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How To Protect Electrical Wires From Heat

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When constructing an electrical system, one of the challenges is to protect the wires from excessive heat. Wires generate heat on their own and if the surrounding environment is also very hot, the wires can become damaged. Luckily, there are products that can shield wires from heat to prevent them from degrading.

Determine The Average Temperature Of The Environment

Begin by finding out the temperature that you expect the wire to be exposed to. This will determine the type of sleeve you can use. For example, a sleeve might be able to withstand 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit at a continuous level and could withstand 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit temporarily. You will need to determine how high temperatures can rise and for how long.

Use The Proper Length For The Sleeve

Measure the length and diameter of the wires when choosing a sleeve or conduit. The sleeves must be cut to perfectly fit the wires or the sleeves will not be able to provide adequate heat protection.

Choose The Right Flexibility

Sleeves are usually available in multiple colors, which allows you to make it easier to identify specific wires. However, flexible coverings are also more likely to droop and can potentially expose the wires and covering to heat or corrosion.

Some protective coverings are very flexible, which allows them to fit around any shape. However, if the cables must not be allowed to move out of place, you will need a more rigid sleeve.

Select A Coating That Has Adequate Corrosion Resistance

Consider other problems that the environment might create, such as corrosion, and select sleeves that are corrosion-resistant.

Determine Whether You Should Use Heat-Resistant Tape

If you need even more flexibility than with sleeves, find a heat-resistant tape to wrap the insulation in. Heat tape is made of highly durable cloth and has a reflective heat shield. However, the tape can usually not resist the same level of heat as sleeves, especially when exposed to direct heat contact. It also requires a clean surface to adhere to.

Use Heat-Resistant Clips, Fittings and Ties

Clips, ties and fittings that are used to hold the wires into place must also be resistant to heat. The clips must not warp under high temperatures, which could cause the wires to become loose.

Protect Wires Inside Boxes With Heat Shield Panels

If the wires are installed inside a box, the box can be protected with a heat shield panel made with ceramic and heavy-duty foil. They are held in place with rivets or stainless steel ties.  

For an electrical contractor, contact a company such as Albarell Electric Inc.