WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog



Posts tagged: underground tray cable

Power Limited Tray Cable – 300 Volt Shielded and Unshielded

Power limited tray cable is also known as PLTC electronic cable that comes in 300 volts rather than the 600 volt power cable. The common variations are unshielded, shielded, individually shielded, multiconductor and multi pair which each have different uses in the electronic field.

We offer the 2 and 3 conductor unshielded (and many others on our website) which come in guage sizes 22 through 12. The stranding in each conductor is similar to PVC hook up wire with each having 30 awg tinned copper strands. These 2 and 3 conductor PLTC cables also have an overall shielded version in the same guage options.

Each of the 300 volt tray cables are UL and CSA approved along with a few other NEC code approvals. They’re also sunlight resistant in order to allow the cable to be used outdoors and in conduit. It’s very common to see PLTC electronic cables used indoors as well.

The overall shield offers one aluminum polyester shield over all of the conductors in the cable while the individual shield offers a separate foil shield over each pair in the cable. The indivivdually shielded cables also offer a stranded tinned copper drain wire.

The 600 volt tray cables are not known as PLTC cable because the “PL” stands for power limited. There isn’t an individually shielded option or a multipair option available in the 600 volt cables. However the 600 volt tray cables are manufactured for underground use as a direct burial cable. Being able to install a cable directly underground can save a lot of time compared to installing conduit and running the wires afterwards.

The standard color code for tray cable is black, red and white. The 2 and 3 conductors cables in the PLTC version are offered with a black and red or a black, red and white insulated wire. The multipair cables offer black and red pairs that are each numbered to distinguish from the other pairs in the cable.

We also offer the 600 volt THHN PVC tray cable that comes in much larger awg sizes for bigger applications. They start with an 8 awg and get as large as 500 mcm in 3 or 4 conductors with an additional ground wire. This type of tray cable is also an underground cable giving it a universal use indoors, outdoors, in conduit or directly in the Earth. They come with all black conductors and a bare uninsulated ground wire. The black conductors are numbered for identification.

Please let us know if you’re looking for any type of PLTC or 600 volt tray cable shielded or unshielded. We’ll be able to help you find what you’re looking for and possibly help you find a cheaper way to get the job done.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Tray Cable – Underground Multi-Conductor Electrical Wire

Tray cable has become a very big seller over the past year for WesBell Electronics. We started selling all types of electrical wire over 5 years ago to compliment our already booming electronic line. Tray cable has been a very easy sell for many reasons in the electrical industry.

Our type TC-ER tray cable is manufactured with THHN wire conductors and a PVC water tight jacket which makes it available for direct burial in the ground. It’s round with a black jacket and all black conductors that are numbered for easy installation. It ranges in awg sizes from 18 to 750 mcm with up to 4 conductors and a ground wire.

The reason it’s such an easy sell is that it has all the bells and whistles with out the outragous pricing. Copper still weighs heavily on the price because it’s so high right now but other cables manufctured for the same undergound use have a higher expense.

Type MC cable is slightly cheaper because it can only be used in conduit. If you want an MC cable that can be direct buried you’ll need the additional PVC jacket over the metal clad armour. That makes for a very expensive cable but it can also be used in concrete which tray cable cannot.

Many of our customers call and want to use Romex® for their application. Then they say it’s only going outside for a few feet so it should be fine for this situation. Well that’s not true. Romex® doesn’t have the protection that UFB cable and tray cable have because it’s only made to be used for indoor applications. That’s why it’s cheaper and that’s probably why they want to is it over the more expensive cable, but getting tray cable first is better than replacing the Romex® later.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400