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Top 3 Safety Tips for Welding Wire and Other Materials

Anyone familiar with welding knows that welding accidents aren’t pretty and should be avoided at all costs. As the practice of using heat and flux to fuse together two pieces of metal, welding is a dangerous activity, even for seasoned pros. MIG welding in particular is susceptible to accidental injuries and damage around the workplace. But how can you prevent accidents from happening? That is what we’ll be discussing in this article.

  • Protect Yourself

Welding produces sparks and high intensities of both light and heat. One of the first lessons that every welder learns is that they should wear a full face mask when using an arc welder in order to prevent the corneas of their eyes from getting damaged.

With MIG welding, however, there is an additional danger to the welder that needs to be addressed. MIG welding produces light that contains strong UV rays. These rays can burn and blister the skin unless the welder wears gloves and covers as much of their body as possible with clothing. This precaution also helps prevent burns from flying molten metals that are produced during welding wire together.

  • Protect Your Work Area

It’s important to fireproof an area as much as possible when MIG welding. Keeping the area free of plastic, paper, sawdust, and other highly flammable workshop materials is essential to the safety of all workers and welders that are using the space. Additionally, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby is always a smart move while welding.

  • Protect Others

When it comes to MIG welding, it’s important to focus on the safety of everyone involved. Welding wire gives off ozone and some alloys can even release fumes that lead to severe metal poisoning. Whether you’re working alone or with others, it’s essential to have a well-ventilated space in order to work.

Even though these tips might seem fairly obvious, it’s easy to overlook simple things because of impatience. Always make sure that someone who is familiar with the process is there and that the project is thoroughly planned out before welding in order to avoid common safety hazards.


Three Types of Electrical Wire: THHN, UFB, and Romex Wire Revealed

There are many types of electrical wire available for consumers, however, it’s easy to get confused by the different types. The most common types of electrical wire are THHN, Romex, and UFB wire. However, in order to understand which electrical wire will do the best job for a specific project, it’s best to know the capabilities of each kind of wire.

  • THHN Wire

THHN wire is covered with a PVC jacket and nylon coating. This wire is a bare one conductor copper wire and is often used indoors or in conduit. The most popular sizes for THHN wire are 12 and 4/0, though other sizes are available for nonstandard projects. The PVC jacket is one of the cheapest forms of insulation for this type of wire and the nylon coating provides waterproofing and slight lubrication for placing in a conduit. Because of the ‘bare essential’ nature of this wire however, it isn’t recommended for outside use.

  • Romex Wire

Romex wire is made out of two or three THHN wires combined with a grounding bare copper wire. Like the THHN wires, Romex wire can’t be used outside because of its minimal PVC jacket protection. However, these wires come in larger sizes than the thinner THHN wires; 14/2 and 6/3 are used widely as electrical wire, despite the fact that it can’t be used in conduit at all. The primary use for this type of wire is to run more than one conductor at a time through a separate grounding wire.

  • UFB Wire

UFB wire is one of the most popular and versatile brands of wire available, though it’s also the most expensive. It can be used in conduit, outdoors, underground, you name it. Because it deals with tougher terrains than THHN or Romex, UFB wire comes in larger sizes, most commonly 6/3 and 8/3 and is often called ‘underground cable’.

The more jobs that an electrical wire does, the more expensive it is. It’s important to know what the different electrical wires do before committing. Frequently, that added expense can save a lot of costly replacements and time-consuming repairs.


Power Cable Accessories: 3 Things to Know Before You Buy

Power cable accessories are important tools that help to distribute power among devices in a safe and effective manner. However, because of the wide variety of these accessories, it can often be confusing to know which one is the one you need. When purchasing accessories, consider these three things, quality, location, and specifications.


  • Quality- Getting The Right Accessory

Each company that develops power cable accessories have their own strengths and weaknesses. This means that, despite having two similar products, one brand might be more suitable than another for a certain project. An easy way to determine what type of accessory you need is to find out which accessories are meant to be used in certain environments and what the different amounts of electrical current they carry. From there, a sales associate can assist you in fine-tuning your search more effectively and let you know which brand is the best for your needs.

  • Location- Where Will It Be Used?

So many people overlook location when they’re deciding on what type of power accessory to get. This is a major mistake! Location is one of the most important questions to ask yourself about before you purchase because everything else depends on it. For example, outdoor use cables will be more flexible and made from hardy materials that can withstand wear and tear from outside environs and situations.

  • Specifications- Wattage Rating And Other Concerns

All electrical cables and cords have small metal wires that are meant to conduct electrical currents. The thickness of the wire will let you know how much current, or wattage, a certain wire can carry. The wattage rating is the amount of wattage that a wire can safely handle. It’s recommended that you know this important number before you use power accessories, particularly if you’re powering multiple devices from one source.

Most of the information that you’ll need can be found on the labels and product specs of a particular accessory. However, if you’re uncertain or don’t understand, it’s always a good idea to ask for help from someone who is knowledgeable about the various products.


Insulation Matters: The Differences between 4 Common Hook Up Wires

PVC hook up wire requires different levels of insulation in order to fully protect itself from corrosion. Corrosion can occur from a number of outside elements, from the environment that the wire is in to temperatures and accidents. In this article, four different types of wires and insulation will be discussed namely, UL1007, UL1061, UL1015, PTFE Teflon wire.

  • UL1007 Wire

UL1007 is meant to be used for projects that require 300 volts. It has .016” insulation thickness and has been certified by Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, for temperature and voltage reliability. However, despite being certified by UL, the high voltage of this form of wire usually requires third party approval for use by commercial properties.

  • UL1061 Wire

The UL1061 is very similar to the UL1007 because it has the same amount of voltage at 300 volts. However, the primary difference between these two is that the UL1061 has .009” insulation thickness. Its slimness makes this hook up wire ideal for work that requires the same kind of punch as the UL1007 while needing a smaller outer diameter.

  • UL1015 Wire

UL1015 wire has double the amount of voltage as the UL1007 and 1061. Thanks to its 600 volts, it also requires a lot more insulation to keep it protected. Because of this, UL1015 requires .032” of insulation, almost triple that of the UL1061! Like many types of wire, UL1015 can handle temperatures up to 105 degrees Celsius.

  • PTFE Teflon Wire

PTFE Teflon wire is high-grade wire that can withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius- almost double of what the UL wires can. Because of the high temperatures that this wire is often submitted to, PTFE uses silver plated copper strands instead of tinned copper. Also, PTFE has a nonstick surface which protects the wires from water, oil, solvents, and even gasses.

There are many different kinds of wire available and each one has its own specifications, insulation, and capabilities. Having the right information is crucial and so it’s always recommended to talk to a sales associate who is knowledgeable about the different kinds of wires before buying.


Finding the Right Electrical Cable for Nearly Any Project

Electrical cables come in a variety of forms, all of which have their own unique uses and capabilities. But what kind of cable is ideal for each job? When choosing the ideal cable for a particular project, there are endless possibilities! In this article, however, there are three different types of cable that are going to be explored: low-voltage, optical fiber, and coaxial cables.

  • Low-Voltage Cable

Low voltage cables are usually created from plain flexible copper conductors that are bunched together. These cables are insulated and colored so they’re safe to use and easy to identify. The copper core wires are twisted together and then covered with a flexible form of high grade PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. These cables are used for a variety of products, from everyday appliances to small industrial machines.

  • Optical Fiber Cable

Optical fiber cables are great for electronic devices that need to carry and transport data. These cables are fairly common and are used in households and data centers around the world. Televisions, internet, and other complex electrical equipment use these wires and most people are already familiar with how they work. Optical fiber cables are also some of the most reliable forms of cable, thanks to their flexibility and efficiency.

  • Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is another commonly used electrical cable. This cable has an inner conductor which is surrounded by insulation. It connects with other devices used a tube-like conducting shield. The coaxial cable gets its name because both conductors run parallel to each other on the same axis. Many households and commercial businesses use this form of cable, however, its most common usage is to connect a TV to an antennae.

Understanding what each type of cable does best is a great way to decrease the uncertainty of an electrical project, particularly if you’re doing it yourself. Also remember that electrical accessories are available which can make a potentially frustrating project even easier. If you’re uncertain about what type of cable or accessory is needed for your project, it’s best to ask a trusted and reputable expert to assist you.


Compare and Contrast: 6 AWG Welding Cable and THHN Electrical Wire

Many people get confused about the differences between THHN electrical wire and 6 AWG welding cable. Although these two products are created out of similar products, copper wire and insulation, there are very important differences concerning usage, flexibility, and durability.


  • Usage

THHN wire is typically snaked through interior walls and is never used outside. It’s one of the most common wires of its type and is often used quickly and effectively by contractors for permanent electrical work. 6 AWG is much more versatile, however. This form of cable is usually hooked up to a welding machine or a portable power cable. Cable like 6 AWG can be used inside or outside and is often used for projects where versatility is valued and the environment is difficult for normal kinds of cable.

  • Flexibility

Two factors affect wire and cable flexibility, namely insulation and copper strands. THHN wire has tightly bunched copper strands that give it a rigid and inflexible quality. Adding to this effect is a nylon coating which helps to prevent outside environs, like gasses and liquids, from corroding the wire as well as thick insulation to keep the wire protected.

6 AWG welding cable is made with thinner copper strands and rubber insulation. The rubber not only protects the cable from harsh environments, but also lends a flexible and bouncy quality to the cable. One of the main reasons that this type of cable has this quality is not only because of the many places 6 AWG is used but also because welders have to coil and uncoil the same roll of cable multiple times throughout a project.

  • Durability

THHN cable is highly durable for what’s it’s used for. This type of wire is meant to only be installed once and the same traits that make this wire inflexible is also one of the reasons it’s the most durable type of wire in its class. However, when looking at overall durability, the ability of 6 AWG cable to withstand a variety of environmental conditions and possible damage makes it the most durable cable between the two.

3 Things to Know When Buying Electrical Wire

There are several different aspects to consider when faced with an electrical project. However, most people tend to overlook one of the main concerns while shopping for their equipment; namely, the wires.


Know Your Ampacity

Ampacity is the word used by the National Electric Safety Code to describe the maximum electrical current that a conductor will allow. When an electrical wire goes over its ampacity, it causes either progressive or immediate damage and can cause serious problems like a fire. Generally, ampacity ranges from 10 amps, as with a low-voltage light, to 200 amps, which powers service doors at stores, and every variation between.


Get the Right Size

Electrical wires do a variety of things and it’s important to know which size is needed to handle the project. Size is generally determined by the wire gauge system, which correlates oppositely with ampacity. This is because the amount of ampacity that a wire will carry will grow but the size of the wire will shrink. For example, a service panel that has an ampacity of 100 amps will use a 2 gauge wire while an extension cord that uses 13 amps will have a 16 gauge wire.


Keep Wires Protected

In order to keep wires safe from damage and corrosion, it’s best to have them sheathed in some form of plastic. Non-Metallic Sheathed Cable, or NMS, are often considered ideal for indoor wiring because of their sturdy casing, and some outside wires are available as well. There are three different types of NMS wires available and each one has their own individual strengths. These types are known as NM, NMC, and UF.

  • NM- NM wire is commonly used indoors and is perfect for lighting and receptacle circuits.
  • NMC- NMC cables are ideal for damp areas inside of the home. This is because of the extra insulation that these wires are coated in.
  • UF- UF wire is meant to be used outside and underground. Although these wires are fairly hefty and insulated, it’s important not to use them above ground because the sunlight can destroy the strength of the sheathing.


Information and Facts on Power Cable

Power cable comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can look complicated to the layman. These cables can be single-conductor, multi-conductor, as well as industrial strength or for personal use. Each type of power cable has its own advantages, which make them suitable for certain types of applications.

A power cable is categorized in three classes, 1) high voltage (for applications requiring load greater than 40,000V), 2) medium voltage (for applications requiring load between 6000V and 36,000V) and 3) low voltage (for applications requiring load below 1000V). These cables are used for feeders and other heavy machinery, along with branch circuits in electrical utility, commercial and industrial applications.

Single-conductor power cable is used in various applications such as stage lighting, locomotives, DLO and for welding purposes. Each single-conductor cable, depending upon its use, has a different rating for amps, voltage, flexibility and insulation, each having a different price-level.  

There are many multi-conductor cables; extensions cords, Type G-GC, Type W, SOOW and portable cords, each encased a rubber jacket for insulation. These cables are safe and flexible and when additional flexibility is required, there is a multi-conductor cable available for this need. The SOOW multi-conductor cable is similar to the extension cord (before the plugs are attached) and is generally used to supply power generators and tools in industries.

The least-expensive power cable of this group is the welding cable. Welding cable has a rubber jacket and flexible copper fibers and is rated to 600V. DLO cable also has the rubber jacket, is rated to 2000V and has tinned copper fibers. The DLO can carry more power and therefore has a higher corresponding price.

Remember, when installing power cable, it is recommended that you consult with your electrician. And when it is time to purchase your cable, some helpful hints include knowing the operating temperature, amperage, voltage, outer diameter (cable diameter + insulation jacket). Please call WesBell at 800-334-8400 for all your cable needs.

Installing THHN cable in cold weather

When the weather is cold, you can have problems not just with your heating bills and skin, but also with your cables. For example, the THHN cable is easily vulnerable to deterioration due to cold weather.

THHN cable is Thermoplastic, High-Heat Resistance, Nylon-Coated, therefore the name- THHN. Though it is versatile cable and does not fall under any specific application category, it is mostly used under Hook-up wire class.


THHN cable comes in a variety of strengths. And since it is made from thermoplastic material, it is easy to heat and cool this wire many times to change its shape. But there is a limit to the number of times this wire can stand heating and cooling. It has its lower and higher temperature limits and if the temperature changes cross this range, this wire can become unstable. Temperature range depends upon manufacturers.

When the THHN cable comes with ‘High Heat’ rating, it means that this wire can be used in high temperature scenarios. These wires come with various specifications, which determine the specific applications where these can be used. For example, “Nylon coated” means that a certain thermoplastic material is used in this wire.

Coming to installation of the THHN cable in the cold weather, there are some simple guidelines that you should follow. Keep this cable indoors, and not in the outdoor harsh environment. Generally, a temperature of 65°F works well.

If keeping the cable indoors is not possible, bring it inside for at least 24 hours, before you install it.

If the outside temperature is below 14°F, then do not install the THHN cable.

While installing the cable, take care that it is not dropped on the floor, as these impacts can cause cracks in the stiff cable material.

Make sure you do not bend the cable too much, because it can cause the cold and stiff cable to break.

            Once you have installed it, this cable will work properly in environments with temperature higher than 14°F.

            All you need to Know about High Voltage Cable

            If you want to transfer large amount of electricity, then high voltage cables are your safest bet. There are various forms of these cables, and all are used for different purposes depending upon voltage of electricity and the machines for which these are used. Three types of cables are: high, medium, and low voltage cables. Out of these, high voltage cables are used when the voltage is above 1000 V. These cables are heavily insulated to prevent any risks or hazards.

            • AC power cables

            These cables are used to transfer up to 2000 V of electricity. The composition of these cables includes cross section of cable, polyethylene insulation, and conductive material like aluminum or copper. These cables are highly flexible and work well both in low as well as high temperatures. The cable layers are fused together to avoid air seeping in, as this can cause electrical discharge, thereby damaging the insulation.

            • HVDC cables

            These are specialized cables that are designed for high voltage direct currents, and thus are called HVDC cables. If you have seen a power line, then it would be easy to understand, as a power line is also an HVDC cable. These cables are helpful in carrying large loads of electricity over longer distances. After reaching the transformer, their electricity is converted to AC form. Thereon it runs with lower voltage, and is transferred to businesses and homes.

            • X-ray cables

            These cables are used to link other high voltage cables with X ray machines. These are also used to connect high voltage cables to other scientific equipment that require higher loads of electricity. These are highly flexible cables. They have a braided cover of copper wires, and are insulated with rubber. These are fused to high voltage cable to provide safety, and to reduce the hazards of electric shocks.

            All these cables are not for home use. These are used to connect high power sources to other devices or cables. If you want to buy these cables, make sure you go for the best quality, as bad cables can lead to dangerous situations.