Have you ever met someone who seems like they can do everything? Well, consider RHW the Renaissance Man of copper wire.

From renewable energy and electrical transmission to cathodic protection and underground feeder cable, RHW wire is a general building wire that excels in multiple environments.

RHW is made using a single solid or stranded, bare or tinned annealed copper conductor and is insulated with cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) or flame retardant EPR (Ethylene Propylene Rubber). The thermoset rubber insulation gives RHW wire abrasion and stress resistance and protects it from chemicals and moisture without sacrificing flexibility and maneuverability. UL 44 Type RHH/RHW-2 is the typical standard used for this product.

In cases where additional protection and durability are needed, a bulked-up version of RHW, called RHW-2, is available.

What Does RHW Even Mean?

In the wire and cable industry, seemingly every product has an acronym or abbreviation. RHW is no different, as its letters stand for:

R – Rubber. This is the insulation used to protect the conductor from damage.

H – Heat resistance. In the case of RHW cable, the wire can withstand temperatures up to 75° C.

W – Water resistance. This means you can install the cable in wet environments without risking damage.

Besides being moisture and heat resistant, RHW can withstand oil and gas, is sunlight resistant, and works well in wet or dry locations.

In the case of RHW-2, the cable has even more protection and a temperature rating of 90° C in wet or dry locations. Think of the -2 designation as a souped-up version of the standard 600-volt wire.

Are There Other Versions of RHW Wire?

Several wire types are like RHW, but each carries designations that make them more uniquely suited for specific applications.

RHH wire is very close to RHW, and both have the same rubber insulation. Unlike RHW, RHH carries a high-heat resistance and no water resistance. The cable can still perform well at higher conductor temperatures but cannot be used in wet environments and should not be used in direct burial situations.

USE-2 stands for Underground Service Entrance cable and has many of the same protections as standard RHW wire. Per UL, cables 1/0 AWG and larger are rated for CT (cable tray) Underground Service Entrance (USE). In conjunction with IEEE 383, UL 854 Type USE-2, ICEA S-95-658/NEMA WC70 are the typical standards used for this product type.

RWU90 is the Canadian version of RHW/USE and is not for sale in the United States. This cable complies with CSA standards C 22.2 and No.38.

Where Can RHW/RHW-2 Be Installed?

Thanks to its various protections and ability to operate at a wide range of temperatures, RHW has several wiring applications, including:

  • Lighting and general electrical projects
  • Power applications
  • Along raceways and inside conduit
  • Aerial applications
  • Underground installations that meet 90° C wet or dry, and meet cold bend tests at –25° C
  • Wet environments and in locations where there could be a risk of encountering oil and gas

In addition, RHW wire manufactured by Kris-Tech complies with National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements found in Article 310, which outlines requirements for conductions rated up to 2,000 volts. This article was revamped a few years ago and includes designations, markings, insulation, and ampacity.

One Wire, Many Applications

RHW is versatile and easily adaptable, making it a fit for many 600-volt applications.

It works inside and outside, is direct burial rated, sunlight resistant, and durable without being inflexible. Thanks to its XLPE insulation, the cable is tough enough to work as a sacrificial wire in cathodic protection scenarios.

When you’re ready to explore your RHW options, Kris-Tech is here to help. Our RHW-2 wire is made to meet the strictest standards, including UL, ASTM, ICEA, and NEMA, and is highly customizable to match nearly every job’s specification.

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