What kind of wire?

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  #1  
Old 11-05-00, 06:35 PM
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What is the difference between 3 wire cable and 4 wire? How is each used?
 
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Old 11-05-00, 07:49 PM
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Usually a 3-wire cable consists of two insulated wires, and one uninsulated. the coloring of the wires is usually black and white for the insulated, and, of course, no coloring on the bare. A 4-wire cable has all that the 3-wire does, and includes a 3rd insulated wire, colored red.

to ask what each is used for is a hard one, as each can be used for alot of different wiring schemes, depending on what the load will be, or what is wanted form the wiring scheme.

Hope this helps. RM
 
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Old 11-05-00, 08:02 PM
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The most common uses for 4-wire cable are:

(1) Wiring 3-way and 4-way switches (for lights controlled from two or more places).
(2) Wiring 3-wire circuits (two circuits sharing a neutral).
(3) Wiring 220-volt outlets and subpanels (such as dryers and ranges).

I'm sure it has other uses as well, but these three are present in most houses.
 
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Old 11-05-00, 08:22 PM
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Both Rick M and John are correct in what they say. However I have noticed in this forum that we use the term 3 wire many times meaning 4 wire. It seems to be depending on where we are from as to what we call a 3 wire cable. In my area when someone speaks of a three wire cable they are speaking of a cable such as 12/3wGrnd. The ground seems to be taken as a given and just call this wire a 3 wire cable. Seems like you might want to question what cable they are talking of when you get a reply. Seems like some local slang pops up calling both a 3 wire cable and a 4 wire cable the same thing a 3 wire cable ignoring the bare grounding wire. I tend to be one of those slang type people also. I have been know to say 3 wire when I really mean 4 wire because that is how it is said in my locality.

Good Luck Translating

Wg

 
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Old 11-07-00, 12:16 PM
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Some confusion may be caused by the manufacturers as well, at least in what they are marketing here in northern VA. When we last bought wire it was labeled 10/3 and it had one black, one red, one white, and a bare ground. The stuff labeled x/2 had one black, one white, and a bare ground. But, I did notice that to be absolutely clear, we stated specifically what wires we wanted and then checked the wire itself before buying.
 
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