wire comparisons

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Joey described Unique's wire to me as having a high quality percentage of refined copper with a softer, more flexible insulation than other wire on the market. This sounds very promising to me.

    I love the idea of using high quality wire, but the price is a consideration. Feedback from others on the topic of favorite wires would be appreciated. My concern, is at what point is the extra cost worth the extra performance? I mean, we do use a lot of the stuff.

    A big advantage I could think, in addition to conductivity issues, is working with a wire that doesn't get twisted with memory, which causes resistance when going into slitted trenches. I find the memory issue to be really annoying when laying down multiple runs in a single trench. Is it actually quicker to install the good stuff, off-setting higher price with the potential time and labor saved?

  2. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    I think Uniques wire is made by Paige. The copper wire is all the same (copper is copper is copper) and must have certain strand counts to qualify for standard gauge sizes. It's the jacket or coating which in my humble opinion makes cable "quality" or not.
  3. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Pete, you are right (of course), it's made by Paige. My question to you, what do you think about those premium sheaths, worth the price for less memory?

    Thanks, man.
  4. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    I don't really know what you mean when you say memory. Do you mean pliability? What I look for is UL cable that is easy to work with so when you seperate the two conductors it doesn't leave copper showing on the inner sheathing-some of the cheap stuff does that. It also must be soft and supple all over and easy to strip. Much like the same qualities I look for in a beautiful woman.
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    As well as lacking memory? :laugh:
  6. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Now don't be slipping any of them roofies in their drink now.
  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    The twists and bends that linger become a bigger issue when putting multiple runs in the trench, so I was wondering if anyone pays a little more for wire that is more workable, or if it's better to just use the economy stuff, considering the amount of wire we use.
  8. Infinity Landscapes  Inc

    Infinity Landscapes Inc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    When we run several wires in a trench we tend to zip tie them together. I prefer to buy wire that has white writing this way it is much easer to identfiy vs the stamp writing.
  9. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I've been struggling with these same issues for the past year. Two shipments ago, I received wire that was so hard to pull apart that I thought I was going to get arthritis before I went throught it. The last shipment I received from a different supplier had the memory issues your talking about. When we cut it at the fixture, it would coil up and take off (very hard to deal with). I have now found a supplier that has wire with a very soft jacket, and their prices are the most reasonable I have ever found. PM me if you want additional info.
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I gotta agree with Chris since we are now using the same wire. Very easy to work with and super soft.

    Mike its important to have a technique down pat to help you bury multiple wires. You need to lay out all the wires then make sure none of them have just a little more slack than the other. You can zip tie them into a bundle if you like.

    If you dont already have one you need a wire spinner or dispenser. I like the old cast ones with the wooden table and bearing with a pipe coming up. I also welded up a bracket on an old dolly that works well too. Didnt care for the spinners from fold so if you call make sure you ask for the cast ones. You can also go to a local electric supply and ask about rack-a-tier or a cable caddy. any of these will keep your coils to a minimum. I like having 2 on site so I can pull multiple runs together.

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