Why Is UF-B Cheaper Than NM-B & Also Non-Replaceable

UF-B and NM-B are mostly used electrical wires, and many fall for the UF cables for their affordable price. But the question is, why is UF-B cheaper than NM-B? Probably, NM-B is easier to strip, so you might get tangled with the quality and application.

UF-B and NM-B are electrical wires that you cannot use alternatively. Yes, the manufacturer characterized these two types of wire differently. So, you need to use UF-B and NM-B for different purposes. Read thoroughly to get the clear gist of why you can’t use UF cable over NM despite being cheap.

Why Is UF-B Cheaper Than NM-B? Still Not Alternative

UF-B, which is generally known as Underground Feeder and Branch Circuit Cable. It is used for direct burial placement and underground wiring. Mostly, UF-B is the outside wiring for pumps and motors, especially to bring the electric supply from indoors to outdoors.

It does not need the electrical conduit as it easily fits underground for the rubber sheathing. That’s why UF-B needs less maintenance.

You can consider NM-B (such as Romex) as an in-house wiring cable as it is a non-metallic electrical wire. NM-B is mostly used for residential purposes (lighting, switching, tile walls, etc.). You can connect even the risky wet devices with NM-B wire, like your dishwasher or washing machine.

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If you need, you can go through the NM-B wire meaning and application guide.

Well, according to Cougar Board discussion, you may find UF-B  is about 50% cheaper in market price. And it is assumed that it is due to the easy usability of NM-B wiring than that of UF-B cables.

Even striping is also easier for NM-B. Another reason could be that the UF-B  is allowed for limited use in residential projects.

One such experienced consumer confirmed the same on Stack Exchange while working with UF-B wires a few months ago.

Therefore, you may confine UF-B type electric wire to some certain type of work like dwelling. That’s why the UF-B type is for long usage and needs less maintenance for years.

For More Clarification, Let’s Find the Usage Suitability: UF-B Vs NM-B Type Wire

UF-B Vs NM-B Wire

Unlike UF-B, NM-B does not have extra protection. You just have to use NM-B for your in-house wiring purpose. But UF-B is very much compatible with outside weather.

UF-B is perfectly suitable for the branch circuit and direct burial underground but not above ground.

Even because of the multiconductor feature, the cable tray supports UF-B wire. The heavy protective shield protects UF-B from the UV rays of direct sunlight.

On the other hand, you can easily set up the NM-B type for your house for residential usage. Hence, NM-B electrical wire is designed to work more easily than UF-B.

Don’t mix the Romex wire with all NM-B cables. You might need to know more about Romex wiring and its advantages.

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So, it is clear that you can use NM-B for your interior wiring and UF-B for the exterior of your building.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between UF-B and NM-B?

UF-B is for outdoor use, whereas NM-B is suitable for indoor use. UF-B does not get damaged quickly in rough weather with its special exposure protection. But NM-B will get damaged if placed on the exterior.

Can you use UF-B type electrical wire indoors?

The UF-B is designed for exterior use and has about 90-degree heat protection capacity. It is better for underground use; hence it would be better to choose something other than UF-B for indoor wiring.

Why is UF-B wire cheaper than NM-B electrical wire?

The frequent use of NM-B makes it more expensive than UF-B. As the NM-B electrical wire is the best option for the interior, it is easier to use, and demand is also high than UF-B wire.

Final Takeaways

UF-B is more exposer friendly than NM-B still UF cables are cheaper. And now you know why is UF-B cheaper than NM-B, right? Let’s recall the major 2 reasons that are-

  • The demand and frequent use of NM-B make it more expensive
  • NM-B wires are easier to strip than UF-B cables

It means the demand for UF-B is lower than NM-B. But remember that you cannot use NM-B and UF-B alternatively!

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