Safety Is the Reason To Choose Your Home’s Electrical Cables Wisely

Although not all of us are born electricians, the task of choosing electrical cables will emerge at least once in our lives. And when that happens, most people think it’s going to be simple: Just head for your local supply store and scan through the electrical department. But what exactly are you looking for? Many won’t know how to answer because most of us have never had to deal with this situation and remained cable ignorant.

But although most cables look basically the same, or at least similar, there’s a huge difference between them. And if you don’t know how to make the distinction and end up pairing an appliance with the wrong cable, you will expose yourself to numerous of hazards. Actually, faulty wiring is the number one cause of residential fires in Australia. Other potential dangers include power outages, devices and appliances breaking down and even electrocution. To preserve your home’s safety, you need to get informed before you actually explore the wide offer on electrical cables Australia stores offer.


You can start with learning something more about the two most common types of home electrical cables Australia residents use. The first one is the non metallic sheathed cable which consists out of two or more conductors and a bare ground wire which are all insulated and wrapped together in protective plastic sheath. Whether a cable is suited for a particular home appliance can be determined by the colour of its wire sheath. For instance, there are non-metallic sheathed cables that are:

  • White – Encloses 14-gauge wire and is used for 15-amp circuits such as lighting circuits;
  • Yellow – Houses 12-gauge wire best suited for 20-amp circuits such as power outlets;
  • Orange – Packs a 10-gauge wire for 30-amp circuits such as air conditioners and water heaters;
  • Black – Be careful, this colour is shared for both 6 and 8-gauge wire. A 6-gauge wire can handle 60-amp circuits in sub panels, double ovens or electric ranges. But an 8-gauge wire can only manage with 45-amp circuits.
  • Gray – This type of cable is used for underground installations and is resistant to many factors such as water, sunlight or oil.

The other type of cable used in home wiring projects is the armoured cable which consists out of black, red, white and green insulated wires that are enclosed in a flexible metal sheath. This type of cable is often called BX, and when people refer to cords, it’s usually this they have in mind. An armoured cable can be cut to length to suit the customer’s needs. Because of the metal protection layer, these cables can withstand being exposed to harsh conditions and certain levels of damage. Although this metal armour is much stronger than the non-metallic cable’s vinyl, it can still be pierced by a screw or a nail. So, be careful when working around them.