Get Wired: Wire Sizing

Get Wired With Squires Electric - Wire Size video

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Every property system, electrical or otherwise, eventually experiences some sort of breakdown or failure due to normal conditions.  The faster and more accurately you can diagnose the problem, the less costly it will be to repair.  Here’s another Squires Electric troubleshooting tip.

The lines that conduct electricity are manufactured at varying gauges to handle specific amounts of current, or amps.  The allowed ampacity is measured in AWG, or American wire gauge.  The three most common sizes used are #14, #12, and #10 AWG.

#14 AWG copper conductors are used for 15-amp and smaller branch circuits. These supply power to bedrooms, hallways, living rooms, family rooms, and other general-use locations with smaller power needs.

#12 AWG copper conductors are rated for 20-amp and smaller branch circuits.  They supply power in areas where appliances like washing machines, toasters, freezers, microwave ovens, and hair dryers would be in use in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, offices and garages.

#10 AWG copper conductors handle 30-amps and are typically for specialized or dedicated equipment like a water heater, clothes dryer, or HVAC equipment.

Bottom line: if a conductor originates from a circuit breaker that allows for more amps than the wiring is designed to supply, you could have a dangerous situation on your hands.  If you’re unsure and want to be confident that your property is safely wired, call us! We’re here to help.

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