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Not all copper wire is created the same

You'd think that all copper wire is created the same. Right? Wrong!

Recently our regular source for a less common gauge wire used in special applications couldn't meet the quantity needed for a new project, forcing us to buy wire from a secondary source. While the new wire met all the requirements to be considered an adequate substitute, it was far from identical.

Upon inspection, you'd notice that the PVC insulation on the wire was a slightly different color than our regular wire. Not all Blue's, Black's, Red's, White's and Green's are the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. While you might say "who cares about colors," consistency is important, and our customers have come to expect it from PDU Cables.

The wire's protective insulation were different thicknesses. Even the smallest change in outer diameter of 4 or 5 wires being pulled through a conduit can cause problems. Not all PVC insulation and outer sheath are created the same. Some are thick some are thin, some are hard, and some are soft. Not all outer diameters are the same. Using calibrated tools to strip the insulation off the wire seems like a simple process, but not if the diameter and composition of the wire change.

The number of strands and how tightly the wire is wound impacts the rigidity of the wires. Even something as simple as the temperature of the PVC insulation as it is applied can impact how it adheres to the wire, making it easy or difficult to strip off. You'd be surprised how these little changes in the wire composition can change how a cable is built or installed.

This is just one of the reasons PDU Cables sales, production and purchasing meet daily to discuss issues related to upcoming cable builds. The sooner we know that there could be possible build problems the sooner we can fix the issues to make sure our customers get the cables they need, when they need them.