Hook-up wire, also known as appliance wire or lead wire, are single conductor insulated wires that are typically used in the internal wiring of electrical equipment. These applications can range from motors, control and power circuits, switchboards, panels, transformers and rectifiers.

Every wiring category has a different way of identifying the cable. For example, the power cable uses and the assortment of letters, multi-conductors describe the construction and cable management products use the type of material. Hook-up wires are no different and have a much wider range of constructions than many other categories. These different products are identified by different UL and CSA certifications, which Sycor will breakdown.

 

CSA Hook-Up Wire!

Most hook-up wires are identified by specific designations like the common CSA and UL. These designations may represent the same type of product, but they do not have the same meaning. CSA designated hook-up wire includes the popular CSA REW, CSA TEW, CSA SEW and even the Type SIS. These unique designations were set in place by the Canadian Standards Association. The CSA is also responsible for additional approvals that are typically directly linked to the application, either by the application itself or the location of the application. Some of these can include CSA FT-4 or CSA AWM. 

 

TEW Hook-Up Wire REW Hook-Up Wire SEW Hook-Up Wire

CSA hook-up wires also have very similar names like TEW, SEW and REW, with each letter representing something completely different.

REW = Raidiated Equipment Wire

TEW = Thermoplastic Equipment Wire

SEW = Silicone Equipment Wire

 

UL Hook-Up Wire

UL and CSA have approvals in every hook-up wire, although the UL will often be rated for specific gauges sizes, while the CSA has one rating for all gauge sizes of that construction. The UL certification also typically has the same voltage rating for its products, but if not, it's traditionally lower. UL electrical wiring designations differ a little bit in comparison to CSA because of the variety of different countries that use the UL designations. UL is an overall very popular designation that's almost identical to CSA but can be rated for lower voltage applications.

Military Wiring Application Example

Mil-Spec Alternatives!

An unknown fact about mil-spec wiring products is that many of them are very similar in construction to hook-up wires. These similar constructions can act as an alternative if the CSA or UL constructions aren't available. These alternatives are identical in specs, with the one differing factor being the product certifications, which means the mil-spec or hook-up wires aren't legally certified for certain application settings.

Mil-spec wire and cable are subject to significantly looser standards than the traditional CSA or UL certifications. The main distinction in these certifications is the application location and the difference in voltage ratings. The standard hook-up wire will almost never go above 600 volts for safety purposes, while the mil-spec alternative is certified for significantly higher. The mil-spec voltages can sometimes be as much as 5x higher than the hook-up wiring counterpart.

 

*Below are the different CSA/UL hook-up wires, with the mil-spec alternative and the different voltage ratings.

Hook-Up Wire Alternative Mil-Spec Hook-Up Voltage Rating Mil-Spec Voltage Rating
CSA REW, UL1431 M16878/3 600V 3000V
CSA TEW, UL1015 M16878/3 600V 3000V
CSA TR64, UL1007 M16878/2 300V 1000V
CSA REW, UL1430 M16878/2 300V 1000V
CSA XLAWM, UL1429 M16878/1 150V 600V
CSA AWM, UL1213 M16878/4 600V Not Specified
CSA AWM, UL1164 M16878/5 300V 1000V

 *Products above are CSA/UL & Mil-Spec Alternatives

 

Some of Sycor's most popular hook-up wiring products include:

  • CSA TR64 UL1007
  • CSA TEW UL1015, UL1028
  • Type SIS
  • CSA AWM UL10086

 

Like many other popular wiring products, there are also Belden hook-up wiring alternatives. It's often a misconception that Belden produces a higher quality product, but in reality, the constructions are identical, rated for the same things, and Belden is almost always priced higher. The Sycor team will always recommend avoiding Belden unless specifically required, as there's no noticeable benefit except for using the brand.  

  

The insulation you choose to use on your cable is extremely important, in-fact we actually wrote about this in our insulation breakdown. If you're at all curious about the different characteristics of hook-up wiring insulations click the link below:

Insulation Breakdown!

 

Voltage  Temperature Rating   Type of Hook-Up Wire 
300V 80°C PVC
90°C Neoprene
105°C Cholrosufonated Polyethylene (CSPE)
XL-DUR
200°C TFE
600V 80°C Direct Burial
90°C Neoprene
SIS
105°C CSPE
PPO
PVC
125°C EPDM
XL-DUR
150°C EPDM
Silicone Rubber, Braidless
Silicone Rubber, Glass Braid
Silicone Rubber, Mercury Switch Wire
XL-DUR
200°C Silicone Rubber, Braidless
Silicone Rubber, Glass Braid
1,000V 80°C PVC
5,000V 105°C CSPE
7,500V 150°C EPDM
17,000 - 40,000V 80°C High Voltage Leads

  

The last area to touch on is the high-temperature hook-up wire. This set of products is typically insulated with either the popular Teflon insulation (PTFE, ETFE) or the more flexible Silicone. These insulations come in multiple configurations and have the ability to operate in temperatures that can reach 200°C+ and sometimes even higher. These applications aren't nearly as frequent but typically require larger gauge sizes and high voltage levels. Many high-temperature lead wires that Sycor carries go as large as a 4/0, while the more standard configurations typically won't exceed 8 AWG. The last major difference between standard hook-up wire and high-temperature hook-up wire is the voltages. PVC and XLPE insulated hook-up wires will have one voltage rating, while configurations designed to operate in the heat will often have 2 options. The 300 volts for the smaller gauges and the larger ones being rated for 600 volts.

  

One construction this isn't consistent with is the different SEW configurations. There is four different SEW configuration's each differentiating from the other by flexibility and by Voltage Rating.

SEW-1 = Less Flexible - 300V

SEW-2 = Less Flexible - 600V

SEWF-1 = Flexible - 300V

SEWF-2 = Flexible - 600V

CSA SEWF-1, UL SFF-1

 
Conclusion

Hook-up wire is one of the most popular cabling categories used around the world. With applications like internal wiring of electrical equipment, leads of transformers and motors, these simple constructions are perfect for a number of different applications. These smaller gauged, cost-effective products are also one of the most versatile, flexible and resistant. Whether your application is simple or extremely detailed, these multi-purpose wires have a construction for whatever solution your team may require.

 

 

 

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