Use of Arctic Cables in Marquees and For Outdoor Events

Simon and our Technical Department are frequently answering questions regarding the reasons for using Arctic Cable.  Simon has taken a few minutes to write a blog giving some explanation to this.  But do not hesitate to ask us if you have further queries over this, we are always on the end of a telephone to help you ! Over to Simon ….

Arctic Cable was originally a flexible yellow cable designed to use on building sites at 110 volts, where regulations are much more relaxed, as 110v electricity has a dramatically reduced shock risk from its reduced voltage.

Arctic cable with a blue outer sleeve, is commonly seen in street markets, caravan sites, and in marquees / outdoor event world.  It is in fact a PVC cable, mostly of limited use in very low temperatures (not recommended  in the “Arctic”), it is in fact built to the same standard as normal indoor flexible cable, used to power your TV or Fridge.

Arctic Cables are made to BS 6004 Table 6 (was BS 7919 Table 44) which states “ These cables are suitable for use on ELV systems (110V centre tapped) on building sites in the UK, for use with temporary traffic light systems when suitably protected, indoor use at low voltage (230V). These cables are not designed for outdoor use at voltages exceeding 110V”

 Next comes the question is a marquee indoors or outdoors. My advice to all your members is to treat a marquee as outdoors, ie to a higher spec than indoors.  An electrician may legitimately sign off the electrics in a marquee which has arctic cables, but they should list it as an exemption to the regulations.

The most suitable cable for power in and around marquees is the black rubber cable H07 RN-F. This cable specified purpose is “H07RN-F is designed primarily as a trailing cable for use in the supply of energy for portable or mobile equipment. Ideal for use with transformer pumps, welders grinders, temporary lighting cable and feed cables to heavy mobile equipment. It can be used indoor and outdoor in stage and audio visual equipment, port areas and dams. The cable can also be used in drainage, water treatment, cold environments and severe industrial environments and can withstand weather, oil/grease, mechanical and thermal stresses.”

My advice for all professional hire companies is to only use H07RNF rubber cables, they are better and only a bit more expensive. H07 RNF cables  are defiantly approved for use in the outside environment, they are much tougher and easier to use thanks to their increased flexibility.  I have never heard of anyone being pulled up or prosecuted over using Arctic cables at an event, but it could happen.

Hope the above is helpful as I said do call us if you need further advice.