Something More Flexible Than Romex 6/2

There are many types of electrical cables that are manufactured more flexible than Romex® but you want to make sure that it is still meets the same specifications. Romex® goes through a testing procedure to make sure it was manufactured correctly and can meet the requirements of the applications it’s approved to be used in. You’ll want to be sure the flexible version of the same cable has, or exceeds, those specifications.

It’s odd that someone would be comparing a Romex® cable to something they want in a more flexible version because most electrical applications prefer a less flexible cable. However, in order for a cable to be more flexible two common things will change which are the amount of copper strands and the type of insulation.

The gauge size is determined by the outer diameter and the weight of the copper. So if you want a cable to be more flexible then using smaller strands will be very effective. The only catch is that using smaller strands will result in needed many more strands wound together to reach the same outer diameter as the less flexible cable. Simple math will tell you that if you want copper strands half the size of what they are now it will mean having twice as many strands to equal out to the same outer diameter or gauge size.

A Romex® 8/2 cable has 7 copper strands in each 8 AWG wire. If you wanted to add flexibility but keep the same amount of current you would make the strands smaller and add more to equal the same amount of copper weight. That way the same amount of electricity can travel through the copper.

The second way to make a cable such as Romex® more flexible is working with the insulation. This is where you’ll need to be careful because the insulation is the protection. Having a different insulation usually means a different application all together. Something like SOOW cable in 8/2 is much more flexible than Romex®. It has many more copper strands and a rubber EPDM insulation that allows for much more flexibility than PVC insulation with a nylon coating.

 Remember, an SOOW cable would not work well in common Romex® applications other than the fact that the two 8 AWG wires will carry the same amount of current. Trying to snake SOOW cable through conduit would be a nightmare. SOOW is more commonly used for portable applications such as extension cords or generator cables.

Speak to your supplier about something that will fit your specific application before buying any type of electrical cable. Sometimes cables look that they can be used for something but may not have the approvals.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at 2:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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