My question is regarding the use of welding cable in panels. Suppliers list the amperage ratings for welding cable. However, the NEC states very little about the use of welding cable other than with welding equipment.
Welding cable offers a couple of great advantages. First, it is very flexible in tight locations. Second, the ampacity is much higher for smaller gauges in comparison to THHN cable for example.
Is welding cable suitable for short distances as an alternative? I have a situation where it would be extremely helpful to use welding cable and was wondering if anyone have any information on this subject.
Welding cable is generally smaller than other cable, for a given ampacity, which has many advantages. However, the temp rating is based on the entire circuit including terminals and devices. At a given ampacity, the welding cable will be warmer, the insulation may be rated for higher temps, but the teminal and device ratings will still prevent you from being allowed to exceed a certain temperature. At this point you're back at square one using the same size cable.
Also, what voltage is welding cable rated for? Most welders are well below 120V to ground, and the insulation may not have the dielectric strength for 600V at higher temps.
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
Much of the welding cable has 600 volt insulation, but it is not listed for use in power circuits. The manufacture's information usually says "only for use as secondary conductors for welding equipment". Type W power cable is of the same construction as welding cable but is listed for power circuits and is covered in Article 400. I have used welding cable for temporary power connections with no problems, but never for permanent connections. Don(resqcapt19)