Archive: Nov 2022

SO Portable Cords

SO portable cords, or SOOW cords, are a type of power cable designed for use in electrical systems to safely transfer power from one source to another. The “S” in “SO” stands for service. If the “S” is not followed by a “J”, it means that the cord has a voltage rating of 600 volts; however, if there is a “J”, the cord has a voltage rating of 300 volts.

The “OO” means that the jacket and insulation of the cord are oil-resistant, and the “W” illustrates water and weather resistance. All in all, SOOW and SJOOW portable cords resist oil, water, weather, solvents, abrasion, aging, and ozone. They are also durable, flexible, and flame-retardant. At Classic Wire & Cable, we offer both SOOW and SJOOW portable cords to meet your electrical needs.

Benefits of SO Portable Cords

One of the primary benefits of SO cords is their flexibility, making them a popular choice for various electrical power applications. These adaptable cords can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments to suit the needs of applications such as:

  • Temporary lighting and electrical power at construction sites
  • Motors
  • Heavy-duty tools
  • Large appliances
  • Wiring for industrial equipment and machinery

SO cords feature contrasting plastic or rubber jackets enclosing the conductors. This gives you the freedom to choose the cord that offers the highest level of safety and cost-effectiveness for your project. While SO cables offer a wide range of advantages, it’s important to note that the rubber outer jacket and flexible nature of these cords make them a poor choice for permanent wiring installations, as they could cause conduit jams during wire pulls.

Classic Wire’s SO Portable Cables

Classic Wire and Cable offers two types of SO portable wires:

SOOW Copper 600V

Our SOOW cables offer resistance to sunlight, water, and weather, making them a great solution for both indoor and outdoor use. These cables can be submerged in shallow water for up to three months at temperatures up to 60°C. Common applications for our SOOW Copper 600V cables include portable tools and equipment, small motors, and associated machinery.

Classic Wire SJOOW

With a voltage rating of 300 volts, our SJOOW portable cables are suited for heavy-duty use in damp or dry environments up to 90°C. They are ideal for supplying power to lawnmowers, portable power tools, barbecues, and other outdoor equipment.

Construction for SOOW and SJOOW Portable Cables

Both our SOOW and SJOOW portable cables feature flexible thermoset rubber cordage capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures. Designed to hold up in extreme heat and cold, these cables offer exceptional performance and flexibility.

The construction of our SOOW and SJOOW portable cords includes:

  • Conductors: Manufactured using flexible stranded Class K through 18 to 10 American Wire Gauge (AWG) conductors to meet ASTM B-174 standards.
  • Insulation: EPDM rubber insulation offers moisture and oil resistance and can withstand temperatures up to 90°C.
  • Assembly: Insulated conductors are cabled with non-wicking wax paper fillers. The assembly is wrapped with tissue-paper separators to ensure easier jacket removal.
  • Jacket: To complete the construction, an oil, moisture, and heat-resistant flexible CPE jacket is extruded over the assembly.

SO Portable Cords from Classic Wire and Cable

SO portable cords offer a flexible option for various indoor and outdoor electrical power applications. At Classic Wire & Cable, we’ve been serving electrical distributors with quality aluminum wire and cable solutions for over 200 years. Depending on your particular needs, we offer both SOOW and SJOOW portable cords designed to hold up under harsh conditions.

For more information about our selection of SO portable cables, contact us today.

SOOW Copper 600VSOOW Copper 600V [**]

SJOOW Copper 300VSJOOW Copper 300V [**]

Type MC Armored Cables

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Type MC armored cables offer a durable, safe, and efficient solution for electrical infrastructure from basic residential wiring to complex industrial power distribution systems.

At Classic Wire & Cable, we are dedicated to educating our customers about the best UL-Listed aluminum wiring products for their project requirements. This is a comprehensive guide to how metal-clad cables function in various applications.

How Type MC Armored Cables Work

The design of Type Metal-Clad armored cables makes them sturdy and flexible electrical wiring that offers security and durability and reduces the need to install a separate conduit. These cables consist of multiple conductors protected by an aluminum interlocking tape armor. The metallic sheathing acts as significant mechanical protection for the electrical circuits, making the cables suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications.

Unlike Type AC cables, which are not permitted in outdoor or damp areas due to their internal bonding strip, Type MC cables include an equipment ground conductor, making them suitable for such environments.

Common applications of Type MC cables include:

  • Service entrance cables
  • Feeders or branch circuits for power and lighting circuits
  • Control cables
  • Flexible, protected whips to HVAC equipment, light fixtures, or other wiring methods and equipment

Compared to traditional cables, armored cables are more economical because you don’t need to install an electrical conduit then pull the conductors into place. Simply install the armored cable as a complete solution.

Our Metal-Clad Cable Products

We manufacture UL Listed metal-clad cables with three or four phase conductors with ground aluminum armor in two designations and a variety of sizes for each. Special order options include:

  • PVC or CPE outer jacket (black or color) for direct burial, underground conduit, or overhead in wet locations.

Please contact our sales team if you need a size that is not listed.

XHHW-2 600 V

Type MC XHHW-2 600 V armored cables have insulation made from polyethylene plastic that has undergone a chemical cross-linking process. This improves its thermal properties, giving it a high heat tolerance and better stress resistance.

The insulation has water-shedding properties, which makes these cables suitable for wet or damp areas without degradation. In addition, the cable’s insulation meets the requirements for both dry and wet locations at a specified maximum temperature of 90 C in wet locations.


The thermoplastic insulation in THHN/THWN-2 600 V metal-clad cables is soft when heated and hardens upon cooling, making them easy to handle and install. The cables also feature a nylon jacket providing additional protection against chemicals, oil, and abrasion.

The high heat resistance designation allows THHN/THWN-2 cables to function in extreme environments susceptible to high temperatures. These cables are rated for 90 degrees C in both wet and dry locations, higher than their THHN or THWN predecessors.

Benefits of Type MC Armored Cables

Type MC armored cables provide a comprehensive solution for a wide range of electrical wiring needs with the following benefits:

  • Durability: The aluminum metal armor protects cables from crush or impact damage as well as pests that might chew through the wire. They can withstand harsh environments common in industrial and heavy commercial uses.
  • Conductivity: The aluminum cores in our metal-clad cables is the best conductor of electricity after copper. It minimizes energy loss and enables reliable operation over long distances.
  • Corrosion Resistance: A PVC or CPE jacket over the metallic armor of Type MC cables is corrosion-resistant and prevents rust and degradation in damp or corrosive environments.
  • Safety: The comprehensive design and manufacturing standards — including UL 44, UL 83, UL 1569, IEEE 1202, and the NEC — ensure these cables meet the highest safety standards for electrical wiring applications.

Metal-clad cables are also versatile. They are appropriate for exposed and concealed installations, dry or wet locations, and places where cables are subject to direct sunlight. Pre-installed conductors and the ability to cut the cable to length on-site allow for on-the-spot modifications.

Applications for Type MC Armored Cables

A variety of applications and conditions across many industries feature Type MC armored cables.

Commercial and Residential Buildings

Both commercial and residential settings use sturdy metal-clad cables to distribute power to lights, outlets, and appliances. They are ideal for running through exposed and concealed spaces, including walls and ceilings.

Industrial Environments

Industrial applications can use MC cables in environments that face exposure to mechanical damage. They are suitable for power distribution and control circuits in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other industrial facilities.

Outdoor Applications

Our Type MC armored cables are moisture-resistant and suitable for outdoor or wet locations. They are appropriate for powering outdoor lights, air conditioning units, and other outdoor equipment.

Flexible Connections

Metal-clad cables can provide a degree of flexibility, making them useful for connections to equipment that might move or vibrate, such as motors or machinery.

Choose Classic Wire & Cable for All Your Type MC Armored Cables

Classic Wire & Cable’s commitment to excellence does not end after we make the sale. We provide the following value-added services to give you a step up from your competitors:

  • Same-day shipping and freight allowed shipments
  • Cut-to-order and paralleling
  • Cable Basics educational videos and technical resources
  • Pulling eyes

Our experienced and knowledgeable sales team can provide the expertise you need or refer you to your local NEMRA-affiliated sales representative to help you select the Type MC armored cable solution for your application. Contact us for product and service information or to get a quote today.