WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

WesBell Electronics – Electrical Wire and Cable Products

WesBell Electronics has been in business for over 20 years servicing electrical contractors, OEM’s and many other companies using wire and cable products.

Our products list starts with electrical wire and cable including THHN wire, Romex, UFB Cable, Tray Cable and many types of copper and aluminum MC cables. Each of these electrical wire products have their own specifications to be used in certain environments and we, at WesBell, can help you figure out which is best for your application.

Next is hook up wire and PVC electronic cables for appliances and small electronics. These include different voltage levels, temperature ratings and strand counts for flexibility. Of course the pricing will be different for each depending on the difficulty to manufacture.

About 2 years ago WesBell became ISO 9001 complient to be sure we follow strict procedures to best satisfy our customers. We cut and strip hook up wire and manufacture cable assemblies to specification.

Power cable is usually known as portable cord or rubber cables. SOOW cable, Type W and welding cable are all examples of rubber cables with high flexibility. These power cables use very fine copper strands to increase the flexibility and soften the cable. The rubber jacket has more protection than PVC and also helps with the flexibility.

Heat shrink tubing has become another big item here at WesBell Electronics because it goes hand in hand with many electronics projects. The heat shrink tubing is used to cover connections that could get in contact with the wrong things. So a piece of shrink tubing is placed over the connection and shrunk down to adhere to the wire. There is also adhesive shrink tubing available that has an inner lining of glue to make it more permenant.

If you have any questions about electrical or electronic wire and cable please give us a call and we’ll help you with your project.

Toll Free – (800) 334-8400

Tray Cable is the Newest Electrical Wire Addition

The newest product addition to WesBell has been tray cable because of the amount of uses this type of electrical wire has. It’s universal in a sense because it can be used just about anywhere without an oversized jacket.

THHN / PVC Tray Cable is the standard type with THHN wires and a bare copper ground wire. Each wire is black with a number code of 1 through 4. The tough outer PVC jacket has the approvals for direct burial in the earth.

Another type of underground cable available in this field is UFB Cable. The difference with UFB wire is that it’s color coded and flat rather than round. It’s the common step up in smaller applications up to 6 awg from Romex and MC cable. Romex can be used indoors and MC cable can be used outdoors but not directly underground.

However, if you need a bigger gauge underground cable then tray cable sounds like a good fit for your application. It’s 600 volts type TC-ER tray cable and comes in copper conductors only.

There are many types of electrical wire types even though most of them come with copper conductors. Each insulation type is a step up from the next to offer a variety of pricing. Obviously and indoor only cable will be cheaper than one that can be buried directly in the ground because of the approvals and tests it needs to go through. So be sure to tell your sales person exactly what you’re using your electrical cable for in order to pay the lowest price possible.

Types of Hook Up Wire – PVC and PTFE High Temperature

Wouldn’t it be easy if you could just ask for some hook up wire and call it a day? Well there are voltage ratings, temperature ratings and insulation types that change the pricing of each type of hookup wire based on the application you have. If there was just one universal hook up wire you’d be over paying so that it has the approvals for every application.

The most basic would be a PVC hook up wire manufactured to 300 volts and a temperature of 105°C. It has a UL rating of 1007 which approves it for that temperature and voltage. The next step up would be the UL approved 1015 which has the same temperature rating with 600 volts of power. These two types of PVC insulated wire are used in small appliances and electronic devices. You’ll usually see them in a small wire harness connecting power from one spot to the next.

As an ISO 9001 company WesBell has the capabilities to manufacture these wire and cable harnesses to specification. We cut and strip to length or follow a detailed specification sheet to meet the requirements of all of our customers.

PTFE Wire is a high temperature wire of 200°C. It’s rated from 600 volts to 3000 volts and has silver-plated copper strands in flexible and non-flexible options. It has a UL rating of 1180 and you might also hear it referred to as Type E or Type EE high temperature wire.

Beware of the pricing in 2011 for PTFE wire for a few reasons. Copper is up, silver is up and PTFE compound is up! That’s 3 problems of Type E wire right now driving the price through the roof. Silver and copper are both high demand commodities right now which are up and a large portion of the cost of manufacturing this hook up wire. The third is a PTFE compound manufacturer in Japan that was shut down creating very high demand on this compound that makes the PTFE insulation. I recommend looking around and finding a good price because you’ll find that it’s going to be very different everywhere you look depending on when it was purchased by that company.

Lastly, THHN wire is NOT dog fence wire. This is a very common question we get about our THHN wire because it can be used outdoors and in conduit. However, dog fence wire goes directly into the ground and has a polypropelene insulation to protect accordingly. THHN wire has a PVC insulation with a nylon coating available for use outdoors and in conduit only. Will the wire be deemed ineffective immediately? No, of course not but it won’t last as long and isn’t approved to be in that application.

Be sure to ask your wire and cable sales person about the types of hook up wire and your application in order to fit you with the correct type of wire for the cheapest cost possible.

Current Copper Pricing Update

The price of copper as a commodity traded on the NYSE has a lot to do with the current costs of electrical wire and cable. So far this year copper has been fairly steady in the $4.40 – $4.85 per pound range keeping the wire and cable pricing somewhat steady as well.

If you keep an eye on the current copper price per pound then you can do a simple equation to check your current electrical wire pricing. This is not an exact formula but if you apply the same percentage increase or decrease to the cost of your wire then you’ll have a good idea of the current cost.

Customers sometimes call and request pricing on electrical wire they they plan on buying in a month or two. It’s great to plan ahead but we need to let you know that copper changes daily and that price will most likely be different by the time you call to place the order.

So we like to send our customers to our current copper pricing page on our website to keep them aware of whether their price will go up or down when it comes time to buy. Every 2 weeks we plug in the current price of copper so that you can adjust your quote without having to continuously call back for an updated price.

Impact on Electrical Wire Pricing

It’s not uncommon for contractors and businesses to call with a $10,000 to $15,000 order for wire and cable products. So a 10% increase or decrease in copper can be very significant to the job they’re bidding. Remember I said copper has been STEADY so far this year with a 10-12% fluctuation. That’s fairly calm for copper and any other commodity on the stock market, so when copper becomes unsteady you’ll have to keep an eye out every week to be sure your bid is still current. 

$12,000 + 10% = $13,200

Copper has been the new craze for thieves as they go from building to building cutting the electrical cables from the power supply in order to sell it to scrap yards. Keep a close eye on all of your wire and cable and don’t throw any of it away. Keep it in a scrap box and when it piles up bring it to the nearest scrap yard for some extra cash.

Why Romex© Can’t be Used Outdoors

Romex© is a type or electrical wire used indoors only for a few reasons. We get this question a lot since it has THHN THWN wires inside it that are allowed to be used outdoors.

Yes, THHN THWN wire can be used outdoors but not directly underground. Romex©, however has a bare copper ground wire inside the cable that is NOT fully protected by the PVC jacket covering all of the conductors. So when Romex© wire is used outdoors and gets wet with water, gas, oil or any type of solvent it could penetrate the jacket and ruin the connection by getting in contact with the bare copper ground wire.

What should you use instead?

MC cable can be used indoors and outdoors because the ground wire is an insulated THHN THWN wire as well. The common use for MC cable is indoors because it can be used without conduit for a much easier installation. However, even if the metal clad jacket doesn’t fully protect the THHN THWN wires they already have the approvals alone to withstand outdoor environments. Copper and Aluminum MC cable can also be used in conduit.

Why not just run THHN THWN wires individually?

You can. Depending on the current copper prices we’ll sometimes push our customers in that direction because the cost of all 4 electrical wires are cheaper than the cable. However, sometimes the cable is cheaper as well. There’s also the added labor involved in pushing each individual wire through conduit or tying all four together to push them through as a group.

We have a highly trained staff here at WesBell Electronics and are here to help you. We’ll give you the cheaper option before you ask and help you find the correct cable by the installation it’s going in. If you have questions please ask and we’ll gladly help you through the process and explain what we’re saying to help you understand.

Toll Free – (800) 334-8400