The terms Building Wire and Cable are generally used together. For the record, wire consists of one electrical conductor (either copper or aluminum) and cable consists of a group of wires (or conductors) under one overall jacket. Building wire and cables are used in the construction industry to carry enough electrical current to power everything in a building. Building wire and cable are sized and installed either in pipe or behind walls. Proper gauge sizes for the required amperage and current draw requirements needed for a circuit are critical and must be calculated properly. There are several categories including all types that are identified in the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
About Building Wire
Building Wire is a broad category that encompasses Copper, Aluminum, Armored, High Temperature, Utility, Medium Voltage, and High Voltage wires and cables. These wires aim to solve the issue of electrical power supply in a variety of environments. The Copper and Aluminum cables normally come with a THHN or XHHW rating. THHN stands for Thermoplastic, High Heat Resistant, Nylon Coated, and is rated for -10C to 90C in dry environments. XHHW stands for Cross-linked Polyethylene, High Heat Resistant, Water resistant, and is rated for -40C to 90C is dry climates as well as -40C to 75C in wet ones. The main difference between Copper and Aluminum is their ability to conduct and their weight. Aluminum has roughly 61 percent of the weight of conductivity of copper with the same gauge size, but only about 30 percent of the weight.
Armored Cable is a solution for protecting important power cables from damage. These may be main power supply cables or feeder cables for commercial, residential, or even multi-unit apartment complexes. They can be used for power, lighting, control, and signal circuits. There exists special types of Armored Cables designed specifically for hospital and healthcare environments designated Hospital Care Facilities or HCF cable. While the designation HCF is created for hospital environments it may also be used for gatherings, under raised floors, above suspended ceilings and in other environmental air handling spaces, or any environments that require AC with an isolated or redundant ground.
What wire size do I need?
Choosing the right conductor size for a given application can be a difficult task. The main factor in determining an efficient and safe wire size is ampacity, the amount of current the wire can carry. Another factor you should consider is voltage drop, or the amount of voltage reduced due to losses.
Who manufactures your wire products?
In order to provide the best pricing, we supply standard material from a number of respected manufacturers, including: Republic Wire, General Cable, Cerro, Encore and Southwire. While our stock varies on any given day, we ensure that all of our products are made according to strict industry standards.
What do you have in stock?
We are oftentimes asked if we have stock on many hard to find wire products. The answer is usually yes! Additionally, if we don’t have what you need in our stock we can source the material from our network of vendors.