A couple of months ago, I was shopping for THHN wire and came across a brand I wasn’t familiar with – Cerrowire.
Oh, I thought, a new wiring company? But when I looked into the brand I saw that apparently they have been operating for a long time, celebrating their 100 year anniversary in 2020.
Cerrowire has a broad catalog of wiring products, specializing in residential and commercial wire, and they also have machine tool wire and several specialty styles as well.
You can now find Cerrowire at Home Depot, which helps to explain the increased visibility. Also, many (if not most) of Cerrowire’s products are explicitly described on their product pages as being made in the USA.
While I know that Southwire’s Romex name is generally used to describe non-metallic building wire in the same way that Band-Aid is used as the general term to describe adhesive bandages, I can’t say that I have known any other brand of NM wire until now.
I found it interesting to learn that Cerrowire is a Berkshire Hathaway company, along with Benjamin Moore paints, Duracell, Geico, and many others. Cerrowire is specifically part of the Marmon Holdings Inc business group, which also includes many component and specialty product makers, such as Atlas Bolt & Screw, Coilmaster, Future Metals, and more.
Here’s my question – have you used this brand’s wiring products before, and what are your thoughts?
How loyal are you to your current wiring brand? What might prompt you to try a new brand?
Got some at HD for a wiring project. Can’t say it was any better or worse than Romex. To be honest, I usually get whatever USA made wire is on sale or cheapest, and never really noticed much difference. Some import wire I used once or twice didn’t seem to have as good of insulation.
Rewired 2 duplexes with it. Seemed to work well. I think the jacket cuts and strips a little easier than Romex which is nice when making connections, but it did not seem to cause any issues for us when we were pulling it through the walls.
You may know that Cerro – and their parent Marmon are part of Berkshire Hathaway.
For many years Cerro was the OEM for HD’s Ridgid-branded extension cords (UPC’s starting with 048243) and were made in the USA. But lately I’ve noticed that HD’s Ridgid branded extension cords bear UPC’s starting with 756847 – signifying that Exito Electronics is the new OEM and the cords are made in the Philippines.
I have an older Rigid extension cable that I recently nicked and need to replace.
I’ve compared all the brands recommended here for SJW and none match the beautiful flexibility of that Rigid extension cord. And the new ones don’t seem as good which is a massive disappointment.
I mentioned the parent companies in the post, but didn’t know they OEMed for Ridgid – thanks!
Didn’t realize Marmon group had a building wire line too. I deal with some of their other companies Hendrix and Kerite (distribution spacer cable 4 to 35kV)
I have never used Cerro wire. However I can tell you wire and cable is a highly engineered commodity. There are not many wire and cable companies left in the US. Most have merged to form mega conglomerates. Prysmian/Pirelli and General Cable’s merger 2 years ago was the latest. All of them left make a good product. They have to or they will be out of this cut throat business in short order.
For me it would come down to price as I see all as equal.
Wonder if Cerro showing up at HD is due to Southwire not meeting demand (covid) or if Cerro undercut Southwire and bought their way into a HD contract?
The funny thing is we’re probably talking fractions of a cent per foot. The copper material is the basis for the product the plastic and cardboard is just a value add. Still if you add up how many miles of cable Home Depot sells its a heathy chunk of change.
I also believe that some tool and hardware lines fall under the Marmon (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) umbrella. Brands like Brightstar, Campbell Hausfeld, Naveco, Shepherd Hardware,and Wells-Lamont are included in this list.
I would disagree that they all make good products. Ever tried colonial’s NM cable? Or Kingwire’s SEU cable?
I am not picky about my brand of wiring, I buy whatever the electric supply house or the home improvement store happens to have when I need some. I picked some up at HD and used it for a few small jobs–wiring lights in a garden shed, standard outlets in a home, and also a fume extractor fan for a laser engraving machine. I didn’t notice any difference between it and Romex brand.
I used some of their thermostat wire for custom LED tape lighting when I remodeled our kitchen. It was what was readily available from amazon at the time and I honestly don’t know that I could tell the difference in that application from southwire or anyone else. Haven’t seen or tried their NM, but would be willing to if it was available and priced competitively. Pretty sure all the romex I’ve used from southwire has been USA-made as well.
At Menards, Cerrowire and Southwire Romex have the same SKU. A shelf will be stocked with both intermixed, and they both ring up the same at the register. I treat them the same, interchangeable with no discernable difference.
Today, I learned that Romex is a brand name! I didn’t realize that before, but it’s cool to know. Thanks!
Romex derives its name from the Rome Cable Company that once was a large producer of cable and wire – located in Rome NY. They went bankrupt many years ago and the brand-name is now owned by Southwire.
In 2019 – the State of NY (after 16 years of apparent inactivity) finally decided to start cleaning up the old Rome Cable factory:
Thanks for the background info, fred! That’s really cool to learn.
They are both long term US industry commodity brands. I’d assume that distribution issues as well as national pricing deals drive which “brand” is sold where. Especially in this Big Box era.
Though I recall the Cerro brand covers way more then just wiring cable.
Google would enlighten us all further. ;-)~
I’ve used Cerro brand wire for ages – used to be the main wire type stocked at my local Mom-and-Pop hardware store. Never had any issues whatsoever with them.
We flip houses and most need a lot of electrical work. The yellow jacket on the Cerro wire is great because we can easily see where we’ve been.
It’s easy to pull through old structures and like someone else mentioned, it’s a little easier to strip.
The yellow jacket is because you are using 12g wire, where as 14g wire will be white. That is not a Cerrowire exclusive trait, that’s electrical code, just to clarify.
It’s nice that you are using primarily 12g, but it is an added expense if you are re-wiring a whole house.
Are you sure the color of NM cable for gauge is specified in the NEC?
No it is not NEC, at least not that I’m aware of (I’m also not a master electrician). I’m sure there are manufacturers that don’t use color coding, but it has become the unofficial standard. So I should have said it is standard color code, not electrical code. Sometimes even clarifications need clarification.
It is in my state’s electrical code. The intention is that the inspector can readily see if the the wire used meets code. The color code system goes beyond the gauge of the wire to cover instances such as direct burial.
I know I’ve bought wire at both places, but can’t say which brands. As long as they both strip with a standard pair of Romex strippers, I’m fine with either.
When we lived in Portland, OR the Home Depots seemed to go back and forth between Southwire and Cerrowire for NM cable, I guess whichever was cheaper/available at any given time. Up here in WA state it seems like everybody carries Southwire. I’ve used plenty of both; never gave it much thought, and never saw any difference in how it worked. It’s all “Romex” to me! 🙂 For anything other than NM I really don’t pay any attention to the brand, I just get what the electrical supply house sells me…
I wonder if the high bidder received a roll of Cerrowire. I’m referring to the guy who won a couple dinners with Warren Buffet(5.3 million total). The man ended up working for Berkshire Hathaway(picking stocks). Not sure if he made enough to pay for his two 5.3 million dinners.
The money goes to charity of course!
I think Encore Wire in McKinney, Tx, American Made, is the best value wire manufacture in the country. Their NM-B is better than South and Cerro.
#2 quality/durability doesn’t fall apart pulling around corners through studs
#3 slickness, their superslick technology is the best in the industry
#4 packaging, consistent reel sizes, and shrink wrap
#5 their service from a responsiveness perspective if something goes wrong
After 15 years pulling wire, I will pick Romex brand any day over Cerro wire. If the supply house tries to give it to me I give it right back. So much harder to work with. But I guess for a few hundred feet you would not notice. Pull over 10,000 feet and then you will notice. Sim pull is real guys
I’ve seen it and I assume I’ve used it at some point – I don’t so much check the brand of wire but check that it’s cert rated. so I look for cert rating – gage – wire combo – and place of manufacturer.
So as long as I get what I need that moment and it’s a made in US cable I’m OK with it. I don’t do it for a living mind you but I’ve built a few houses. so far so good. I suspect in my area I get more southwire than I do others – if only because 2 of their plants are near me.
Caught a glimpse of Cerrowire while watching Modern Marvels-Copper on YouTube. Good episode if you are into that type of programming.