Allied Encyclopedia: Type W Cable

What is Type W Cable?

Type W cable is durable cord capable of supplying power in temporary or permanent wiring applications, depending on the cable’s construction. Classified as a “portable cord,” multi-conductor Type W cable is ideal for temporary power supply. Single-conductor Type W cable can also perform in portable applications, but may be suitable for more permanent usage as a “power cable.

Single Conductor Type W Cable 

Single conductor Type W power cable can be used for permanent wiring because it is dual-rated as RHH/RHW cable, meeting the standards for a sturdy general purpose hook-up wire. This cable is rated to 600 volts when used in permanent wiring applications, including hoists, cranes, power supplies, and the installation of flexible power leads in conduit or raceways.

Though it can be used for permanent power in some situations, this cable’s namesake Type W designation means it’s rated to 2000 volts for portable power systems. It’s a popular cable choice for entertainment industry applications, like in television, theater, nightclubs, and spotlight or sound systems, among many others. Single conductor Type W cable is designed to weather well in extreme environmental conditions thanks to its CPE jacket, which is sunlight and water-resistant. This cable withstands exposure to oil, alkalies, acids, moisture and chemicals, heat, and flame, while also meeting the requirements of the MSHA and UL Flame Test.

Multi-Conductor Type W Cable 

Multi-Conductor Type W Cable

Multi-Conductor Type W Power Cable

Multi-conductor Type W portable power cable has the same extremely durable, oil-resistant thermoset CPE jacket featured on the single conductor Type W cable. This multi-conductor cable also offers indent printing and color-coding for easy identification. It is available in 2, 3, 4, or 5 conductors that are insulated with premium-grade, color-coded EPDM rated to 90°C.

Depending on the number of conductors in this cable, the applications can vary:

  • 2-conductors: used in DC or AC single-phase systems where grounding is not required
  • 3-conductors: used in AC systems where no grounding is required, or on DC systems with one conductor for grounding
  • 4-conductors: used in two- or three-phase AC systems with one conductor for grounding
  • 5-conductors: used in applications where separating a system neutral from the frame ground is required

The construction and materials used in a multi-conductor Type W cable will help determine where the cable can be used best, whether that be in light to medium duty mining applications, industrial settings, heavy duty service for power supply, mobile and portable electrical equipment, or motor and battery leads.

Multi-conductor Type W cable can withstand severe environmental conditions and exposure to oil, acid, alkalies, heat, moisture, and most chemicals. It employs rope lay stranding for maximum flex life and has great impact resistance. The core of this cable is bound for top-notch flexibility and toughness. It is UL Type W, MSHA approved, and RoHS compliant.

This multi-conductor cable is also available in a flat construction. The flat Type W power cable is a kind of multi-conductor Type W cable which features parallel conductors constructed to lay flat with polyester tapes separating each conductor. They are insulated and color-coded with ozone, oil, and water-resistant synthetic rubber (EPDM) rated to 90°C. Flat Type W cable has an extra rugged CPE jacket that protects against oil, water, and sunlight. This cable is designed for use in mobile mining equipment, drills and pumps, oil field power, battery chargers, lifting magnets, conveyors, and also as portable and temporary power supply in areas where a grounded circuit is not required.

If you’re looking for more information on Type W cable, check out the full Type W power cable specs from Allied Wire & Cable.

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Merrimack, NH, Tampa, FL, Pewaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

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