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Get to Know The Following Types of Electrical Cables and Their Functions

Electrical cables are essential in electrical installations at homes and buildings. Although they are both electrical current-conducting media, the types of electrical wires differ depending on their function and needs. There are various types of electrical cables, each with different functions and characteristics.

By understanding the types of electrical cables, you can ensure that the electrical installation at home is safe and efficient. Come on, read the following discussion of the types of electrical wires that are commonly used and their functions.

Classification of Electrical Cable Types

Electrical cables are classified based on several factors, namely:

1. Number of Cores:

  • SinSingle-Coreble: This cable has one conductor core and is usually used for lighting and grounding.
  • Multi-Core Cable: This cable type has two or more conductor cores and is usually used for home, building, and industrial installations.

2. Conductor Material:

  • Copper: Copper is the most commonly used conductor material because of its highly conductive and durable properties.
  • Aluminum is lighter and cheaper than copper, but its conductor properties are inferior.

3. Insulation:

  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): The most commonly used type of insulation because it is cheap and easy to install.
  • NYY (Nilex Young Cable): Waterproof and heat-resistant insulation suitable for outdoor installations.
  • NYA (Nilex Young Cable Armored): A type of NYY insulation with armored protection suitable for installations requiring extra durability.

4. Voltage:

  • Low-voltage (LV) Cable: It can operate at up to 1kV and is used for home, building, and industrial installations.
  • High-voltage (HV) Cable: This cable type operates above 1kV and is used for power generation installations and energy transmission.

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Types of Electrical Cables and Their Functions

1. NYA Cable

NYA cable is a cable with one copper core covered by PVC insulation. This cable is very commonly used in household and building electrical installations. NYA cables are known for their flexibility and relatively low price.


- Used in indoor electrical installations in walls or pipes.

- Suitable for installations that are not directly exposed to sunlight or water.

- Waterproof and heat resistant.

2. NYM Cables

NYM cables have multiple copper cores covered in double PVC insulation. This cable is more moisture-resistant than NYA, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor installations with adequate protection.


- Installation in homes with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

- Used for outdoor installations protected from direct sunlight.

3. NYY Cables

NYY cable has a copper core coated with thick PVC insulation. It is designed for underground or concrete installation because it offers better protection against mechanical and environmental damage.


- Underground installation or embedded in concrete.

- Suitable for installations that require extra protection from physical damage and animal interference.

4. NYAF cable

NYAF cable has a flexible fiber copper core and is coated with PVC insulation. It is usually used for electrical installations that require high flexibility.


- Used in distribution panels and control circuits.

- Suitable for installation in machines or devices that require flexible cables.

5. NYMHY Cable

NYMHY cable is a flexible cable with a fiber copper core and double PVC insulation. It is often used to install electronic devices and household appliances.


- Installation of electronic devices.

- Used for household appliances and temporary installations on construction sites.

6. Cable BC (Only Copper)

BC cable, or bare copper cable, is a pure copper cable without insulation. Because of its excellent conductivity, this cable is usually used for grounding or lightning protection.


- Grounding of the electrical system.

- Lightning rod.

7. ACSR Cable (Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced)

ACSR cable is a cable with aluminum conductors reinforced with a steel core. It is used for long-distance electricity transmission lines because it is highly tensile and corrosion-resistant.


- Long-distance electricity transmission lines.

- Used in open areas with extreme environmental conditions.

8. TW cable

TW cable is a cable with PVC-insulated copper conductors used for household and building installations. This cable is resistant to moisture and oil but should not be used outdoors without additional protection.


- Household and building installations.

- Use in areas that are not exposed to direct sunlight or water.

9. THW Cable

THW cable has PVC-insulated copper conductors that are resistant to heat and humidity. This cable is suitable for indoor electrical installations requiring high-temperature resistance.


- Indoor installation with high temperatures.

- Used in areas that require resistance to heat and humidity.

10. Armored Cable

An armored cable is equipped with an additional layer of steel to protect the conductor from mechanical damage. It is used in harsh environments, such as industrial installations and mines.


- Industrial and mining installations.

- Areas with a high risk of mechanical damage.

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Tips for Choosing the Right Electrical Cable

1. Consider Power Requirements

Choosing a cable that suits your electrical power needs is an essential first step. Improper wiring can cause overheating and potential fire. Pay attention to the core size, insulation thickness, and power requirements to be supplied.

2. Consider Installation Requirements

Choose the appropriate cable type. Is it indoor or outdoor? Also, determine whether the cable requires extra resistance.

3. Pay attention to the installation environment

The environment in which the cable will be installed influences the type of cable that should be selected. For example, NYY or armored wires are more suitable for underground installations.

4. Check Standards and Certifications

Ensure the cable you buy has the appropriate standards and certification to ensure its quality and safety. Cables with certification are usually more reliable and safe.

5. Consult a Professional

If you are still deciding which cable to use, it is best to consult a professional or electrician for proper advice.

Choosing the correct type of electrical cable is vital to ensure safety and efficiency in electrical installations in a home or building. By understanding the characteristics and functions of every cable, you can make better and more informed decisions. 

When selecting power cables, consider power requirements, installation environment, and safety standards. Always consult a professional with questions or doubts about your electrical installation.


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