Is TC-ER-JP Cable The Future of Residential Wiring?
KB Electric LLC received a package in the mail from a company called TCER Direct. This company is a wiring and cable distributor, one of the largest in the U.S for electrical wiring with multiple sales and distribution centers across the states. Upon receiving a sample product of their TC-ER-JP cable in the mail, it dawned on us that while technology is constantly advancing, so is the technology and products in the residential electrical industry. Let’s explore what TC-ER-JP cable actually is, and explain why this may be the future of residential wiring.
What is TC-ER-JP Cable?
TC-ER-JP is the newly defined term for TC-ER cable applied to a residential application. According to TCER Direct, this TC-ER-JP cable will soon be known as Trable. TC-ER-JP cable in homes could be used for:
- Household appliances such as wiring a kitchen oven.
- Swimming pool wiring
- EV home charger wiring
- Whole home generators
- HVAC mini split units
NEC Code Changes For TC-ER-JP Cable (Tray Cable Extended Run Joist Pulled)
As electricians in an ever-changing technological country, we were reminded about the NEC (National Electric Code) changes of 2017 and most recently, 2020. In 2017 the NEC made a change in one of their codes per section 336.10 Uses Permitted (item (9)) that allows the use of TC-ER cable to be used in a residential setting (one and two-family dwelling units) without a conduit/raceway as long as it contains power AND control conductors.
The TC-ER cable must also be rated for joist pull (hence the added JP at the end of TC-ER) for residential application. Also, it should be noted that TC-ER-JP should not be used in a residential setting without a sleeve of conduit if the exposed cables can be physically damaged as per section 336.12 of the 2017 NEC.
TC-ER-JP Cable (Trable) Vs. NM-B (Romex) Cable
The usual cable an electrician uses for residential wiring is called NM-B, also known as the brand, Romex. When Romex is compared with TCER Direct’s TC-ER-JP (Trable), there are a few things that stand out. Unlike Romex, TC-ER-JP (Trable):
- Meets crush and impact requirements of MC Cable (Metal Clad).
- Rated for exposed runs.
- Does not requiring sheathing unless in areas that the cable can succumb to physical damage.
- Rated for direct burial, whereas Romex needs to be encased in conduit.
- Rated for exposure to sunlight and wet areas.
- Ampacity rating of 167 degrees fahrenheit (Romex is 140 degrees fahrenheit)
In addition, TCER Direct’s TC-ER-JP cable is NEC 2020 approved and UL certified.
Will TC-ER-JP Be The Future of Residential Wiring?
Because TC-ER-JP, specifically TCER Direct’s brand has many features that Romex does not, it certainly may be possible that there is a future for TC-ER-JP to become the “big dog” in the residential wiring sector. In summary compared to Romex, TC-ER-JP cable is rated for exposed runs, exposed sunlight, wet areas, direct burial, requires no sheathing in certain circumstances, and has a higher ampacity rating than Romex. These cables also may be run through attics, basements and garages without piping or conduit (as long as there is no imminent danger of damage to the cables.) For electricians, TCER Direct’s cables are extremely flexible, for easy installation.
Once electrical inspectors from townships and cities across the nation get on board with approving this type of cable that the NEC has deemed acceptable, it has the potential to become the main cable type for wiring EV charger stations, swimming pools, generators, and many more common household appliances.