Copper XHHW Electrical Wire

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WesBell XHHW-2 wire is similar to THHN wire but with fire resistant insulation. XHHW is commonly used in conduit or raceway for services. It's also used as a feeder cable or for branch circuit wiring. It can be used in wet or dry locations up to 90°C and 600 volts. It’s mostly used in place of THHN outdoors when sunlight is an issue or in indoor applications where fire could be an issue.

Copper XHHW Cable Construction

The soft drawn copper strands are not designed to be flexible because it would cost additional money to design and manufacturer. XHHW conductors are installed once and never touched while the application is running, so there’s no need for added flexibility. The bigger the AWG size the more difficult it can be to bend, but the nonflexible copper strands also make it easier to push the cable through conduit, which is a common installation.

The insulation is cross linked polyethylene for resistance to sunlight and added protection from flame. It’s rated for 600 volts and 90°C and there are approvals stamped on the insulation of the cable. There are ten main colors to choose from in gauges 14 through 10, four colors to choose from in gauges 8 through 4/0, and one color (black) for the remainder of large sizes.

Copper XHHW Cable Approvals

Since ASTM, UL44, AA59544, CT Rated, Gas and Oil resistant, NFPA 70, NEMA WC 70, FT4/IEEE, RoHS and REACH. The most important approval to review is FT4, “The FT4 Vertical Flame Test — Cables in Cable Trays is similar to the UL-1685 Vertical Tray Flame Test, but is more severe. The FT4 test has its burner mounted at 20°C from the horizontal with the burner ports facing up. (CSA FT4 Testing)” Without the FT4 flame test needed in the application it might be wise to look at the less expensive THHN wire which is thermoplastic instead of cross linked polyethylene.

Copper XHHW Cable Applications

Most often it’s used in fire resistant applications, services, feeders, branch circuit wiring, conduit and raceway where flame, moisture, gas and oil come into play. The “HHW” stand for High Heat and Water resistant, so those are common applications to use it as well.

“Wires with XHHW insulation are commonly used in the alternating current (AC) electrical distribution systems of commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings and installations, usually at voltage levels (potential difference or electromotive force) ranging from 110-600 volts. (Wikipedia)”

Copper XHHW Cable Manufacturers

Manufacturers that design and make THHN and THWN also manufacture and design XHHW such as Southwire, Encore Wire, Republic Wire, Unified Wire and Cable and Cerro Wire. WesBell buys from Southwire and Encore because of their fair pricing, customer service, commitment to distribution and quick delivery times. Don’t assume that every manufacturer has the same list of approvals on their version of XHHW, the approvals vary by manufacturer which can be the reason for a cheaper price tag.

When buying you wire and cable products through WesBell we can cut it to any lengths you require, create special spool sizes, use special spools, ship with or without labels, bar code part numbers, POs and boxes, and many other services. We’re and ISO 9001 certified company that takes price in quality and enforces continuous improvement. We have many more value added services such as cutting and stripping hook up wire, using machines to cut and crimp terminals to wires, spiral stripe wire, twist wire, solder and tin dip wire, and various hands-on cable assembly items.



  • Construction
  • Bare copper
  • XHHW-2 (XLP) insulation
  • Approvals
  • ASTM
  • UL44
  • AA59544
  • CT Rated
  • Gas and Oil resistant
  • NFPA 70
  • NEMA WC 70
  • FT4/IEEE
  • RoHS
  • REACH
  • Applications
  • Fire resistant applications
  • Services
  • Feeders
  • Branch circuit wiring
  • Conduit and raceway