How to choose your electric wires and cables?

Electrical installation requires several types of conductors to carry the current from the general switchboard to the different points of use. Between the two, the choice is above all a question of standards.

Electrical wire and cable: definitions

. The core can be copper, nickel-plated copper or nickel (white metal). An electrical cable consists of several insulated wires joined in a single or double protective sheath. It can have 2, 3, 4, 5 or more threads, depending on usage.

Driver’s section

 A domestic installation includes different power circuits. Some serve several points of use (lighting, plugs), others (specialized) one device: water heater, hob, oven. It also requires a separate line to power electric heaters. one of the leading web page

 The standard NF C 15-100 defines for each use a section of conductors (in mm²) adapted to the intensity of the current (in amperes) that the circuit must support. is the another web page

The higher the intensity, the larger the section.

  • 10 A: 1.5 mm²
  • 16 – 20 A: 2.5 mm²
  • 32 A: 6 mm²

There are larger sections (10, 16, 25 mm²) for electrical meter/subscriber circuit breaker connections, earthling, and the connection of a dependency.

 Grounding is legally connected with a braided cable, bare (not insulated)

electric wires and cables

Good to know

Each line must be protected by a divisional circuit breaker with a rating appropriate to the intensity of operation.

Respect the colors

 Generally, dwellings are most often served by single-phase alternating current (230 V) .

In this case, the current is brought by a phase conductor (Ph) and returned to the central by a second called neutral conductor (N).

Making the earth protects the entire installation.

Each type of wire or cable is identified by a standardized color :

  • Neutral: blue.
  • Earth: yellow/green striped.
  • Phase: red or any other color (black, brown) except the previous ones.
  • The three-phase (400 V) operates with 3 phases + 1 neutral (plus the ground wire).

Good to know

For shuttle wires of a back and forth or remote switch, it is necessary to use a different color such as purple for example.

Families of drivers and codes

Each type of driver is named by a series of letters and numbers corresponding to his characteristics.

 Electric wires and cables for fixed installations and wiring of electrical panels:

 The wires H07 VU 1.5 mm2:

H or U: the first letter is a national or international reference.

  • 07: for 700 V, maximum voltage supported by the wire.
  • V: PVC insulating sheath (R for PRC).
  • U: copper core, R denote rigid souls, K a flexible soul.
  • 5 mm2: the section of the wire.

Good to know

These  cables can be attached directly to the walls using jumpers, walk as they are in crawl spaces and metal f rames. Their cladding is mandatory in case of wall penetrations or recessed installation.