• 24 /Feb, 2018

The right wire size vis-a-vis circuit amperage

Whenever a circuit is extended or rewired, or when any new circuit is installed, it is critical that the new wiring is made with wire conductors that are properly sized for the amperage rating of the circuit, as determined by the size of the circuit breaker controlling it.

To help you understand the correct choice, manufacturers have labelled the outer coating of the wire with types and gauges of wire. You see, the insulation covering the wire tells the story about the wire itself. Along with different sizes of wires, there are many types of wires used around the home.

Knowing which type of wire to use is just as important as determining the proper gauge, amperage limit, and the maximum wattage load limit of the electrical wire you choose.

Here is a guide to Wire Gauges & its Applications

Wire Gauges and Uses

Wire Use Rated Ampacity Wire Gauge
Low-voltage Lighting and Lamp Cords 10 Amps 18 Gauge
Extension Cords 13 Amps 16 Gauge
Light Fixtures, Lamps, Lighting Runs 15 Amps 14 Gauge
Receptacles, 110-volt Air Conditioners, Sump Pumps, Kitchen Appliances 20 Amps 12 Gauge
Electric Clothes Dryers, 220-volt Window Air Conditioners, Built-in Ovens, Electric Water Heaters 30 Amps 10 Gauge
Cook Tops 45 Amps 8 Gauge
Electric Furnaces, Large Electric Heaters 60 Amps 6 Gauge
Electric Furnaces, Large Electric Water Heaters, Sub Panels 80 Amps 4 Gauge
Service Panels, Sub Panels 100 Amps 2 Gauge
Service Entrance 150 Amps 1/0 Gauge
Service Entrance 200 Amps 2/0 Gauge
 
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