WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Romex® Wire- The Standard Wire for Homes

Romex® wire has become really famous due to its time saving quality. It runs behind walls and connects appliances to their respective switches. This cable comes in a variety of sizes depending upon the amount of power required for a particular appliance.

Romex® 12/2 and Romex® 14/2 are two most popular sizes for homes. Though this wire is very popular in home wiring system, it cannot be taken outside, as the moisture will eat through its cladding and insulation.

Though Romex® wire is meant for indoor use, sometimes you need to take a part outside as well. In such a case, it’s better that you use UFB cable. It is an underground wire, which does not require conduit. This cable can easily be used outside, and underground too.

If you do not have any electrical experience, make sure you leave the electrical work to the experts. There’s no need to work on it if you don’t know anything about electricity. This kind of work is dangerous and can pose a danger to your life. If you have decided to do it on your own, make sure you turn off the power supply and wear rubber gloves.

If you want to connect small power sources to big power sources inside your home, then Romex® 8/3 and Romex® 6/3 cables can be used. But then again, there is the same problem- Romex® NMB Cables cannot be taken outside. If your electrical wiring must go outdoors, you should use UFB cable. The expense isn’t that much higher.

In case you want to do electrical fitting for your garage or barn, then a small UFB cable would be sufficient. You can go for UFB 6/3 or smaller if you want. But make sure you do not use Romex® wire for your garage, because this wire will wear out fast and lose its insulation really soon.

These are just some standard sizes. The ideal cable size would depend upon your house and application area. It is better to talk to an electrician and determine the cable that would best suit your needs.

Cut, Strip and Install Romex® NM-B Cable

Romex® cable is manufactured by a company called Southwire, which is currently the largest copper wire manufacturer in the USA. The name Romex® is usually followed by NM or NM-B which stands for “Non Metallic” and “Non Metallic with ground”.

Take a look at this video to see the correct way to cut and strip the Romex® jacket off and install it in a standard electrical box. The video shows a few different situations that a contractor will see on everyday jobs. There are metal and plastic boxes that have different ways of making the connections with the electrical wire.

Even though there is a white and yellow cable sitting on his bench they are still both Romex® NM-B cables. The white has 14 awg wires and the yellow has 12 awg wires. The Romex 12/2 with ground is used for installations using higher amounts of current.

Be very careful when cutting the jacket off to prevent injuries. It sounds repetitive but accidents happen and cutting yourself with a sharp blade that’s meant to cut a pvc jacket will ruin your day. Watch the video closely to make sure you always cut the cable correctly.

Learn More about the Common Electrical Wire

Electrical wiring work can be risky. If you need to do some work related to electrical wire, then you must have experience and knowledge about how electrical things work. When it comes to working with electricity, you cannot work on the trial and error procedure. Electrical mistakes are deadly and can even cause loss of life. This is why, when you work with electrical wire, you must be clear about certain things. There are a few situations to help you with your electrical problems.

First of all, let us talk about wiring a switch.

Using a home switch is very easy, but wiring may take a bit of knowledge. If you are going to wire an on-off switch, then it is a very simple task. There are three types of wires in a switch- green, white and black. Divide the black wire in 2 parts, and connect each part on terminal screw- on top and bottom. Connect the white wire with the light colored terminal and the green wire to the ground screw. Once this is done, your switch will be ready to work without any problems. In case you think that you cannot do this properly, it is better that you take help from an experienced person.

Let us now discuss how to wire a fan, specifically- a ceiling fan.

Wiring a ceiling fan is not very difficult, but if you do not have any electrical experience, it would be better if you call an expert. You may use a single switch to operate the ceiling fan for the sake of simplicity. Simply connect the black wire of the switch to the black wire of the fan. In case you want to wire a light as well, then you can connect the black wire of the switch to the blue wire, as well as the black fan wire.

Using a common electrical wire is very easy if you have the proper knowledge and tools. When you work with electricity, make sure you switch off the main power, and keep yourself insulated by wearing rubber gloves. Never work with electricity if your hands are wet.