Breaking Down Tracer Wire from Performance Wire And Cable

Kelly Benjamin
April 6, 2022


Tracer wire is a versatile product that serves various purposes for different wiring and cabling applications. 

Performance Wire and Cable, a wire and cable company based in Camden, NY, offers two types of tracer wire.

TW Wire 

TW wire stands for a thermoplastic, water-resistant wire. 

THW Wire

THW wire is also thermoplastic, water-resistant wire, but is heat resistant, denoted by the H in the name. 

Tracer wires are commonly found in residential and industrial machine wiring circuits, such as refrigeration equipment, washing machines, and HVAC units. This wire, when combined with its polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC) insulation, can function properly in temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Performance offers this tracer wire from 8 to 14 AWG (American Wire Gauge).

Underground Tracer Wire

Underground tracer wire, also referred to as electrical wire tracer or locator wire, is the type of wire used for direct burial applications. 

Contractors, gas and oil distributors, water and sewage departments, and telecommunications companies all utilize electrical tracer wire in order to locate underground piping before digging.

Tracer wire is available in 6 through 14 AWG. It comes with a high molecular weight and high-density polyethylene (HMWPE) insulation. 

HMWPE differs from the PVC insulation that THHN wire has, which is an obsolete choice for underground applications because it lacks durability. The HMWPE insulation provides resistance to abrasion, chemicals, oils, and crushing. Unlike THHN wire, tracer wire performs well in wet conditions. 

Standard reels, for either type of tracer wire, include 500, 1,000, and 2,500 feet.  Performance Wire and Cable can ship larger amounts per reel if needed. There are available options in stock or we have the ability to manufacture custom wire orders with a short lead time.  C

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