Whether you’re a homeowner, DIYer or professional electrician, knowing the different types of electrical wiring is essential. It can help you choose the right wire for your project and ensure it’s installed safely.
Wires are a type of conductor that carries electricity, usually made from copper or aluminum. They can be solid or stranded, depending on your needs.
There are a few different types of electrical wiring available to electricians, and knowing what they are can help you make more informed decisions when working on your next job. Among the most popular is Type MC, also known as metal-clad cable. This is a highly versatile type of wiring that can be used for a variety of applications.
Unlike traditional wires and conduit, MC does not require any special support in order to be run safely. Instead, it is supported every few feet by a variety of staples, cables ties, or straps. This makes it easier to install and allows for quick terminations.
The most important feature of MC cable is that it is designed to resist abrasion and impact. This helps to protect both the insulation and conductors from damage or wear. It is also able to withstand some environmental factors, such as water and sunlight.
It is also resistant to fire, preventing damage to internal conductors and providing some protection from abrasion. It is a good option for residential and commercial projects as well as industrial settings.
A rotary cutter is the best way to cut MC armor without damaging the wires. This tool is easy to use and a great way to save time on a job.
Another advantage to using MC is that it can be run indoors without the need for a conduit. This can be especially useful for large series arrays such as grid tie systems, where it is easier to connect multiple panels in a row than it would be to run them in a separate conduit.
It can also be used for outdoor applications where a lot of movement may be required, such as on bridges and other structures. It is also able to handle temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius in dry conditions.
MC cable comes in many different varieties, with various conductor sizes. These vary based on the voltage that is needed to be ran. Usually, MC cable has at least two conductors, with one of them being a neutral conductor.
Some versions of MC also have a full-size ground wire that is insulated from the outer sheath. This provides a reliable return path for fault current and allows the overcurrent device to protect equipment.
The MC cable conductors are also rated for a higher maximum voltage than conventional wiring. They are able to handle up to 600 volts in some cases.
This means that it is often the preferred wiring option for larger power modules. It is also used in a variety of industrial settings and other situations where the need for heavy duty wiring is necessary.
Typical MC cable can be found in many different colors, including white, black, yellow and red. Typically, the conductors are stranded or solid copper. The armor sheathing is usually made of aluminum and can be protected by a polyester or paper wrap.
This type of wire is often used in commercial or industrial settings and is always being improved. It can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications and is a very durable wire that will hold up to abrasions and impact.