Wire Guards - What's Their Deal?

BY: Shane Weaver

basic application of a Wire Guard

You may (or may not) have noticed that we carry Wire Guards in the Cable Raceway section of the site. So how is a Wire Guard different than your standard cable channel? Well, the key here is application. Wire Guards are typically used for a pretty specific purpose – they're intended to be installed vertically, and they're constructed of high impact PVC to withstand outdoor elements. They're great for electrical and communications wiring. So what could they be used for? Give up?

Utility poles are the answer. You may not have noticed them, or perhaps you have, but you'll often see these running up a power or telephone pole, protecting the cables that run alongside the pole's length from top to bottom. They resist sunlight, moisture, chemicals, and damage from pests and weather. There are a few different options, so read on to find out what makes one Wire Guard different from another.

flanged vs standard wire guards

Flanged vs Un-flanged

You'll notice that the Wire Guards we stock at CableOrganizer come in two styles: flanged and standard (unflanged). The difference is that the standard version features a U-shaped cross section, while the flanged version features a small lip that extends out from the edge on either side, which lays flat against the installation surface. This lip has holes pre-drilled at intervals to allow the Wire Guard to be attached directly to the pole. With the standard versions, it's a bit trickier. You can either use clamps, which basically work the same as the flange, or you can use straps that wrap around the entire pole tightly to keep the Wire Guard in place.

example of belled end wire guards

Belled End

Another feature available on some Wire Guards is the "belled end". This means the raceway flares out a bit at the end. The purpose of this is so that when two raceways connect, one can overlap another, which more completely covers the cable run within than simply lining up two of the guards against each other. Regulations often require high voltage cables to be "completely enclosed" and using a belled end meets this standard.

different colors and sizes of wire guards

Other Considerations

So you know about flanged and standard options, and what a belled end is for. But what other variables are there to consider when choosing a Wire Guard? Quite a few, as it turns out.

Size is a big concern (no pun intended...ok maybe a little intended). You'll need to know how long your Wire Guard should be, as well as how wide you want your channel to be so it can handle all the cables you're going to run through it. The channels we stock come in either 8 foot lengths or 5 foot lengths, and can be cut to size with a handsaw fairly easily. The inner diameters of the channels range from 1/2" wide to 4" wide, so make sure your cable or cable bundles will fit by measuring the diameter before you order.

Color is another choice you have, though it's slightly less important. Wire Guards are available in a broad range of colors, though most of them are fairly neutral, as you'd expect from something that is going to be seen by lots of people in a public place. You want to save your fluorescent yellows and safety oranges for things the average person should be paying attention to. So Wire Guards are available in shades like Light Gray, Dark Brown, Red Wood, White, Ivory, and Beige.


And that's the scoop on Wire Guards! Hopefully you learned something. If not, then congratulations! You're already an expert.