What cable to use for wiring in the apartment: a review of the wires and the choice of the best option

On sale are a variety of wires, differing in material, cross section, marking, construction, color.

When laying electrical systems, it is necessary to decide the primary question - which cable to use for wiring in the apartment, since this choice will depend on the durability and reliability of the installed electrical communications.

Reasons for replacing cables

Full or partial replacement of power grids is usually necessary to perform in two cases:

  1. Posting age. A major overhaul is recommended 15-20 years after entering a new apartment. During this time, installed communications wear out, becoming a source of potential danger to residents.
  2. Redevelopment and repair of premises(especially with the addition of powerful household appliances).Modern electric cookers, washing machines, dishwashers place increased demands on wiring. It is undesirable to connect them to old power grids due to a mismatch of characteristics. When planning the purchase of such units it is better to update the communications in separate rooms, for example, in the kitchen or in the bathroom.

Regardless of the reason for the replacement of electrical networks, work should begin with the selection of cable products.

Differences of cables from wires

Beginners often ask the question what to buy for the construction of electrical communications - cables or wires.

To solve this problem, you need to find out the difference between these products:

  • According to GOST 15845-80 adopted in the USSR, the cable consists of one or more conductors (conductors) covered with insulating material. Such elements, in turn, are enclosed in plastic, polyethylene, metal or rubber sheath, over which an additional protective cover can be installed, including armored.
  • Thanks to double insulation, the cable is reliably protected from moisture, light, exposure to aggressive substances, mechanical damage.Increased durability and reliability characteristics make it possible to use such products in the most difficult conditions, for example, under water and underground.
  • The wire consists of one or several twisted cores, which can be both isolated and bare. Usually they are enclosed in a non-metallic sheath (PVC, cross-linked polyethylene) or braid / textile or wire winding. The security of the wire is much less than the cable, so the scope of its use is rather limited.

According to professionals, for the installation of a fixed electrical network in an apartment, you must use only cables.

Wires can be used for portable electrical equipment, as well as in low-voltage systems with a voltage not exceeding 24V.

Differences cable from wire
Wires are distinguished from cables by the presence of bare conductors and a lighter protective sheath. They can be used to create electrical systems that are not subject to increased requirements.

When choosing materials for the construction of electrical networks in residential premises, preference should be given to flawlessly high-quality products.

Only in this case it is possible to install safe, fire-resistant and reliable wiring that will ensure the delivery of electric current to every corner of the apartment.

The most important characteristics of cable products

When purchasing products used for laying electric communications, it is important to consider the following features.

Cable material and design

In the range you can find wiring elements using copper and aluminum conductors.

Although the latter are cheaper, copper products are more reliable: they have a higher current conduction index and lower resistance — moreover, the conductors of this metal heat up more slowly.

Copper is also more plastic and is not subject to rapid oxidation, so that the veins of it serve for a long time.

Based on these characteristics, the existing documents (PUE 7.1.34andSP 31-110-2003, p. 14.3) prescribe for the wiring device in the apartments to use exclusively copper cables and wires.

Aluminum cable
Although aluminum products are widely used in industry, their use for wiring electrical networks in residential premises is prohibited by the rules of electrical installations

According to the design of the wire may have one or more lived. A single-wire element is a monolithic conductor surrounded by an insulating sheath.Such a product is convenient and easy to assemble, besides, it is cheaper than the multiwire one.

At the same time, cables of this design, especially of a large cross-section, are more rigid and often break when bent. Because of these features, experts prefer plastic multi-core products.

Such models tolerate twisting, bending, turning, so that they are suitable for laying any electrical networks.

Additional processing of cable ends
To connect wires with multi-wire conductors to electrical equipment (terminal blocks of switches, sockets), termination or additional crimping with tips is required

However, if there is an urgent need for plaster wiring, the use of a single-core copper product is allowed, as the finishing material provides additional protection.

More information about the cable section

This indicator, measured in square millimeters, reflects the current carrying capacity. Copper cable product one mm2able to skip a current of 8-10 amperes, while the aluminum maximum indicator is only 8A.

Wire diameter measurement
Cable cross section should not be confused with its diameter.If the last characteristic can be measured with a caliper or even a ruler, then the cross-sectional area is calculated using a special formula, one of the variables of which is the diameter

In order to ensure the safe operation of the power grid, it is better to select conductors with greater bandwidth.

Due to this, the core does not heat up above the permissible rate, which protects the insulation from melting. The margin of the section is also important, since the wiring hidden under the plaster is weakly cooled.

At the same time, it is not recommended to take a cable whose face value is much higher than the rated one (for example, 4 instead of 2.5 mm2), in this case, it is necessary to apply the protection of the wiring calculated on the basis of this indicator, that is, more power machines and RCDs are required.

Cables of different sections
For the wiring of electrical networks in the apartment is usually used several types of cables. The thinnest are used for lighting, the middle ones are suitable for outlets, and the thickest for connecting electric stoves

Ideally, the cross-section should correspond to the marking indicated on the tag of the cable product, but the actual figure often has a lower value.

Small differences are permissible, since during certification attention is paid to resistance, and not to cross-section. Significant discrepancies in numbers indicate marriage.

When choosing a cross section of electrical cables need to be guidedPUE 7.1.34, while each wiring line is required to be calculated separately, taking into account the anticipated load.

Insulation thickness

Any conductor used in a multi-conductor or single-conductor cable is surrounded by insulation, for which PVC or other types of plastic are used (they can be ordinary or have reduced flammability and smoke formation).

The thickness of the insulation is regulated by the relevant state-of-the-art standards: for household cables rated for voltage up to 660 V, with a cross section of 1.5 and 2.5 square millimeters, the standard provides for the use of an insulation layer of 0.6 mm.

In order not to be mistaken, it is better to buy cables of famous brands offered in reputable specialized stores.

Cable sheath thickness

The outer sheath forms a complete cable, fixing and protecting insulated conductors inside.

Like vein insulation, it is usually made of various types of plastic (PVC, cross-linked polyethylene, a polymer with reduced flammability), but it is thicker.

According to the accepted rules, the layer of protective sheath of single-core cables is 1.4 millimeters, and stranded - 1.8 mm, in practice, the thickness of such products may vary slightly in a smaller direction.

All components of the apartment wiring, even if they are supposed to be used for sections with a minimum power, must be made of cables with protected wires and an integral sheath.

Double insulation allows maximum protection of the grid from damage and ensures the safety of people, helping to avoid electric shock.

Rules for reading cable marking

The cable sheath used for electrical installation in a residential area contains all the information necessary for selecting a product. The inscription, which must be clear and readable, is printed or extruded in the process of manufacturing products.

Cable marking
Basic information about a specific type of cable product is applied along the entire length of the product, at a short distance from each other.

Here are some notation.

The first letter used in marking indicates the material for the insulation shell:

  • P- wire or insulation of polyethylene;
  • AT- polyvinyl chloride (PVC) insulation;
  • TO- control cable;
  • R- rubber insulation.

The second letter indicates the material from which the core is made:

  • AT- PVC insulation;
  • R- rubber sheath;
  • P- polyethylene insulation.

In addition, the marking may contain other letters reflecting other characteristics of the electric cable.

  • ng- cable insulation has a lower flammability;
  • Shve- Protective sealed wire; PVC hose;
  • LS- when melting the wire, there is little smoke
  • Bb- protective sheath consisting of two steel tapes;
  • Uh- shielded cable;
  • B- armored wire;
  • s- cable with gaps between conductors;
  • P- flat wire;
  • R- cable having increased flexibility;
  • Coolant- single-wire core

The letter for the material from which the cable is made is only for aluminum products (A). The letter is not indicated for copper wires, as this metal is used by default.

The marking may also contain the following important information:

  • name of the manufacturer;
  • year of issue;
  • number lived;
  • cross section;
  • voltage (nominal).

In catalogs and price lists usually do not indicate the manufacturer and date of manufacture. In this case, the marking isVVGng (oo) -0.66 kV 3x1.5.

What is decoded as a three-core non-flammable (ng) flexible (G) copper cable with three single-wire conductors (exp), the cross section of which is 1.5 sq. Mm. The cable is designed for a rated voltage of 660 V, and has insulation and sheath of PVC plastic (BB).

Cable core colors

Wires can be either uniformly colored or have a one millimeter strip on the sheath along the wiring.

Wires of different colors
The conductors in the cable have different colors. This greatly facilitates the process of connecting elements, which is important when carrying out electrical work

Experienced electricians know that:

  • Red, brown, white wires, as a rule, are used as a phase (in the diagrams referred to asL).
  • Blue wires denote zero (N).
  • Green or green-yellow veins, which are applied to the plan lettersPE, always correspond to grounding.

Such color specificity greatly facilitates electrical work.

Packaging and certificates of conformity

There are two types of standard packaging for electrical wiring.Designed for retail sales in construction and other specialized stores, cables are wound on coils.

Products offered to wholesalers, construction companies and other large consumers are packed in drums.

Cable tag
Each package of cable products must be attached with a tag, which may have a different color, shape and mounting option

Regardless of the packaging, a tag with a description is attached to the products, which includes:

  • name of the plant or brand name;
  • brand of cable products;
  • date of manufacture;
  • GOST or TU, according to which the cable product is produced;
  • the number of segments with the designation of the length;
  • drum number;
  • conductor weight;
  • mark of conformity;
  • check mark.

When buying a cable, a whole bay of 100 meters in size, the tag is handed over with the products. When purchasing a piece of electrical wiring - a label provided by the seller to view

The quality of the cable is confirmed by special documents. Products must have a fire safety certificate and a certificate of conformity, confirming the possibility of using this type of cable for certain electrical work.

The document relating to a particular type of product must be specified GOST or TU, as well as the expiration date. Sellers are required to present a certificate for review at the first request of the buyer.

Appearance of cable products

When purchasing electrical wiring should also pay attention to the appearance of products. It is better to avoid products that have external damage: pronounced bends, constriction, bruising.

Such faults can signal internal problems: conductors with external defects may have breaks or be closed on each other. In order not to be mistaken with the choice, it is advisable to carefully inspect the electricity in the store, and only then pay for the purchase.

Existing product types

It is difficult to unambiguously answer the question, what wires and cables are needed for wiring in residential premises of an apartment, since for carrying out such work different types of similar products are required.

Three-core cable
According to current safety regulations, all household appliances and sockets must be grounded. Therefore, a three-core cable having a “phase”, “zero” and “ground” is stretched everywhere in apartments.

For the lighting circuit, on which the least load of the power grids falls, a cable with a section of 1.5 mm will be suitable2. For him, it is enough to provide a circuit breaker of 10A (2.3 kW).

For sockets, the load in which can reach up to 3-4 kilowatts, it is necessary to take products with a cross section of 2.5 sq. Mm, capable of withstanding current up to 27 Amps and power 5.9 kilowatts.

However, the line should not be loaded to such limits: for proper operation, a margin of one third of the planned load is necessary. In this case, you need a switch designed for 16A (3.6 kW).

If you plan to connect the electric cooker (hob), you need to lay a cable section of 6 square millimeters for power up to 10.1 kW.

In this case, it is important to select the appropriate automat designed for an electric current of 32A (voltage of 7.3 kW).

When choosing the parameters of the input cable to the apartment, it is important to consider the power allocated to the apartment. As a rule, in this case it is necessary to use a product with a section of 6-10 square millimeters.

Popular types of electrical wiring

Among the commonly used types of products for electrical installation can be distinguished two common models:

Option # 1 - cable VVG

The most popular product of domestic production, which is often used to perform electrical work in the apartment. Cable refers to unarmored flexible power wires.

It can consist of 1-5 copper conductors, the cross sections of which vary from 1.5 to 240 square millimeters. The conductors, which may have a round, triangular and flat shape, are surrounded by PVC insulation and a common sheath.

Cable VVG has several modifications:

  • VVG- The main type, the characteristics of which are given above.
  • VVGng- power cable having an outer sheath and core insulation made of non-combustible polyvinyl chloride.
  • VVGng-LS- wiring whose conductors have non-flammable self-extinguishing insulation, and the shell has a low smoke emission rate.
  • VVGng FR-LS- non-flammable cable with low smoke, having additional protection against fire, made of mica tape.

Although ordinary VVG is cheaper, its shell does not have fire-resistant properties and emits a lot of smoke during combustion.

These products are also not suitable for beam laying, whereas non-combustible products are mounted in bundles, so that several cable lines can be laid at the same time in corrugations, pipes or a pit.

Types of cable VVGng
The same type of products (for example, cable VVGng), produced by different enterprises, may have minor differences in appearance and technical characteristics

For the reasons listed above, for the wiring of electrical networks in an apartment, it is better to take reliable and practical products of the VVGng / VVGng-LS brands, related to professional products.

Option # 1 - NYM cable

These are copper products manufactured at Russian factories under a German license. The cable conforms to both domestic GOST and European standards.

According to the main characteristics of the model coincides with the indicators cable VVGng; it is also rated for a nominal voltage of 0.66 kW.

NYM single-wire stranded cable with a cross section of 1.5-10 mm is available2and stranded, the cross section of which exceeds 16 mm2.

For incombustibility of the product, a rubber filler is placed between the PVC sheath of the product and insulated with the same plastic conductors (1-5).

NYM wire structure
NYM and VVGng wires have a sheath made of a poorly burning polymer, due to which the insulation is prone to self-extinguishing. Another plus: a small amount of smoke that does not contain hazardous components is emitted during the burning of the shell

Cables VVGng and NYM have similar characteristics.To the number of their advantages include:

  1. High-quality execution. All components of the wiring (insulation, conductors, shells) comply with accepted state standards, due to which the products are notable for reliability and durability.
  2. High fire resistance and safety. The cables that meet all requirements work flawlessly under the prescribed load, and the particularly strong insulation allows beam laying without the risk of fire during the interaction of the cores.
  3. Easy cutting and convenient installation. Packing a cable of round shape allows you to comfortably install, avoiding twisting when laying networks. In this case, the wiring can be sealed at the output.

Another advantage is a large assortment of similar models, differing both in technical characteristics and in price.

Subtleties connecting electrical equipment

Apartment owners often have to connect large units of household appliances, for example, an electric stove or a washing machine, to the power outlet.

Flexible wires are intended for this purpose, andclause 2.1.48 of the EMP 7, according to which you can take only products whose purpose is indicated in the standards and technical conditions.

For example, to connect a hob, you need to pick up the wire, in the certificate of which there is mention of a similar use of this product.

What wires are not suitable?

There are product options that are strictly forbidden to use for the installation of electrical networks, even in the most extreme cases. These include the following types of products.

Product # 1 - PVA wire

Connecting copper element having a shell and PVC insulation. It has a multi-wire construction with 2-5 conductors with a cross section of 0.75-10 square millimeters.

A wire rated for a voltage of 0.38 kW can be used to connect household electrical appliances to the electrical grid and to make extension cords.

PVA wiring is not suitable for the following reasons:

  • It has a multi-wire core construction, therefore, to connect the ends, tinning and soldering are necessary, which requires a lot of time and a lot of experience.
  • The product creates a fire hazard: because of the wire cores, the product heats up more, causing the insulation to wear out faster, which can lead to a short circuit.
  • PVA should not be laid in a beam, whereas almost all cable models are suitable for this. Due to the fact that the wiring lines must be located at some distance from each other, it is necessary to carry out wall strokes for each of them in the wall.

Thus, the high cost of installation will not be able to compensate for even the low cost of such wires, besides the quality of the laid electrical network will not be too high.

Product # 2 - ShVVP, PVVP wires

Cords or cables that have one or stranded copper conductors can be used to connect household appliances and electrical equipment.

However, they are not suitable for stationary electrical communications, because these products do not have non-combustible insulation.

Electric wire ШВВП
Although flat cord with half-vinyl sheaths (SHVVP) is not recommended for laying electrical networks, it is quite suitable for low-current lighting up to 24V, namely for laying wiring from transformer to LEDs

In addition, the service life of the ball screw and runway guns is quite short, and the multicore structure requires processing of the endings and soldering during installation.

It is also worth mentioning PUNP (universal flat wire), which was banned for laying electrical grids in the apartment in 2007.

This outdated product has poor insulation and low power, which is why it does not withstand modern loads.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The proposed video provides detailed information on the choice of products for the organization of electrical wiring in a residential area:

Despite the large variety of products, choosing the necessary material for the construction of electrical communications is quite easy.It is necessary to carefully read the labeling, tags and certificates of products, pay attention to the technical characteristics and quality of the cable..

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