Before you begin your first DIY electrical project, you should learn a little about the wires you'll be working with. Wires vary greatly and each is designed for a purpose. The wiring in your home is chosen to accommodate the load it must carry as well as the conditions it will be exposed to. Some are designed for indoor use while others can be buried. Some are for your panel while others hook up your lights and outlets. It may be confusing at first, but you will probably deal with only a few types of wire in your home.
The NEC is used in conjunction with local, country, and State codes that strictly control electrical wiring. The codes are concerned with proper size of wire and with insulation. Factors that are considered are the expected load, the frequency of modifications, and the nature of the environment where the wire is used. Homes have small loads, infrequent modifications and a very non-corrosive environment. Commercial establishments are usually in the middle. The load demands are sometimes higher, and modifications are not infrequent. The factory or industrial site has a very high demand. Modifications are frequent, and the environment is often highly unstable.
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