What is Cleat Wiring? Applications and Disadvantages

Wiring is a network of wires in an electric system that provides the path to flow electricity to perform the specific functions by the components connected to it. The wiring system where cleats provide support is simply known as cleat wiring.

Among all other wirings, cleat wiring is the oldest method. Cleats are insulated wedge-shaped pieces or strips that act as a support to keep something on the wall. The cleats are made up of porcelain, plastic, or hardwood.

It is considered one of the cheapest electrical wiring systems. The initial cost or installation cost is reasonable. Also, it requires less labor to get installed. The requirement of time to install cleat wiring is very less and the maintenance is easier than any other wiring systems. But for domestic premises, the cleat wiring system is not a suitable wiring system.

The materials required for the installation of cleat wiring are very basic and easily available. The specification of required materials is tabulated below.

Material Functions
Wooden round blocks
Provides support to the cables
PVC cable Formation of network
One way switches Turns on or off the flow
Main switch Controls the power flow
Plug Provides a path to flow electrons when connected
Socket Holds plug
Fuse Provides safety
Junction box Protects the whole system
Lamp and lamp holder Power utilization
Bushing Provides an interface between two parts

Cleat Wiring Installation

The installation is done by compounding the PVC cables together on the cleats of the walls and the ceiling. By the use of measuring tape, the area is measured where the system is to be installed and using an electric drill machine, cleats are mounted on the walls. Then according to the work plan and design, the cables are braided. The cables should lie on the cleats in a straight manner. The cleats are divided into top and bottom halves, where the top half provides the cable grip. In the bottom half, a channel is created to receive the wire. The installation of the wiring system may be done vertically or horizontally, according to convenience.

Types of cleat

Cleats are mainly of three types depending on the grooves present in them. The number of grooves in the cleat refers to the number of cables that the cleat can receive at one time.

The two-way cleat is for a single-phase supply of 230 volts. The three-way and four-way cleats are used for the three-phase system. The only difference between them is three-way uses the three-wire system, whereas the four-way system uses the four-wire system.

The cleats are placed approximately 45 cm away from each other. The cables are connected in such a manner that the wall and the cable can maintain a distance of 1.5 cm. The distance at the cables are kept away from each other depends on the current rating of the cables. Through the holes of the junction box, the cables are passed and this completes the cleat wiring system. It is to be noted that one hole can pass only one cable at a time. Wooden bushing must be used at the ends of conducting circuits to avoid accidents.

Cleat wiring Advantages

The advantages of cleat wiring are

  • Fault detection in the system is easy.
  • The installation cost and labor of the system are not high.
  • In the case of a temporary wiring system, cleat wiring is the most preferable one.
  • The procedure involves the installation of the cleat wiring system is simple.
  • Since the cables are in an open wire, hence it is easy to repair.
  • The maintenance required by the system is very low.
  • It is easy to add or remove components in the cleat wiring system.
  • It is easy and simple to inspect the cleat wiring system.

Cleat wiring Disadvantages

The disadvantages of the cleat wiring system are

  • Since the system is an open-air system, hence the exposure to weather affects the system severely.
  • The appearance of the system is not good.
  • The system lasts for a shorter period.
  • Sag happens quite often.
  • The system is efficient at low ambient temperature only.
  • Safety is not there as it has the chance of fire or shock at any time.
  • It is not a suitable system for domestic premises.
  • It is not a reliable wiring system.

Cleat wiring Applications

The applications of cleat wiring are

  • The cleat wiring is used in industries for the installation of high capacity current cables.
  • Since cleat wiring is the best option for a temporary arrangement, hence used in army camps.
  • The use of the cleat wiring system is also seen in marriage functions.
  • The cleat wiring is used in buildings that are under construction to provide power to different sections of work.
  • Other construction sites also depend on cleat wiring system for power.


Sunmoni Gohain
NIT Silchar


1. https://www.electrical4u.com/system-of-wiring
2. https://www.ecstuff4u.com/2020/01/cleat-wiring
3. https://www.electricaltechnology.org

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