What is a Hook-Up Wire?

Colored Wires

What is a hook-up wire? It’s a special type of wire that’s used primarily in low-current, low-voltage applications. If you need wiring for an enclosed piece of electronic equipment, there’s a good chance you need a hook-up wire. Hook-up wires vary in terms of conductors, jacket and insulation material, and voltage, so it’s important to consider the requirements of the application. Read on to learn more about hook-up wires with Gateway Cable Company, and the important role they play in electronics. 

What is a Hook-Up Wire Used For? 

Hook-up wire is in the lead wire family and serves as a single insulated conductor. You can find hook-up wiring in the following devices: 

  • Control panels
  • Automobiles 
  • Ovens 
  • Meters 
  • Internal components of a computer 
  • Office machines and appliances 
  • And more 

Hook-Up Wire Replacement: When is it Necessary? 

How long do hook-up wires last? Well, wires and cables in general don’t come with a standard life expectancy. The jacket and insulator materials can impact how long a hook-up wire will last — wires with PVC jackets, for example, are said to last up to 80 years in some cases. 

Environmental factors and operational conditions will also heavily determine how soon you need to look into hook-up wire replacement. How long do hook-up wires last under different conditions? Learn more: 

  • Heat: Higher temperatures can lead to the degradation of the wire’s materials. 
  • Humidity: Moisture from humidity can also cause wire materials to start to degrade. 

Fluids: Exposure to fluids is yet another contributing factor to the lifespan of a hook-up wire. The type of fluids in question can vary greatly depending on the application but could include things like hydraulic fluids or even someone spilling a drink on a computer.

What to Consider When Buying Hook-Up Wire 

Hook-up wires come in different sizes and rated voltages. If you’re searching for hook-up wires, consider the following before you buy: 

  • Conductor-Related Specs
    • Material: The conductor material inside hook-up wires is often made of copper, which is the most commonly used conductor material. Copper resists corrosion and has a high thermal conductivity. 
    • Size: In the U.S., the size of a conductor is measured in American Wire Gauge (AWG). If the gauge number is high, the wire will have a small diameter. Wires with a thicker diameter can carry more current and have less resistance. 
    • Stranded or Solid Wires: Stranded conductors refers to a group/s of wires that are twisted together, making them more malleable than solid wires. 
  • Material: The jacket materials protects the wire and helps prevent current from leaking from the conductor. Jackets found on hook-up wires can be made from PVC, neoprene, silicon rubber, and more. 
  • Voltage: The rated voltage of a hook-up wire plays a role in other aspects of its design, such as insulation thickness. If you’re thinking about applications in terms of voltage, generally anything requiring <1 kV is low voltage, while 1 to 36 kV and >36 kV are medium and high voltage, respectively. Hook-up wires are best for low-voltage operations. 

Learn More About Hook-Up Wires at Gateway Cable Company

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is a hook-up wire,” the team at Gateway Cable Company can help you find the right component. We’re an ISO 9001-2015 certified facility specializing on military-grade products. Contact us with additional questions or request a quote online.