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There are different types of electrical cable available for standard use in the UK. Following is a rundown of the different types of electrical cables with some facts about each of them
First there is domestic electrical cable. These are usually available to British Standard BS 6004, and standard electricity supply is 230 volts AC. Prior to early 2004 the "2 core and earth" , also known as "twin core and earth" cables were used for installation in normal households. They were made with two insulated solid cores with the earth conductor being bare copper between the overall PVC sheath and inner cores. Prior to 2004 the colours that applied to the sleeving were red for the live wire, black for neutral, and green and yellow for the copper earth conductor. After 2004 brown became the colour for the live wire, blue for neutral, and green and yellow for earth. These new cables are referred to as harmonised cables as these colours are standard throughout the EU.
A good thing to keep in mind about solid core cables is that they should never be reused. While these cables can be bent into shape, the cores can be weakened as they were not designed to be flexed. Repeated movement of this kind could produce some bad results, such as failure and overheating.
There may be other forms of electrical cables found in older dwellings. The most popular being rubber insulated two or three core covered with an outer lead sheath or outer rubber sheath. It is recommended that if ever running across this that it should be replaced immediately. The age of the cable could likely cause the rubber to become degraded and can cause the outer covering to become live. Another older type of cable you may find would be PVC insulated three core with a PVC outer covering. Two things to look for when deciding if these need replacing is if the earth wires are just twisted together or broken individual strands.
Normal connection cable used for two way switches is the "3 core and earth". These are made of of three solid cores with insulation with bare copper as the earth conductor between the overall PVC sheath and inner cores. These were originally coloured blue, yellow, and red, but after 2004 are grey, black, and brown.
To transfer power underground or overhead, armoured cable is the electrical cable you will find. Due to safety factors, these should only be installed by a professional.