Types of Wiring

What is Electrical Wiring?

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Electrical wiring is a cabling installation through which electrical power or energy is distributed to several devices (like fuses, switches, sockets, lights, fans, etc.) associated with electricity, in a structured manner for seamless power supply. When electrical wiring is done correctly in an area (say in a building), then the load control is better. The wiring conductors in that area/building can be used economically. Several types of wires are available in the market, and each has a different use. And before starting an electrical project involving electrical connections, an individual has to learn about the types of wires and the types of wiring connections for understanding, which best suits the structure. 


Electrical Wires

A single electrical conductor or a single channel that can carry electricity is called a wire. The conductor part of the wire is made up of copper or aluminum or copper-sheathed aluminum wrapped inside a non-conductive coating of plastic. Whereas the assembly of one or more of these wires in a different manner (side-by-side, bundled, etc.) for carrying an electric current is called a cable.


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It is essential to understand the types of wires and their characteristics regulated by the National Electrical Code (NEC) for various applications and installations. For choosing a correct composition, the following factors of electrical wires must be noticed, 

  • Size of the Wires - The wire size ranges are determined by the wire gauge. Some standard wire sizes are 10, 12, 14, 18, etc. And say for around 10Amps, 18-gauge of wire will be required. And for 100Amps, a 2-gauge wire will be required.

  • The lettering of the Wires - The insulation in wire types is represented by certain letters as per the instructions of NEC. The combinations like THHN, THWN, THW, and THHN are some popular types of wire insulations. And the letters stand for:

  1. H- Heat resistance.

  2. HH- High Heat resistance, which resists up to a temperature of 194 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. N- Nylon coating for resistance to damage.

  4. T- Thermoplastic insulation.

  5. W- Wet locations suitability.

  6. X- Flame resistant synthetic polymer coating.

  • Types of Wires - There are several essential types of wire that one must know for understanding their place of usage.

  1. Triplex wires

  2. Main feeder wires

  3. Panel feed wires

  4. Non-metallic sheathed wires

  5. Single strand wires

  • Electric Wires Color Code - The different colored wires have different uses. Each wire color represents a particular kind of property that wire has.

  1. The live wires through which current runs are red.

  2. White-colored wires are always neutral (neutral wires are also black).

  3. For earthing or grounding, green color wires are used. 

  4. For the outlets and switches, the hot wires are used, which are represented by black color.

  5. Blue and yellow color wires are hot wires that are used for appliances.


Solved Examples

1. What are the methods of electrical wiring system connections?

The typical house wiring types are the Joint box system, which is popularly known as the tree system of wiring, and the looping system type of wiring connection.

  • Tree System of Wiring - When in electrical wiring, the appliances are connected through joints, is called a joint box or the tree system of wiring. This system of electrical wiring connection consumes very less cable size, is cheap (the joint box price is a little costly), and is suitable for several temporary electrical installations.

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  • Looping or Loop-in System of Wiring - The most universally used wiring method is the loop-in or looping system. The name is such because the connection to a light or fan is made by carrying around the circuit, from one point to another in a series of loops until the last circuit is reached. House wiring types are mainly looping systems because they are cheap (as no joint boxes are required) and easy tracking of fault locations with points being only at the outlets.

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Fun Facts

  • The contributions of wire and cables are known to probably everyone on Earth who is using electricity.

  • We can say the presence of wires and cables is so well known that they hold the entire world together with their length. 

  • The scientists also have invented wire that is ten-thousand times thinner than a single strand of human hair (the wire is only one atom length tall and four atoms wide).

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Provide some Important Points Regarding Electrical Wiring in the House.

Answer: Some electrical wiring in house and related important points are:

  • The electricity from the company reaches the poles in every area through wirings, and then from poles to our house main. And there are three basic house wiring types that each outlet has points for, namely live wire, a neutral wire, and the ground wire.  

  • The wirings help electric current to reach every room of a house from the main panel. The switch circuit panel in each room helps the manual control of electricity flow to the appliances.

  • The main also has circuit breakers that on excess electricity reach when heats up, then disconnects or breaks the current flow and maintains the safety. Like this, MCBs are also present, for example, fuse, which maintains the safety of appliances.

2. How many Types of Wiring Systems are There?

Answer: There are five classified types of electrical wiring systems, and they are:

  • Cleat Wiring – Cleat wirings are not the domestic wiring types, and more like for temporary systems like for in a building under construction. 

  • Casing Wiring – These wiring were made of VIR cables with wooden casings. Casing wiring type had easy repair methods, but this type of wiring is outdated and obsolete now. 

  • Batten Wiring – Compared to other electrical wiring types, the batten wiring is cheap and can be waterproof, steam proof and chemical proof. 

  • Conduit Wiring – This wiring might be one of the most difficult and expensive types to install, but it is also very safe and long-lasting. 

  • Concealed Wiring – The concealed conduit wiring is also very laborious and expensive to install but is also risk-free and durable.