Can You Use Armored Cable Outdoors?
Armored cable is an essential component of many electrical systems, and it is particularly popular for wiring in residential homes. This type of cable is made from copper conductor wires that are encased in a flexible metal or plastic sheath. Armored cable is highly durable and will resist crushing, cutting or other damage. But can you use armored cable outdoors? This article explores the answer to this question and everything else you need to know about using armored cable outdoors.
In order to understand if armored cable can be used outdoors, we need to understand the components that make it up, the advantages and disadvantages of using it outside, and some safety tips for widespread outdoor use. Additionally, this article will consider the different types of armor, their appropriateness for outdoor use, and any common misconceptions related to external cable use. Armed with this information, you will have all the tools you need to make an informed decision about outdoor uses of armored cable.
Understanding Armored Cable Components
Armored cable consists of three main components: the copper conductor, the armor, and an outer jacket. The copper conductor is insulated and is the most important part of the cable. It provides a safe path for the electric current to flow. The armor provides additional protection by shielding the device from physical damage, such as crushing or cutting. Finally, the outer jacket provides weatherproofing and fire resistance.
The armor is typically made of galvanized steel, although there are also aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic options available. The armor is tightly woven, which means it’s resistant to physical damage. In addition, the armor is designed to allow flexibility and provide strain relief, which helps to increase the lifespan of the cable.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Armored Cable Outdoors
Using armored cable outdoors offers a number of advantages. The most obvious advantage is the physical protection it provides. Armored cable is highly resistant to the elements, including water, wind, and temperatures. Additionally, since the outer jacket is designed to be weatherproof, it also helps to protect against electric shocks.
However, there are also some drawbacks to using armored cable outdoors. For one thing, it’s more expensive than non-armored cables. Furthermore, armored cable is heavier than non-armored cable. This means it’s not ideal for applications that require the cable to be moved frequently.
Safety Tips for Wide-Ranging Outdoor Use
When using armored cable outdoors, it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions. First, make sure to choose the appropriate type of armored cable for your specific application. Each type of cable has its own range of ratings, so it’s important to make sure the cable you’re using is suitable for the environment you’re using it in.
Next, make sure the cable is properly grounded. This ensures that any electric current will be safely discharged, rather than traveling through the cable. Additionally, always make sure the cable is properly sealed to prevent water or moisture from getting into the cable. Finally, make sure the cable is secured properly so it won’t be damaged by extreme weather conditions.
Types of Armored Cable and Their Appropriateness for Outdoor Use
There are two main types of armored cable: metal-clad (MC) cable and type AC cable. MC cable is a flexible metal-clad cable used for branch circuits and short runs. The armor on this type of cable is usually made of aluminum conduits, and it provides some water resistance. However, it’s not recommended for long runs or in wet locations, since it’s not designed to withstand water.
Type AC cable is a rigid metal conduit cable that provides maximum protection against physical damage and moisture. In addition, it’s designed to be used in wet locations, so it’s much better suited for outdoor use.
Common Misconceptions About Armored Cable Outdoor Use
One common misconception about armored cable outdoor use is that it’s not possible. This is simply not true. Armored cable is perfectly suited for outdoor use, provided the appropriate precautions are taken. Another misconception is that armored cable isn’t necessary for outdoor use. While it’s true that certain types of non-armored cable are suitable for outdoor use, using armored cable will ensure maximum protection against physical damage and moisture.
Armored cable is a great option for outdoor use, but it’s important to understand the components it’s made of and the safety precautions necessary for widespread outdoor use. Additionally, it’s important to understand the different types of armor and their appropriateness for outdoor use. Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about whether armored cable is right for your outdoor application.
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