WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog



Posts tagged: copper wire

Happy 25th Anniversary WesBell Electronics!

25 Year AnniversaryAs of today, March 8, 2013, WesBell Electronics has been in business under the same owner, Kenneth Bell, for 25 straight years. According to http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/ 25% of businesses fail during the first year, 36% fail by year 2 and over 71% of businesses have failed by year 10. So, how does a company such as WesBell Electronics last 25 years in such a competitive electrical wire and cable industry?

Good old fashioned customer service is the foundation of any lasting company. We have a 99.8% positive feedback rating with eBay since 2001 and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Our customer service doesn’t stop after we take the order, it continues until the customer receives the material. We follow up, with an actual phone call, to make sure the customer was satisfied with the entire process of their order.

On the other side of the spectrum, a lasting company needs to also have good relationships with their vendors, suppliers or manufacturers. By creating a good relationship, a vendor will provide top customer service to your company when it really counts. We make sure to keep a “low risk” rating with Dun & Bradstreet to ensure our vendors that our invoices will be paid. Dun & Bradstreet is the business world’s credit score and WesBell has an exceptional score. Therefore, our vendors trust us and have no problem handling out-of-the-ordinary requests in a timely fashion.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400
Celebrating 25 Years in Business!

Copper Strands in Electrical Wire

Copper is the best conductor of electricity and the most widely used commodity in electrical wire and cable. Different sizes of copper are twisted together to create varying flexibility in gauge sizes used across the industry.

Bare copper ground wire doesn’t have any insulation covering the copper and it’s normally one solid strand. A 30 awg copper strand is more flexible than a 2 awg copper strand because of the size. The bigger it is the less flexible it can be, similar to thin a metal rod being easier to bend than a think rod. Therefore, when discussing the flexibility of a wire or cable the size of the copper strands play a big part.

THHN electrical wire comes in the option of solid or stranded copper depending on the amount of flexibility you need for your application. One might need it to be flexible so that it can bend around corners while another might need it less flexible to push it through conduit easier. The PVC insulation and nylon coating also limit the amount of flexibilty of THHN building wire.

Welding cable is known to be much more flexible in the industry for two reasons. The first is the 30 awg copper strands compared to THHN’s 19 strands that get larger as the wire gets larger. The next is the rubber insulation which is much more flexible, and expensive, than PVC. With a rubber jacket there will be almost zero chances of it cracking or splitting during installation unlike THHN wire.

Talk to us about your needs so that we can help you find the correct product at the right price for you. You may think you need welding cable but after discussing your situation with us we might find that you can use something less expensive without compromising the application. We’re an ISO 9001 certified company that not only wants to, but needs to continuously improve in order to keep our certification.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Our Electrical Wire and Cable Website is Growing!

At WesBell Electronics we’re very excited to see the growth of our website in the tough 2011 economy. Our website offers electrical wire and cable for sale online and many more products that we offer that need to be ordered over the phone. It’s hard to keep updated pricing on copper wire because it changes every day. So we only keep our popular items available to buy as we work on procedures to get more items listed.

As more and more people visit our website we’re starting to see trends and percentages that are helping us move forward. If we get 1000 visitors we’ll see a certain amount of phone calls, orders placed online and orders placed over the phone. Based on that data, if visits increase 10 times then everything else should follow accordingly. That way we can put a budget on how much to spend to get our website to the next level.

Not only do we want to increase the visitors to our website, but we also want to increase the conversion rate to an order. So we started to offer free shipping on orders over $250 and exact cut lengths for electrical contractors and home owners who have no need for a 500 foot spool of copper wire. Like most sales people, we don’t like to say the word “no” to anyone that calls and needs a somthing specific so work as hard as we can to avoid it.

Our web design team has been working hard on the layout of our website to make it much easier to navigate for those who have a tough time using the internet and computers in general. We use the keywords that we promote so that it’s easy, once you arrive, to find what you’re looking for.

We have many pages on our website that reference welding cable and strongly promote it throughout the search engines. That puts us near the top of a search when someone types in the phrase “Welding Cable”. We aren’t going to change the term welding cable to the manufactures part number once you get to our website because we know it would be difficult for you to find.  

We appreciate any feedback you might have on our website or our products because we’ll use that information to figure out how to make your experience better. As an ISO 9001 certified company we must follow strict procedures to comply with the their standards. It assures our customers that we handle things the right way and take the neccessary steps to fix something that might go wrong. Not only do we want to avoid a similar mistake, but need to take action in order to be compliant with the ISO standards.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Cable Scam – Theives Out For Easy Money

Copper has become a hot commodity on the market because it’s easy to steal and it can turn into cash quicker than almost anything else out there right now. When someone robs a jewelery store they need to figure out how to turn the stolen jewelery into cash and a pawn shop comes to mind as the easiest and fastest way to do that. Copper, on the other hand, is much easier to deal with if you happen to be a thief for a living.

After breaking into a home to stealing the copper pipes and wiring you can bring it straight to a metal scrap yard to receive fresh green cash for the amount of pounds you have without having to prove that it’s even yours to begin with. They’ll weigh the amount you have and offer you an amount of money for it. After they buy it from you they’ll peal off any insulation and melt down the copper to sell it back to manufacturers of copper materials.

With that small amount of crook knowledge you’ll understand this scam slightly better. People are placing orders online with a fake credit card to get their hands on some copper wire or copper piping before the credit card company figures out that it’s fake. If the copper wire gets to their location before the credit card company picks up on it then it’s too late. The copper will be at the scrap yard the same day.

A few simple triggers that this could be happening to you are that the “ship to” address is different than the credit card billing address. That doesn’t mean it’s a scam but it’s a sign to look into it a little bit more. The second thing you can do is talk to the credit card company to see if there’s been any irregular activity on this particular card and have them contact the card owner to be sure it’s not a scam.

The hard thing about it is the fact that a new customer is calling to place a large order which will get any sales person happy enough to probably over look such a scam. Just be sure to always have it in the back of your mind because it’s definitely happening to people like you and me.

Please call if you have any questions about copper wire and cable.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400 

Indoor Outdoor and Underground Copper Electrical Wire

Electrical wire comes with all different types of insulation, but they all have the common denominator of copper or aluminum stranding. The insulation changes the expense of the wire or cable based on the environment you need to place it in.

Indoor Wire and Cable

THHN wire is the most common type of single conductor electrical wire. It’s manufactured with a dual rating of THHN and THWN so that it’s all water resistant. It can be used indoors and in conduit only.

Using your copper wire and cable indoors requires the least amount of protection on the insulation because there isn’t much that can hurt it. There isn’t any moisture, oil or solvents effecting the life of the insulation so it can be made for less money. Romex cable is the most common type of indoor electrical wire which uses THHN wire conductors.

Outdoor Wire and Cable

THHN is still the single conductor wire used outdoors and in conduit because the THWN rating can resist water, oil, gases and solvents. However, running 3-4 single wires can be difficult for the installer because they’ll have to run each one individually or tie all 3 together and try to run them as one.

Romex will not work outdoors OR in conduit so you’ll have to upgrade in quality and price to an MC Cable. It’s manufactured with THHN wires and a Metal Clad jacket for easy installation in conduit. The ground wire in MC cable is also a THHN wire rather than a bare copper ground wire so the cable remains moisture and solvent resistant.

Underground Electrical Wire

THHN cannot be buried directly in the ground so you’ll have to upgrade on a single conductor to USE-2 wire. It’s used mostly on solar installations and has a rubber insulation.

If your installation is directly in the Earth instead of in conduit then you’ll have to upgrade to a UFB cable which is an underground feeder cable. It’s color coded and flat instead of round with a bare copper ground wire. The insulation covers each conductor individually to keep it water and moisture tight directly underground.

Tray cable is also an underground cable for larger sizes since UFB cable only goes as large as 6 awg 3 conductor. Tray cable goes as big as 500 mcm 4 conductor with ground. It has all black numbered THHN conductors and an overall PVC jacket. We sell it per foot on our website so that you can get the exact length you need and avoid any waste.

Those are the basics of indoor and outdoor electrical wire. There are also basics on electronic wire and cable based on heat and voltage ranges for different applications.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Thief Shuts Down Power to Airport!

It’s hard to understand that thieves will do almost anything to get their hands on some high value copper electrical wire. Well watch this video to fully understand because this man almost gave up his LIFE for some electrical cables that he would’ve tried to scrap for cash.

After researching the topic a bit more I’ve realized many people have already died in attempt to steal scrap metals such as this. You might think these guys are clever for attempting such a robbery that’s nearly untraceable but failing to shut off the power before doing so proves otherwise; Almost dying, or in fact dying, seconds that…

In this particular instance the restricted area was marked High Voltage in many areas as it was powering an entire airport. However this man could only see dollar signs as he entered and, to his surprise, the back of an ambulance as he made his exit. Lucky to be alive and unlucky to be the butt of many jokes to come.

Save Your Romex Wire!

I’m sure most electrical contractors know about the fluctuation of copper pricing in the last few years which means they understand they need to keep all excess copper wire to scrap later on. Copper has been as low as .86 per pound and as high as 4.10 per pound so the stock market slogan “buy low, sell high” comes into play here.

Sometimes electrical contractors tell the homeowner to find the wire and cable they need on their own to save a few dollars on the cost of the installation. However, they may not know that they can sell the unused wire to a scrap yard for cash. You can call them and ask what the current copper price is and they’ll give you a little bit less than what you might see on the NYSE. Then they melt down the copper and sell it to copper wire manufacturers to make a profit.

Currently copper is about 3.30 per pound so if you have 50 ft of Romex 6/3 then you can probably get about $55.00. Romex 6 awg 3 conductor weighs about .357/foot and you can get about 3.00 per pound right now. So it adds up quicker than you think.

Be careful of those copper thieves out there though! We have another blog post with a video showing all the people stealing copper wire to scrap it for cash. They’re stealing it from live connections (some are getting electrocuted) and anywhere else they can find it because it’s worth so much right now and it’s so easy to scrap for cash.

People Stealing Copper Wire

Watch this video to see these money hungry people stealing copper wire from anywhere they can find it. They are shutting down power and taking the wires to scrap them at a copper scrap yard for about $3.00 per pound.

Copper has been fluctuating quite a bit over the last few years bringing copper’s worth from about $0.86 per pound to $4.00 per pound. On its way up this ladder people became aware of the amount of money to be gained by scrapping it.

Scrapping electrical wire, telephone wire, welding cable or any other type of power cable is actually very easy because there’s no trace! Once you sell the copper scrap to the scrap yard and receive your CASH there is no trace back to you. It sounds similar to stripping cars to me!

Places like this are actually quite useful to a company such as ours because we have a lot of scrap and waste build up over a months time that we like to bring down to the scrap yard for some extra cash. However, these thieves are giving copper wire and scrap yards a very bad name.

It appears copper scrap yards are going to have to start screening or taking photo ID’s in able to have a trace back to who brought it there incase of a lawsuit.

Romex Cable Pricing

You might wonder how you can call 5 different wire and cable distributors and get a range of pricing for the same product. You’re expecting to get better pricing than Home Depot and Lowes right? Well sometimes that’s the case and sometimes it’s not for multiple reasons.

1. Copper

Copper is a volatile commodity traded on the stock market which changes the prices of electrical wire and cable drastically. Electronic cable and portable cord products have more engineering, jacket and materials in them to affect the price. Electrical wire and cable is mostly made with copper and a small amount of insulation to keep costs down as much as possible.

Copper can go up or down over 10% each day depending on how much play it gets and the supply and demand of the actual product. Normally when contractors call for pricing on large amounts it will come straight from the manufacturer because stocking that much copper can be fatal.

2. Time of Purchase

With copper going up and down daily it’s just as hard to time the purchase of inventory as it is the next big stock purchase. Your hope is to buy at the bottom and sell at the top but that scenario is usually unlikely. So assume you buy 50,000 feet of Romex 14/2 for your inventory at .15/ft and copper drops 10% over the next week. If a customer calls to purchase 10,000 feet you will mark up your .15/ft while other distributors who don’t have stock will mark up a price of .135/ft (10% less). Ideally if that distributor only wants to make 10% on the order they could sell it at your current cost.

On the flip side of that scenario the inventory could work in your advantage. Assume you bought the Romex 14/2 at .15/ft and copper went up 10%. You now have the upper hand to possibly make a little more than you planned because distributors without inventory must buy at a current price of .167/ft (10% higher).

3. Clout/Relationship with Manufacturer

Most people and businesses understand quantity breaks where 1 TV will cost $900 and 10 of the same TV’s might cost $850 each. The same works in the wire and cable industry but relationships are a big part as well because the manufacturers have competition too. They like to see that you trust in their product, price and customer service so much that you don’t call anyone else. That’s worth a better price to them and you can work together at creating new business and opportunities.

Those 3 points are fairly specific to the wire and cable industry but are also standard in the name of business itself. You shouldn’t take advantage of a good customer by saying; “They always buy from us anyways”. That’s a very poor look at customer service and treating you current customers worse than potential new customers is not a good idea.

Some companies offer deals only available for new customers! That’s an outrage! Treat your current customers better than your new customers because they’ve been giving you business for years and deserve that treatment. How would you feel if you’ve been buying TV’s for years from the same company at $850 each and then they offer the same TV to new customers only at $800 each? Probably like you’re worth nothing to them? Then don’t use this technique on your customers or they may feel the same way.