Control cable is a type of electrical cable that is used to carry low-voltage signals. It is typically used in industrial, commercial, and residential applications to control devices such as motors, switches, and sensors.
Control cable is typically made of two or more insulated conductors. The conductors are typically copper or aluminum, and the insulation is typically PVC, THW, or UF.
Control cable is available in a variety of sizes, insulation types, and voltage ratings. The specific type of control cable that is required for a given application will depend on the voltage, current, and environment in which the cable will be used.
Types of Control Cable
There are two main types of control cable:
- Two-conductor cable is the most common type of control cable. It has two insulated conductors, one hot and one neutral.
- Three-conductor cable has three insulated conductors, one hot, one neutral, and one ground.
In addition to these two main types, there are also a variety of specialty control cables available, such as:
- Shielded cable is used to protect the conductors from electromagnetic interference (EMI).
- Waterproof cable is used in wet or humid environments.
- Fire-resistant cable is used in applications where there is a risk of fire.
The conductor size of control cable is measured in American Wire Gauge (AWG). The larger the AWG number, the smaller the diameter of the conductor.
The required conductor size for a given application will depend on the amount of current that the cable will be carrying. The National Electrical Code (NEC) and the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) specify the minimum conductor size for different applications.
For example, the NEC requires that control cable that is carrying up to 30 amps of current must have a conductor size of 14 AWG.
The insulation on control cable is typically made of PVC, THW, or UF.
- PVC insulation is the most common type of insulation for control cable. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with.
- THW insulation is a type of heat-resistant insulation that is used in applications where the cable will be exposed to high temperatures.
- UF insulation is a type of underground-rated insulation that is used in applications where the cable will be buried underground.
The voltage rating of control cable is the maximum voltage that the cable can withstand. Control cable is typically rated for 600 volts.
The voltage rating of the cable must be equal to or greater than the voltage of the electrical system that the cable will be used in.
Control cable is used in a wide variety of applications, including:
* **Motor control:** Control cable is used to connect motors to power sources.
* **Switching:** Control cable is used to connect switches to power sources.
* **Sensors:** Control cable is used to connect sensors to power sources.
* **Lighting:** Control cable is used to connect light fixtures to power sources.
* **Alarm systems:** Control cable is used to connect alarm systems to power sources.
control cable must be installed in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) or the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). The NEC and CEC specify the installation requirements for control cable, such as the type of conduit that must be used, the minimum bend radius, and the maximum voltage drop.
Control cable should be installed by a qualified electrician.
Control cable is a relatively low-maintenance product. However, it is important to inspect the cable periodically for signs of damage, such as cracks, breaks, or frayed insulation.
If any damage is found, the cable should be replaced immediately.
Control cable is a safe product when used properly. However, it is important to follow safety precautions when working with control cable, such as:
* Always wear safety glasses and gloves when working with control cable.
* Make sure that the power is turned off before working on control cable.
* Use the correct tools and equipment for the job.