4 Things to Know Before You Buy Electric Wire Cable

Published By Greg Anixter, 2 Nov 2017

4 Things to Know Before You Buy Electric Wire Cable

If you’re looking to buy Electric Wire Cable for your project, there are some important facts you need to know before you buy. Far too often, intrepid handymen and women go to make a purchase of cable online only to realize after the order has shipped that there was an incorrect measurement or incorrect calculation. This sort of error is incredibly easy to make, and even professional electricians have made the mistake of ordering the wrong type of electric wire cable and have had to foot the bill associated with correcting it. Thankfully, we’ve put together a handy list of things to keep in mind before you buy any wires or cables online.

1. Length
While most people are very judicious about measuring the distance that they will have to lay electric wire cable, a common mistake can easily slip through the cracks if you are not careful. Make sure that when you measure the distance your cable will have to run that you make considerations for the flexibility of the cable. This consideration is especially important if your project will utilize marine-grade wire or heat-resistant cable, both of which are particularly inflexible.

It is easy to assume accidentally that your cable will be able to bend easily, but there is nothing more frustrating than placing an order, climbing up or crawling down to where you’re laying the cable, and then discovering that the cable can’t bend how you’d planned. Always err on the side of extra cable length unless you have incredibly restrictive special limitations.

2. Gauge
The gauge your electric wire cable will need to be is going to come down to a determination of the strength that the current cables will carry. The stronger the current, the lower the gauge or thicker the wire you will need. If you’re not sure of the current you’ll be running, consult an electrician or engineer before buying. Purchasing the wrong gauge cable can not only endanger your system of failure but can also pose a fire risk.

3. Insulation
As mentioned above, there are situations in which the environment of your electrical system will necessitate tougher insulation types. Marine environments, workshops, and plenum space in buildings, for example, all require the use of different types of non-standard insulation on cables in order to ensure the system works properly and does not endanger those around it.

Make sure that when you are planning your purchases, you consider all possible hazards that could come into contact with the cable and electrical system. Oils, moisture, acidity, and even certain types of cleaning agents can all pose unique risks to electrical systems in the area. Not all hazards are immediately obvious, so it’s important to double check and purchase cable accordingly. When in doubt, purchase cable with better insulation. While you can replace less-insulated cable with more-insulated cable, you cannot do the opposite, so always err on the side of safety.

4. Coloration
Some projects are inevitably going to involve the use of more than one cable. In this circumstance, it’s more important than you might immediately think to ensure that you can tell one cable from another. For this, color-coding is very important. Everyone is familiar with the old Hollywood trope in which an increasingly nervous layman has to choose between a red wire or a blue wire to save the day. Though clearly used for dramatic effect in Hollywood movies, there is a grain of truth buried inside. Getting cables mixed up while working on a project can be inconvenient and even dangerous. If you need more than one cable, buy different colors so you can keep their purposes organized.

Are you ready to buy? Come talk to one of our professionals online at www.ewcswire.com!

For more information about Fire Alarm Cable and Battery Cable Wire Please visit : Electric Wire & Cable Specialists (EWCS).