When wiring a house, several types of wires are commonly used to ensure safe and reliable electrical connections. The following are some of the most common types of wires used in home wiring:
Non-Metallic (NM) Cable: Also known as Romex, this type of cable is widely used in residential wiring. It consists of multiple insulated wires (usually two or three) and a bare ground wire, all wrapped in a protective sheath. NM cable is suitable for use in dry locations and can be used for both light fixtures and outlets.
Armored Cable (AC): AC cable is similar to NM cable but is enclosed in a flexible metal sheath. The metal sheath provides additional protection against damage from nails or other sharp objects and is commonly used in areas where the wiring is exposed to potential hazards.
Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC): FMC is a flexible, corrugated metal tube that is used to protect wires in areas where they may be exposed to moisture or mechanical damage. It is often used in outdoor applications and can be installed either indoors or outdoors.
Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT): EMT is a rigid metal conduit that is commonly used for commercial and industrial electrical installations. It is lightweight and easy to install and can be used in both exposed and concealed applications.
BX Cable: BX cable, also known as armored cable, is a type of cable that is similar to AC cable but with a spiral metal sheath. It is often used in older homes and is still available today, although it is less commonly used than NM cable or AC cable.
Underground Feeder (UF) Cable: UF cable is designed for use in direct burial applications, such as outdoor lighting, pools, or underground wiring. It consists of two or three insulated wires and a bare ground wire, all encased in a protective sheath that is designed to withstand exposure to moisture and soil.
Low Voltage Wiring: Low voltage wiring is used for applications that require less power, such as doorbells, thermostats, and audio systems. It typically uses smaller gauge wire (usually 18 or 20 AWG) and is often installed alongside high voltage wiring.
Coaxial Cable: Coaxial cable is used for cable TV, internet, and other communication applications. It consists of a center conductor surrounded by a layer of insulation, a woven or braided shield, and an outer jacket. The shield helps to reduce interference and ensure a clear signal.
Fiber Optic Cable: Fiber optic cable is used for high-speed internet and other communication applications that require large amounts of data to be transmitted quickly. It consists of thin strands of glass or plastic fibers that transmit data via light signals.
When choosing the type of wire to use for your home wiring, it is important to consider the specific application, the environment in which the wiring will be installed, and the level of safety and reliability that is required. Working with a licensed electrician can help ensure that the wiring is installed correctly and meets all local building codes and safety standards.