within homes. Some require wires of a different size, which in turn provide different amounts of power. When determining the size of the wire needed, electricians look at the wire gauge of the application. The gauge is responsible for the amount of power or current that a wire can supply. The most common wire sizes are 10, 12, and 14; the higher the wire number, the smaller in size the wire will be.
Different insulations are required for different areas in homes
As students undergo maintenance electrician training, they will learn different terminology and characteristics associated with the insulation of different types of wiring such as the lettering that is connected to certain wires. The following letters are used:
T- Thermoplastic Insulation
H – Heat resistance (HH means high heat resistance up to 194°F)
W – Water-resistant for use in wet locations
N – Nylon coating, which is oil and gas-resistant
X – Flame-resistant synthetic polymer
Using this system, wires are labeled with abbreviations such as THHN, THWN, THW, and XHHN, which outline the characteristics associated with each wire’s insulation.
Types of Wires You’ll Encounter When You Become a Maintenance Electrician
There are numerous wires that run through homes, each diverse from one another and each serving a different purpose. Here are a few wires that students should familiarize themselves with before they become a maintenance electrician.
One of the most common wirings used in a majority of homes is known as non-metallic sheathed wire, which consists of two or more single wires that are covered by a plastic sheath. The reasoning for its common use in households is its simplistic installation and the fact that it is relatively inexpensive. Some of these types of wires have a high tolerance to heat, which diminishes melting or other incendiary damages.
A similar kind of design is used in underground feeder (UF) cables as well, but with stronger thermoplastic instead of sheath for more durability and flexibility. These kinds of wires are used for any underground electrical systems, and are more resistant to damp conditions.
Another type of wire that professionals are sure to witness on the job is a coaxial cable. This is a metallic cable that is most notably used for televisions and video equipment in order to transmit signals. Its casing is made up of a metal sheath and a thin layer of plastic on the outside in order to better protect the cable from external damage.
Coaxial cables are commonly used for TVs
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