Electrical wires or cables are some of the most used electrical materials. Every time you want to install an electrical system or light up an area or install celebration lights and decorations, you will most likely need some wires and cables. This means a lot of things can go wrong in your house if you don't know how to select the right cables. Here are three questions you should always ask when buying cables; their answers will set you on the right path:
Where Are You Going To Use the Wire?
Weather elements such as moisture and temperature affect electrical cables. For example, high temperatures can degrade electrical insulation and increase the risk of electrical shock. This is why electrical cables are designed for specific environments; the design enables them to be used in such locations without damage.
This is why there are outdoor cables, indoor cables, cables that shouldn't be used in moist environments, and cables that shouldn't be used in freezing conditions, among others. Therefore, you need to know where you will be using the cable before making a purchase.
How Much Current with the Wire Carry?
Electrical cables are rated for the maximum current they can safely carry. Exceeding that maximum current can damage the wire, damage the appliance or fixture it services or even cause an electrical fire. Therefore, you should know how much current you want the wire to transport first. You don't want to arrive home with a 1 amp rated cable only to learn that the outdoor lamps you wanted it to power are rated over 2 amps.
How Far Do You Want the Current to Travel?
It is better to use a single interrupted electrical wire than to connect several shorter wires. The connections introduce an element of risk, for example, the risk of loose connections, which an interrupted cable doesn't. Therefore, get an accurate measurement of the required length so that you don't have to run to the store for more wire for the connection. Note that the cable shouldn't be exactly of the same length as the measured distance. You need some allowance because you will not draw the wire tightly and you will also need to fasten the cable at the electrical contacts.
Of course, you should only buy wires or cables if you can handle the installation or repair, and it is legal for you to do it. Otherwise, leave the work to a professional electrical contractor, like one from Dunedin Electric Co., Inc.