Frequently Asked Questions
In existence for over 20 years, Modular Wiring Systems have been used all over the world in projects of all sizes, complexities and environments. Selected by engineers, contractors and building owners for their cost, flexibility, safety and quality benefits, there still exist many perceptions surrounding modular wiring techniques. The following FAQ is an opportunity to dispel some of the myths and present the reasons why many contemporary construction projects are specifying modular wiring.
What is a modular wiring system (MWS)?
A modular wiring system is cost-effective and environmentally-responsible approach to interior building wiring. Manufactured off-site, a MWS can allow for a complete installation from electrical panel to end use device such as a light fixture, duplex receptacle or systems furniture wiring. Using colour-coded and uniquely-keyed pre-terminated cables, plugs and receptacles, a modular wiring system plugs together on-site in a fraction of the time required for site hardwiring, virtually eliminating job-site waste and accelerating electrical construction timelines.
Where can a modular wiring system be used?
A modular wiring system can be used in variety of environments such as Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Retail and Residential. Applications include Lighting, Lighting Control Systems, Power Distribution (ceilings and raised access floors), integration to Systems Furniture wiring, Wall Duplexes (fixed walls and partition wall systems), BAS wiring and Voice/Data Cabling.
Why Modular Wiring when hard wiring works just fine?
Traditional hard wiring is currently the prevalent wiring method on many construction sites but is labour intensive, more costly and offers little in the way of flexibility, scalability and efficiency.
How are modular wiring systems more flexible?
Alterations (moves, adds, changes) are safe and easy to make through intuitive modular plug-and-play connections which require no hard wiring.
How are modular wiring systems more efficient?
Reducing the need for on-site wire prepping, stripping and termination, modular wiring systems can be installed up to 80% quicker than traditional means while virtually eliminating job-site waste. The plug and play nature of modular wiring enables re-use and relocation of electrical systems by simply unplugging and plugging colour-coded mating connectors. Some manufacturers offer value-added services such as packaging materials to suit job site logistics and scheduling. Manufacturer testing ensures that all product is consistent in quality.
Are all modular wiring solutions created equal?
In North America, all modular wiring products are subject to CSA 22.2 No.203 and UL183 Manufactured Wiring Systems safety standards. Check manufacturers for CSA certifications and/or UL listings. Beyond the baseline safety requirements of MWS, investigate manufacturers by evaluating their products and services.
- Ask if the manufacturer sources connectors or manufactures them in-house as part of their process? This can have an effect on lead time, quality and reliability.
- Does the supplier have in house manufacturing (cables, connectors etc.) or is an assembler of other companies components? This may have an effect on product customization, overall quality or product availability in the future.
- Take a close look at the connectors used in the system? Are they rated to make or break at high voltages? Are they tamper proof? This could have a bearing on the quality and safety of the system.
- How long has the manufacturer been building MWS? What kinds of project experience does the manufacturer have? Does the manufacturer assist with CAD layouts? Does the manufacturer offer customized solutions to meet specific requirements?
Are Electec modular wiring systems sustainable and eco-friendly?
EZ-Wiring and EZ-Cabling represent the next-generation in sustainable or modular wiring solutions. While most modular wiring solutions may be considered "sustainable" in that they encourage cost-effective re-use and re-locatability of building wiring and cabling, only Electec offers a complete environmentally-responsible solution by using low-smoke, halogen-free materials in our products.
Are Electec modular wiring systems accepted for use in Environmental Air Handling Spaces?
Yes. All Electec products meet the requirements of NEC 300.22(c) allowing our products to be installed in Environmental Air Handling Spaces other than ducts or plenums; such as hung ceiling spaces and under raised floors.
What type of cable is used in Electec modular wiring systems?
Electec modular wiring systems are constructed using armoured metal-clad cable (Type MC/AC-90) and must be secured and supported following standard practices in accordance with appropriate Code requirements.
Is your Halogen-Free product free from PVC and/or PFOA?
Yes. EZ-Wiring and EZ-Cabling are constructed with halogen-free connectors (free from any chlorines (PVC) or fluorines (PFOA) and brominated flame retardants). Both systems are available in standard and halogen-free cable construction as well.
Why is Halogen-Free better? [Download Electec's White Paper]
Using halogens in wire and cable construction present dangerous consequences in the event of heat and fire. When halogens such as chlorine and fluorine burn, they become highly reactive and form toxic and highly corrosive gases such as hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid and carbon monoxide. Many experts believe most victims of fires die from toxic gases rather than burns.
Is Halogen-Free flame retardant?
Yes. Electec use UL Certified materials which meet or exceed UL94 V-0 Flammability Standard and IEC 112 CTI 600V. Our materials of choice are low-smoke, zero-halogen, chosen for their superior low smoke toxicity and optical density providing an added layer of safety in the event of a fire.
Is the system utilizing #10AWG rated for 30 Amp?
Products incorporating #10AWG conductors are intended to accomodate considerations such as Voltage Drop, Multiconductor (Homerun) and Oversized Neutrals and are rated 20 Amp.
How are various circuit assignments handled in EZ-Wiring?
Distribution boxes are designed to be easily field configured to meet specific site needs.
EZ-Cabling is constructed with a steel armour. How do I ground it properly?
A grounding methods document for EZ-Cabling can be found here.
I would like to integrate one or more of your components into my overall product/solution, can this be done?
Yes. We work with many manufacturers in delivering standard or customized components to meet their requirements. Contact Electec for more information.