Why do electrical wires have plastic coverings?

Personal Safety

Elecution is extremely dangerous and can cause death.

The most important reason electrical wires are covered with plastic is to protect against electrical shock. The dangers of electric shock can be deadly and can cause death. The protection of electrical wires from the elements is guaranteed by covering them in plastic. This ensures that electrons passing through the wires won’t flow through your body. Only 0.05 amps of electric current can cause skin damage, heart attack, and death. 200 amps is the recommended service rating for an American house.

Property Safety

The heat generated by electrons moving through conductors or wires tends to be due to their high speed motion. They also need the energy to move electrons from their shells to new atoms. This creates current flow. If the heat builds up, it can cause fire and can be surrounded with flammable materials like wood, paper, and sheet rock. The plastic helps to dissipate heat and prevent the wire’s from becoming too hot, causing fire.

Wire Insulation

The conductors used in electrical systems are well insulated by plastic. Hot and neutral wires can not be run in the same conductor. To safely transport electricity to electrical devices, another method would be needed. It would be difficult and costly, as well as a burden on finances. Plastic is able to keep the cost down and prevent electrical shock. It also helps dissipate heat, which can help stop fire.

Why plastic?

Why can’t electric wires be covered in other materials that resist electrical current such as wood and glass? Plastic is popular because it is flexible and can be bent around corners to enter electrical boxes without any danger. Plastic is also slow-burning and has the ability to dissipate heat.


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