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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
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
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
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