What is a Hook-Up Wire?

The Hook-Up wire is a single-insulated conductor wire suitable for low-voltage, low-current applications. A hook-up wire works well in confined places and is available in various configurations with different conductors, insulations, and jacket materials.

In general, knowing what a hookup wire is and how to use it should be the first thing to consider when doing internal wiring. With that, buyers should examine parameters such as conductors, insulation, and rated voltage when choosing connection wires.

In this guide, we’ll learn more about the hook-up wire and the things to look for in a safe hook-up wire:

What is a Hook-Up Wire Used For?

a pair of hand holding a hook up wire

A hook-Up wire is commonly used in control panels, cars, meters, ovens and computers, electronic equipment, commercial machines, and appliances’ internal wiring.

A hook-up wire is most commonly employed within enclosed electronic equipment, although specific varieties may also be utilized in difficult military situations.

Most hookup wires are rated at 600V; however, temperature ratings differ depending on the structure.

Selecting the Appropriate Hook-Up Wire

hook-up wires rolled and put in a box

Purchasing hook-up cables might be overwhelming with so many factors to consider.

The following are the things that buyers should consider when buying hookup wires:

Voltage

For numerous reasons, it is critical to select the correct wire or cable for the voltage needed, some requirements include:

  • Wire thickness significantly impacts resistance; higher resistance generates more heat; hence, the incorrect gauge of wire might pose possible safety and fire issues.
  • Power in a wire can drop over long distances; thus, choosing a cable that will either limit this chance or guarantee it has not decreased below a usable level is critical.

Amperage

This is the amount of power an electric device uses and is measured in amperes. Knowing how much wire current will be taken by all devices when deciding which wire to utilize is vital. If a wire or cable below what the system requires is chosen, problems like overheating and the wire possibly melting may occur.

Overloading is another issue when too many devices are hooked into the circuit. A machine will not work correctly in these instances because circuit breakers might trip and shut down the device.

Wire Gauge

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) is a wiring standard that provides bare/stripped wire measurements. A reduction in diameter equals an increase in gauge.

The surface area shown in mm2 is another technique to evaluate wire thickness. When greater current must be transported via the circuit, bigger diameter wires are employed. Longer wires may be used in the system because wire current flows more readily across the wire without voltage instability.

Insulation

Insulation must be able to withstand a variety of circumstances in addition to separating the power source from another conductor and being grounded. Exposure to environmental chemicals is one factor to consider. The composition of insulation has an impact on the estimated life of wire products. 

Many wires are insulated using ordinary PVC material to protect the conductor from abrasion and shorts. PVC may melt in high-temperature situations. In these instances, a stronger insulating substance, such as fluorine or silicone is required.

Hookup wires are offered in various insulating materials such as PVC, PTFE, EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene elastomer), Hypalon, neoprene, and silicone rubber. (1)

The Hook-Up Wire and its Benefits

bigger hook up wires

Hookup wires are used in various items, appliances, and automobiles. Here are some of the advantages of using this sort of copper wire for your project:

  • Copper wire has the highest heat conductivity of any metal.
  • Copper wire has great resistance to corrosion due to its low reaction rating, which eliminates the need for expensive, recurrent replacements.
  • Another feature of a hookup wire is its malleability, which means it can be flexibly molded without snapping, which is very useful in electrical situations where the wire must wrap around corners. (2)

Take a look at some of our related articles below.




References
(1) PVC – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/polyvinyl-chloride
(2) malleability – https://www.thoughtco.com/malleability-2340002

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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