Electrical cabling, and its associated jargon, can make for a confusing or overwhelming experience. Yet making a mistake when dealing with electrical cabling and its accessories, could stop you wiring project dead in its tracts, or even prove fatal.
Here we take a look at the most important electrical cabling terms you need to know, whether you are wiring yourself or talking to an electrician.
Electrical Cabling Terms
- Cable Conduit – This term is used to describe various methods of cable wire protection. It can be rigid or solid and be made from metal, fibre, fired clay or plastic. An example would be PVC (polyvinyl chloride) sheathed wire and with its availability offered in a wide range of colours, it makes a practical choice for more complex lighting or power needs.
- Glands – Glands come in internal and external variations and are typically for use with SWA (steel wired armoured) or SY (steel braided) cables, where the armour or braid needs to be clamped. Made from high quality brass and with some varieties suitable for external use, be careful to note that others are recommended for internal use only.Your electric cable supplier will have glands with a few certifications to be aware of. IP54 certification indicates that the gland can protect the electrical cable from light water spray with some level of particle resistance. IP66 certification indicates that the gland will give total protection against strong water jets and particle ingress. With this certification, the glands can even be used in locations such as on a ship’s deck.You will also find nylon glands on the market, designed for use with unarmoured PVC or rubber cables.
- Cleats – Cleats provide a simple solution for securing nylon cable, often with a wraparound form that is reliable and strong. Look out for UV resistance, which makes cleats suitable for outdoor use.
- Armoured Cable – Galvanised steel wire armour provides protection against mechanical damage. Armour can be used internally, externally or in situations where the cable will be buried.
- Tri-rated Cable – This type of cable, also referred to as Panel Wire, can handle high temperatures and is flame retardant cable. Tri-rated cable is used within controllers, switchgear, motor starters and induction loops, as well as in relay and instrumentation panels.
So, now you have an understanding of some of the first, and most used, electrical cabling terms.