WesBell Electronics
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Posts tagged: thhn electrical wire

THHN Wire and Romex to New England in One Day

We ship most of our wire and cable products from Merrimack NH which allows us to ship to anywhere in New England in one day. We also have the ability to drop ship from some of our manufactures which will save time on west coast shipments. Call to speak to our sales representatives so that you can check our stock and make sure you can get your product on the day you need it.

We cut and ship a lot of copper THHN wire to Boston MA, Cambridge, Fall River, Springfield and Worcester each day. We cut the exact length you need and charge by the foot for all of our THHN electrical wire so you can get what you need without any waste.

We offer what’s known as a Bread Man system to most of our customers in Manchester NH, Nashua, Merrimack, Portsmouth, Keene and even Laconia New Hampshire. That’s when we bring the products to your warehouse, stock your shelf for you and check your low inventory so that we can replace it in the next few days.

We learn from our customers every day so that we can offer even more services to them and others that we gain. Many of our customers like the Bread Man system, some like cut to length options and some like the Free Shipping offer for orders over $250. Let us know if there’s something else we can do to service you better as we’ll entertain anything a customer requests.

WesBell Electronics Inc
ISO 9001 Certified
(800) 334-8400

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

Information About Foil Tape And Tinned Copper Shielding

Copper is commonly used for shielding purposes, usually as a foil tape or tinned copper shielding. Information about foil tape and tinned copper shielding is readily available online. Both foil tape and tinned copper shielding are used to shield cables, eliminate EMI/RFI interference, thermal and electrical purposes and others.

Foil tapes are available in two kinds: aluminum and copper. Both are conductive acrylic adhesive. Foil tapes are used for purposes that require reliable point-to-point contact like EMI/RFI shielding, static charge draining and grounding. These foil tapes have many uses in electronic design, prototyping for test laboratories and for design and troubleshooting purposes. Copper foil tapes in particular is a cost effective to shield against EMI/RFI interferences. It is very easy to apply and therefore, time saving. Copper foil tapes are conductive all throughout including the adhesive which makes it ideal for cable shielding, shielding electrical connections between surfaces of sheets and foils, die-cuts, temporary shielding during tests and as an antistatic.

Tinned copper shield is available in mesh and flat braid. Tinned copper shielding (flat braid) is rolled flat and braid at the time of manufacture. It is very flexible which makes it a great protective braid over hoses and tubings. It is also useful for shielding around cables, ground straps, battery grounding, and as bonding strap for vehicles, aircraft and marine equipment. It also eliminates ignition interference and can be used for any application that needs woven, tinned copper braid. Tinned copper shield has minimum shield coverage of 95%. Specifications QQ-W-343 type S and ASTM B-33 are met for woven tinned copper shields.

More information about foil tape and tinned copper shielding including the thickness, approximate awg, ampacity and others differ depending on the type of tinned copper shielding to be used as well as the shielding capacity of foil tapes which also differ with its size. Copper Foil tapes are available in typical industry standard metric cut sizes, example, 24mm for every 1 inch of nominal tape width ordered. Note that rolls are 5% narrower than the nominal size. In this case, the product’s actual size is 25.4mm wide.

The conductive adhesive of copper foil tapes is ideal for modifications of printed circuit boards, repairs of security alarm circuits and for layout and design of wiring board prototypes. It is very ideal for wrapping cables to shield EMI/RFI and to provide electrical continuity by seaming of EMI/RFI shielded rooms. It is also used for draining of static charge and surface contact to materials such as plastic or aluminum which is non-solderable. Its copper-bright color is non-tarnishing and annealed making it also great for arts and decorative projects.

For better shield coverage, tinned copper shield is recommended. Its woven, tinned copper construction provides a minimum coverage of 95%. It has a nominal thickness of .020” making it very flexible and ideal for use as bonding strap for marine equipment, aircraft and vehicles.

You can find other specific information about foil tape and tinned copper shielding at the manufacturer’s website or you may give them a call for more assistance needed.

Electrical Wire - Welding CableHook up WireTHHN WireRomex®

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Electrical Cable Differences

Copper electrical cable is very expensive, but the real differences in price actually comes down to the insulation type more than the copper. Copper is the conductor of electricity in all copper electrical cables and the price of copper changes everyday. However, Romex 6/3® has the same amount of copper as UFB 6/3, so why is the price different?

A 6 awg wire is a 6 awg wire whether it’s in a Romex NMB® jacket or a tough underground PVC jacket. That means each 6 awg wire would be the same price if they were both stripped of all insulation. A UFB underground insulation was manufactured to be used without conduit. So the jacket needed extra protection in order to last as long as an electrical cable in conduit.

In order of the amount of protection Romex® comes first, MC cable second and UFB cable third for electrical cables. Even though each of these cables have different levels of protection they all still have THHN THWN as the wire conductor insulation, so what changes the fact that some have more restrictions?

Romex® cable has a bare copper uninsulated ground wire, but lacks a strong enough jacket to protect it outdoors or in conduit. Moisture, gas, solvents and other fluids can puncture the jacket and hit the bare ground wire leaving it only available for wiring indoors.

MC cable is manufactured with all THHN wires and a THHN insulated green ground wire. That allows MC electrical cables to be used outdoors and in conduit because it resists all water, moisture oils and gases without an uninsulated ground wire in the way.

UFB cable is manufactured as an underground electrical cable which is also known as direct burial in the wire and cable industry. It still has an uninsulateed ground wire but the PVC jacket is engineered tough enough to protect all of the wires even when used directly underground.

In order to find the cheapest cable possible you’ll want to first speak to an electrician to let you know the awg size of the cable you need. This will prevent you from getting a size too big and paying more money than you need to. The second thing you want to do is make sure you’re not getting too much insulation that you may not need. Getting UFB cable when you’re using conduit anyways is a waste of money. You should get MC cable which is cheaper and manufactured for use in conduit.

We offer exact cut lengths on all of our electrical cables and THHN wire because in the contractors, engineers and installers like to have the exact length they need to avoid waste of small lengths at the end of each spool. We also offer free shipping on orders over $250 so that you don’t have to negociate deals with trucking companies to get spool of wire or cable.

Please call us if you need any type of wire, cable or heat shrink tubing as we’ve been a stocking distributor for over 25 years.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Welding Cable AMPS and Pricing

Welding cable comes in different gauge sizes which allow a certain amount of AMPS to carry on to the application. That means you’ll have to figure out which size of cable you’ll need in order to be sure your welder has enough AMPS in run. Buying a larger size will work but you’ll pay more money and there aren’t too many people that want to do that.

Your best plan will be to call a certified electrician to help you figure out the awg size you need based on the size of the welder and the length of cable you plan on having. There’s a calculation done that meets the standards of the NEC (National Electric Code) in order to be sure you have enough power and that your up to date with the town or state codes.

Welding cable starts as small as 6 awg and gets as large as 500 mcm. It’s manufactured with thin copper strands and a rubber insulation to increase the flexibility. The only difference between the 4 awg and the 2 awg is that the 2 awg will have more of the copper strands to make a larger awg and carry more power to the welder. They’re all very flexible cables so there’s no need to worry about a stiff cable around the shop during warm or cold weather.

THHN electrical wire is a similar type of single conductor copper cable but it comes much less flexible. Usually people who use welding cable wonder why anyone would want a wire as stiff as THHN wire. The stiffness helps keep the electrical wire straight when going through conduit. A welding cable would get bunched up as it’s being pushed through so a flexible cable is actually less helpful even though it’s more expensive.

Each larger gauge size will be slightly more expensive which means you want just enough to cover the amount of AMPS traveling throughout the cable so you don’t over spend. Talking to a certified electrician will tell you exact size you need to buy which means you can call a distributor with detailed information.

If you look on our website for pricing on welding cable you’ll see how expensive the larger cables actually get. The 6 awg goes for less than $1.00 per foot in the end of 2011 but the 500 mcm cable goes for about $16 per foot with 9 more choices in between.

We also offer an Super Vu Tron welding cable that comes in orange insulation only. It has 34 awg copper strands instead of 30 awg strands which makes it much more flexible. It’s also manufactured with a much stronger, more durable, insulation for outdoor protection. It’s most commonly used for industrial applications requiring use outdoors where the cable will be stepped on, run over by vehicles or dragged across the concrete where a standard welding cable insulation might get punctured.

Please call us if you’re looking for welding cable, electrical wire or even heat shrink tubing as we have been in business for over 20 years as a wire, cable and tubing distributor.

WesBell Electronics, Inc
(800) 334-8400

Welding Cable Pricing and Specifications

We’ve been buying and selling welding cable for over 20 years and learning a lot about it along the way. There are two main types of welding cable and many similar types of flexible single conductor power cables.

Welding cable is manufactured as a single conductor wire only and usually comes in black or red. If you need a different color then most manufacturers will make it with a minimum run quantity. The second type of welding cable is much stronger, more flexible and only comes in the color orange.

It’s most commonly used on welders and power supply applications needing a 600 volt single conductor cable. It’s made with flexible 30 awg copper strands making it much more flexible than THHN electrical wire. It also has a rubber EPDM insulation which is more flexible and durable than THHN as well.

This basic welding cable comes in black or red and has a high temperature rating of 105°C. It’s rated for 600 volts and the amps for each gauge size are listed on our website to help you understand which size you need for your particular application. The sizes range from 6 awg to 500 mcm with each larger size carrying more power than the last.

The 6 awg is the smallest carrying about 75 AMPS and weighing 140 pounds per 1000 feet. THHN wire is a single conductor electrical wire and only weighs 98 pounds per 1000 feet which means the PVC insulation is much lighter than the rubber insulation because they both have the same amount of copper in them. The 500 mcm welding cable carries 695 AMPS and weighs 1960 pounds per 1000 feet. The rest of the awg sizes range in between those giving a wide range of power options.

Welding cable costs more than electrical wire because it has the rubber jacket that can withstand higher impact and a higher temperature rating. It also has more flexible copper strands that are more difficult to manufacture. THHN 6 awg has 19 strands which makes it a stiff conductor in order to push it through conduit much easier. Welding cable 6 awg has 259 strands making it more flexible to move around with the welder and coil up easily when you’re finished.

We cut each size of THHN and welding cable by the foot so that you can buy whatever you need for the job you’re doing. We also offer free shipping on orders over $250 and ship from the tax free state of New Hampshire which should each help you save money on each job.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Electrical Wire Questions and Answers

We get a lot of phone calls and emails with questions about many different types of electrical wire and cable. Since some of them are repeated we’re going to put them on our website so that people can find the answer before they need to make a phone call.

What type of electrical cable do I use to run electricity to my barn or garage?

If it’s above ground or in conduit you can use SER (Service Entrance Cable). Talk to an electrician first to check the gauge of the cable you’ll need. The electrician will do a calculation based on the length of the cable, the amount of amps you need and the voltage.

If you want to run the cable directly underground then you need to use UFB cable or Tray cable. UFB cable is an underground feeder that has added protection to be used underground. If you need something bigger than 6 awg then you’ll need to use tray cable which can also be used directly underground. Tray cable gets as big as 750 mcm with 4 conductors plus a ground wire.

Can I use Romex wire if it’s only going to be outdoors for 10 feet?

No matter how long I work for a wire and cable company I know this question will continue to come up. Romex can NOT be used outdoors because the jacket insulation isn’t manufactured with enough protection to resist any moisture, gas, oil or solvents. Anything that penetrates the jacket could hit the bare copper ground wire and short the connection.

Can I use THHN as dog fence wire?

Only if you keep the wire above ground. Usually dog fence wire is buried in the ground so you’ll need a wire that has enough protection to be used directly underground. THHN wire is used indoors, outdoors and in conduit only. The manufacturer states that THHN can not be used underground so that’s the message we pass along.

What type of wire do I use if I need high temperature?

Standard PVC hook up wire is rated for 105°C with a few different voltage ratings available. If you need higher temperature then you should use PTFE wire which is rated up to 200C. It’s silver plated copper with a PTFE insulation and it’s getting more expensive by the minute. Copper is rising, silver is rising and PTFE compound is also rising to give PTFE wire 3 possible inceases each day.

Please email or call us with any questions you might have about electrical 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

Electrical Wire Pricing Has Been Fluctuating With Copper Prices

The pricing on copper electrical wire weighs heavily on the copper commodity traded on the stock market. As it fluctuates up and down the pricing of copper wire does the same. Manufactures of copper wire literally change pricing every day during a volitile market such as this.

Most electrical contractors and users of wire and cable are starting to understand the fluctation of copper. They’re starting to ask “What’s the current copper price today?” instead of “Why has the price gone up?”. Some manufactures and distributors will raise pricing while copper is up but not bring the prices back down when copper is falling. Beware and always check around for the best price you can find because it will be expensive.

If you’re a home owner looking for a smaller one time purchase then you might have different things to look for. There are a lot of wire and cable distributors out there that might offer good pricing on large quantity but not on small quantity purchases. They also might only offer certain spool sizes rather than cutting it to the length you need.

Here at WesBell Electronics we offer exact cut lengths and a price per foot. We offer free shipping over $250 and ship all small orders (below $500) from New Hampshire which means you won’t have to pay a sales tax either. These options are very beneficial to our customers when they need something small for a particular job. That way they won’t have to buy a 250′ reel of wire when they only need 180′ for the job.

We have knowledgeable sales people on staff to help you find what you need. Talk with us and well help you get the best possible deal on your wire and cable purchase.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

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.