Frequently Asked Questions - Aluminum RHH/RHW-2/USE-2 90°C

Any special instructions I should follow while using Aluminum RHH/RHW-2/USE-2 90°C?
Aluminum RHH/RHW-2/USE-2 90°C cables are designed for use in power distribution within raceways as per the National Electrical Code. While the cables are not rated to be used in cable tray, they should be used in applications of about 600 volts and you should make sure that the temperatures don’t exceed 90 degrees Celsius. 

What are the specifications of Aluminum RHH/RHW-2/USE-2 90°C cables?
The cables are listed UL 44 and meet ASTM standards B 800 and B 801. They also meet the requirements of the National Electrical Code and are RUS accepted.  

How can I identify an Aluminum RHH/RHW-2/USE-2 90°C cable?
It has compacted conductors that are made of aluminum alloy AA-8000 series and these conductors have RHH, RHW-2, and USE-2 specifications. When you strip off the insulation of the conductor, you will see that they are made using aluminum material which appears light gray instead of the coppery color you find with copper wires. When you look at the insulation, it is made of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE). 

What does RHH, RHW-2, and USE-2 mean?
Type RHH cable means that it is designed to work in dry locations however, the temperature should not exceed 90 degrees Celsius. With RHW-2, it implies that the cable can be used in both wet and dry locations however, the temperature should not be more than 90 degrees Celsius. USE-2 is therefore suitable for underground services within dry and wet locations but the temperature requirement should not be more than 90 degrees Celsius. 

Should I use copper instead of aluminum cable? 
In the past, aluminum cables had a tendency of oxidizing after they have been exposed to air and this prevents flow of electricity. The aluminum cables used in the past could often become hot and at times, they could result in fire. This was unsafe, but today, with advancement in the engineering of aluminum cables, they are safe. The aluminum cables designed today have a protective cover to prevent oxidation. Therefore, you can consider using aluminum cables such as Aluminum RHH/RHW-2/USE-2 90°C. 

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