WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Posts tagged: fire alarm cable

600 Volt Unshielded Electronic Cables

Unshielded Electronic CableUnshielded electronic cables are those with multiple lead wires bundled together and wrapped with an overall jacket. A shielded electronic cable will also have a foil or braid shield between the lead wires and the jacket to block EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) when cables run side by side in an installation. The biggest difference between the various 600 volt unshielded cables lies in the type of protection the jacket offers which, in turn, describes where it can be installed without being damaged by its environment.

600 Volt PVC Electronic Cables

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) lead wires inside of a PVC insulated jacket is the most basic, low cost, electronic cable that you can purchase. Common applications for PVC cables are intercoms, public address systems, remote control circuits and related environmental applications. These types of electronic cables are most likely used indoors because the outdoor environmental conditions will be too tough for the basic PVC jacket.

600 Volt Fire Alarm Cable

Fire Alarm CableFire alarm cables typically come with a red jacket but there are various colors available depending on our inventory levels. They are commonly used to install fire alarms, security systems and other similar communication applications. These are manufactured with a PVC jacket or a Plenum jacket. The plenum jacket is used when the installation is in plenum or any type of above head duct for fire protection reasons.



600 Volt STJ PTFE Cables

Unfortunately, STJ cables only come in a shielded version because the amount of heat used to wrap the jacket around the conductors would melt the insulation of the lead wires during the process. Therefore, a shield is placed between the lead wires and the jacket to limit the amount of heat hitting the insulation of the wires. STJ stands for Shielded Tape Jacket and it’s an upgrade from PVC cables because it can handle applications with a temperature rating of up to 200ºC compared to 105ºC. STJ PTFE cables usually have a white tape wrapped jacket but also have the option of FEP extruded insulation which is not wrapped.

There are many different types of 600 volt unshielded electronic cables available in multi conductor, multi pair, higher voltage and higher temperature for each different type of installation. There are also jackets that are manufactured with more protection for severe weather and severe impact. Standard cables have been known to end up with cracked insulation and damaged conductors quicker than expected so it’s worth it to purchase a heavy duty cable when necessary for the application.

Written by: Chris Bell
ISO 9001 Certified

Getting to Know Shielded Fire Alarm Cable Wires

Nowadays, there are so many different types of cables that are made available to the public. Apart from the use of shielded fire alarm cable, there are other more complicated forms of cables that need to be understood. If you are planning on using any of these cables, it is best that you gain an understanding on what they are before you start buying one.

 Before anything else, it is best to understand what a cable is. In a nutshell, a cable wire is used to refer to two or more wires which have been bonded or twisted together. They are then covered with a sheath and used for different purposes; which also varies depending on the field where the cable will be used.                                                                                                                                                                          

If you are wondering how cable wires are used, they are usually different with every field. However, these cables have a general responsibility of transporting electrical currents to industries and homes. As such, there are many who use them in that manner. Typically, these wires are installed in industrial areas and buildings so they can transmit power to distant locations. Wires that are responsible for this are referred to as either high voltage cables or power cables.

With regards to the use of the shielded fire alarm cable, it generally works in the same sense; which is to transport electricity. However, they are being used to identify if there is an ongoing fire in the location. If there is, the fire alarm will sound and send a notification to its recipient. The result of this is that the alarm will go off and alert the residents and nearby people that there is a reason to be alarmed. As such, people get alerted that they have to do action so that the fire will not spread.

If planning to use the shielded cable, you need to know what they are made of. The conductor is made from a solid bare copper material and is insulated in a color coded PVC along with a red PVC jacket. Just like the unshielded cable, it is capable of temperatures of between -30C and +105C. The biggest difference between the two, however, is that the shielded cable still contains an additional layer of shielding created by a material of aluminum polyester with stranded tinned copper drain wire.

When planning to get these wires, be sure to transact only with a professional who can give you further information on these cables. This is because you will be using something that will transport electricity in your home or building. If you are not careful about this, you may end up setting your home on fire because you did not choose the right cable to help you in the first place.

Thankfully, there are a number of sources of shielded fire alarm cable wires on the internet. By searching for these cable providers, you stand a chance of meeting your cable requirements since you have gotten the advice of a well informed cable wire professional.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Shielded Plenum Fire Alarm Cables

Shielded plenum fire alarm cables are engineered to be used in a buildings plenum to lower the chances of a fire spreading throughout your home. They’re manufactured with a flame retardant coating such as PTFE to help cut back on the cable’s production of smoke and harmful gasses should it begin to burn. These types of cables are the ones inspectors like to see when checking a building for the best fire protection.

Fire alarm cable is used in applications when hooking up smoke detectors, signaling, fire alarm, and fire protective circuits becuase they have all been known to need the extra fire protection to continue working when a fire erupts.

EMI is electromagnetic interface which is something that an insulation cannot block a cable from. It’s “electrically noisy” and disruptive to other equipment around it which an aluminum polyester shield can block. Many fire alarm cable installations and PTFE cable installations require a strong shield in order to keep all of the equipment running smoothly.

A cable is transferring EMI to another source and the best way to block that is through the use of a shield. The shield surrounds the copper conductors which blocks any interference coming in and blocks anything going out so that all of the cables near each other can effectively do what they were set up to do.

As you can see there’s quite a bit of engineering involved in each type of fire alarm cable. If manufactured wrong or poorly they can spread a fire much faster than expected throughout the home or building. The shield could also cause problems with the EMI so it’s important to make sure the cable that you buy has all of the specifciations you need for your application.

Please call you have any questions about our shielded plenum fire alarm cable or anything else regarding the items on our website.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Electrical and Electronic Wire Products Navigation

We decided to change the navigation on our website to better group each type of electrical and electronic wire by keyword for our customers and visitors. We know it will help our customers find what they’re looking for much faster based on how they search for wire and cable.

Before anyone gets to our wire and cable distribution website they must first type a phrase into the search engine. Once the searcher visits our website we can see the phrase that was entered into the search engine, which we then analyze, and alter our website accordingly.

If we get 100 visits based on the term “electrical wire” being typed in then we need to make sure they land on a page with multiple electrical wire items available so that they find what they need as quick as possible. We analyzed each landing page of our website so that we could offer all the products that our visitors are looking for.

We also reworked the side bar product listings because we’ve been adding more products to our website and need to organize it better. Each product is listed based on its keyword rather than our part number to allow our visitors to easily find what they need.

We’ve also added more pictures so that it reassures our customers that they’re buying the correct product online. Sometimes it can be hard to realize you’re buying the right type of electrical wire online because all you can see is the vender part number and about a million different products to choose from.

When you’re on WesBell’s website you’ll find that every page is unique and specific to one item only. You’ll be able to see all of the spcifications, approvals and guage sizes of that type of wire or cable. Please call when you have any questions because we openly give out our phone number instead of hiding it in one of the back pages.

Electrical wire is the biggest product listing on our website including Romex®, UFB, SER, SEU, THHN and MC wire and cable. Each type of electrical wire has similar characteristics and most commonly used in the electrical field carrying current from your electrical panel to all of the lights, outlets and appliances in your home. Bigger awg sizes of electrical wire are used to carry current from the street to your electrical box, which is then distributed throughout your home with smaller types of wire and cable.

Electronic wire and cable includes hook up wire, high temperature wire, multiconductor cables, fire alarm cable, shielded and unshielded cables. Electronic cables are used mostly with indoor electronics such as stereos and appliances. When you take off the back panel of anything electronic you’ll see wires harnesses and cables that need to each have specifications to meet for that application.

Some electronic cables can be basic PVC / PVC cables, some need higher voltage, some need a shield, some need higher temperature and some need to be more flexible than others in order to be approved for that application. These are the types of keywords we like to list our products under because our customers don’t know our part numbers or the manufacturers part numbers. All they know is that they want a “high temperature cable with 3 conductors and a shield” so we list our products accordingly.

Take a walk through our website to see the difference because you’ll find it’s much easier to use than other wire and cable websites that list their products by their own part number. Call us if you have any questions so that we can help make sure you have the best type of wire or cable for your application at the cheapest price possible.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Fire Alarm Wire and Cable – FPLR, FPLP Shielded and Unshielded

Fire alarm cable has now been added to our website under multiconductor cables. We wanted to add the riser and plenum alarm wire because we feel it compliments our electronic wire line very well. Many people looking for PVC multiconductor cables will also need riser and plenum fire alarm cables as well.

Fire alarm wire comes in shielded and unshielded versions which both offer a riser and plenum option. It’s usually offered in a red jacket but, depending on the gauge size and conductor count, you can get a few different color options.

Riser alarm wire is also known as FPLR for Fire Alarm Riser. The unshielded version of a riser cable will be the cheapest option between the four because it doesn’t have a shield or the added protection of the plenum jacket. It’s commonly installed virtically in the walls of your home where very little air can get to it.

Plenum alarm wire is also known as FPLP for Fire Alarm Plenum. The shielded version will be the most expensive type because of the Plenum PVC insulation and the added cost of the shield. Plenum PVC insulation protects the conductors from burning and spreading a fire. It’s commonly installed horizontally along your home’s ceiling because air can get into those areas which would cause a riser cable to spread the fire.

Riser, plenum, shielded and unshielded are the four most basic types of fire alarm wire but we also offer a contractor grade alarm wire for those who need it. Each type comes in 22 awg, 18 awg, 16 awg and 14 awg with anywhere from 2 to 10 condutors. Alarm wire conductors have polypropylene insulation, solid copper conductors and the shielded versions come with an additional drain wire.

WesBell stocks fire alarm wire in very high quantities so that we can supply our customers with a quick turn around whether they have a small job or a large commercial job to get done. “Time is money” and we let our customers know when their material will show up to the job site so that they can plan accordingly and save as much money as possible.

We also offer free shipping on orders over $250 and ship from NH so that you won’t have to pay taxes on the material you buy from us. Most of our wire and cable offer a free cutting charge to any length you need to buy so that you can limit waste in every possible area. Please call us if you have any questions of comments.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400