This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The common sizes of wire in use for bell work are Nos.
18, 20, and 22. In general, however, No. 20 will be found satisfactory as it is usually sufficiently large, while in many cases No.
22 is not strong enough from a mechanical standpoint.
It is important that the wires should be well insulated to prevent accidental contact with the staples or other wires. First of all the wires should be tinned, as this prevents the copper from being acted upon by the sulphur in the insulation. It also facilitates soldering. The inner coating of insulation should be of india rubber, surrounded by several longitudinal strands of cotton, outside of which are wound several strands of colored cotton laid on spirally. This is next immersed in melted paraffin wax and polished by friction. A short length of approved electric bell wire is shown in Fig. 1.
When ordering wire, it is well to have it furnished in several different colors as this greatly facilitates both the original installation and later repairs, because in this way one line may be distinguished from another, taps from main lines, etc. Moreover, a faulty wire having been found, it is possible to identify it at any desired section of its length.