The Difference Between Cables And Wires

Cables and wires are metallic conductors allowing current to flow through your electrical installation.

Electric Wire Or Insulated Electrical Conductor

It is composed of a conductive core, most often in copper (more rarely in aluminum), covered with an insulating envelope in colored PVC.

The Color

The color makes it possible to identify the destination of the thread:

Yellow and green for the earth wire

Blue for neutral


This colorful marking is often different in other countries. So pay attention to equipment purchased abroad. Neutral is often represented by the letter N (neutral).

The phase and neutral wires are the metallic conductors which alternately carry current from the switchboard to supply and energize your various equipment. The ground wire is the protective conductor that carries current leaks and static electricity to the ground for your safety.

You can find electric wires in 2 forms: flexible or rigid.


Its flexibility allows it to be used for fast connections in a cramped space such as the electrical panel or to connect lighting.


It is composed of a single strand and is instead intended for long links with passage through ducts.

It is made up of several wires joined together (multipolar) in a single or double protective sheath. Depending on the use and the cable’s diameter, the number of wires can vary from 2 to 5. It is used both for the circulation of electric current (strong current) and for data transmission such as the telephone, computers, TV (weak current).

However, it is also common to hear about a cable protector outdoor when it has only one wire or conductor. This is called a single-core cable comprising a conductive core coated with insulation itself surrounded by a protective sheath. Example: coaxial cable, earth cable, etc.

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