As an electrician, you're likely familiar with TPS Cable, but for those who are not, TPS stands for "Thermoplastic-sheathed cable". It's a type of electrical cable commonly used in residential and commercial electrical wiring applications. TPS Cable is made up of a PVC insulation layer that is wrapped around two or three conductors made of copper.
How is TPS Cable Rated?
TPS Cable is rated based on several factors, including the cable size, the number of conductors it contains, and its maximum operating temperature.
The cable size is measured in millimetres squared (mm²), and the size of the conductors determines the cable's amperage rating. For example, a 1.5mm² TPS Twin and Earth cable is typically installed in lighting circuits and is rated at 16amps, whereas a 6.0mm² cable is used to install ovens or hot plates and is rated at 32amps.
The maximum operating temperature of TPS Cable is also an important factor in its rating, as it affects the cable's insulation properties and overall durability. TPS Cable is typically rated for use at temperatures up to 90°C, although some specialty cables may be rated at higher temperatures.
In Australia, what do the colours of the TPS Cable represent?
In Australia, the TPS cable's colours represent different conductors' functions within the cable.
The active conductor, which carries the electrical current, is colour-coded red. The neutral conductor completes the circuit, carries current back to the source, and is colour-coded black. The earth conductor, which provides a path to earth in the event of a fault, is colour-coded green with a yellow stripe.
It's important to note that these colour codes are standardized in Australia and intended to ensure electrical installations' safety. By following them, electricians can quickly identify and connect the appropriate conductors within a TPS cable, reducing the risk of electrical hazards and ensuring compliance with Australian standards.
Commonly used TPS Cable accessories:
- Junction Boxes conceal and protect the TPS cable when two or more cables are joined together.
- Cable Connectors are used to join TPS cables.
- Cable clips to secure the TPS Flat cable to a structure to prevent damage or sagging.
Electricians use these tools to work with TPS Cable.
- Pliers to strip the sheaths and twist the copper wires.
- Corrugated conduit: to provide mechanical protection over the cable.
A practical use case for TPS Cable.
Wiring in residential and commercial buildings
Common sizes for TPS cable are 1.5mm² for lighting and 2.5mm² for power points in residential and commercial buildings.
Airconditioning installations are now made easier with the Blue sheathed AC7504 1.5mm Three core and earth blue cable - it features four cable cores, Red, Black, White and Green/yellow. The extra cable core coloured white is used for the interconnect wire and makes installation faster and cheaper as all the cores are in one cable, not two.
White TPS twin and earth are used extensively in most builds because it is easy to run/install, easy to fit off and relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of wiring, which are much more labour-intensive such as PVC or metal conduit and building wire installations.
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