Look at the insulation on the cable. Search for text written on the insulation. The last numbers in each string of text represent the AWG of the wire.
The gauge and diameter of the wire are inversely related. In other words, as the gauge number gets higher, the diameter of the wire gets smaller. For example, a 10-gauge wire is bigger than a 12-gauge wire. Larger wires can carry more amperage and wattage than smaller wires.
GRAY = Underground cable. Since all UF (underground feeder) cable is gray, check the sheath labeling for gauge and circuit specifics.
Yellow color-coded cable sheathing encloses 12-gauge wires. Yellow 12-gauge cable is typically used for 20-amp circuits that power general household outlets used for a variety of plug-in appliances. Dedicated appliance circuits also call for 20-amp circuits in most cases.
The diameter of 12 AWG wire is 0.0808 inches, while 14 AWG is 0.0641 inches. The thickness of 12 AWG wire is 26% more than the thickness of 14 AWG wire.
Stranded wire gauges should be measured by calculating the equivalent cross sectional copper area. First, measure the bare diameter of a single strand and locate the circular mils value in the row that matches your measurement. Second, multiply the circular mils by the number of strands in the cable.
It’s perfectly safe to use it. Don’t worry about confusing future workers. If they want to add something to the circuit, they will have to go turn off the circuit breaker first, and then they will see they are working with a 15 amp circuit.
The size of the wire is denoted by its gauge (in the US, at least): #14, for example. The color of the insulation is sometimes an indication of its purpose, although that’s not always the case. Black is usually hot, white is usually neutral, red is switched-hot or traveller – but again, these are standards, not rules.
|12-Gauge Shotguns||16-Gauge Shotguns|
Romex will be labeled with “12-2” or “12-3”. The first number indicates the gauge of the wire. You choices are typically 10, 12, or 14 gauge. The second number indicates the number of conductors.
There is a significant weight difference between the 14- and 12-gauge ROMEX®. White ROMEX® with two wires, 14-2, weighs 57 pounds for every 1,000 feet of wire. … Compare this to the weight of yellow ROMEX® at 82 pounds. for 12-2 and 107 pounds for 12-3 wire.
The protective ground is green or green with yellow stripe. The neutral is white, the hot (live or active) single phase wires are black , and red in the case of a second active. Three-phase lines are red, black, and blue.
Romex® Brand SIMpull® NM-B cable is designed for easier pulling, resulting in easier installation. The cable jacket is color-coded for quick size identification; White – 14 AWG, Yellow – 12 AWG, Orange – 10 AWG, and Black – 8 AWG and 6 AWG.
Only after I went through the painstaking process of wiring it through I found out that red 12-2 is meant for heaters and I was suppose to use yellow 12-2 for what I’m using. Other than the color though, there is no difference in the wire.
Red – Electric power lines, conduit and cables. Orange – Telecommunication, alarm or signal lines. Yellow – Gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or other flammable material.
14 ga is thicker than 16 ga .
The wire gauge simply refers to the sizing of the wire (the thickness). 12 AWG is equivelent in size to 12 gauge wire, but “12 gauge” wire can be a variety of things whereas “12 AWG” is 12 gauge wire made according to the AWG standard. … 12 AWG, or 12 ga. They all mean the same thing and are used interchangeably.
The result: a #14 “Gauge” wire is almost certainly to have less current carrying capability as a #14 AWG cable. I have seen both terms used recently in speaker wire as well as car stereo power wiring.
I would say 14 gauge wire anywhere on a 20 amp circuit is not OK. The purpose of the breaker is to cut off power before the wiring overheats. If you plug in several devices on an outlet that total 20 amps, you will exceed the safe working capacity of the 14 gauge wire without tripping the breaker.
Too-Small Wire Can Get Hot
The breaker disrupts electrical flow to protect the affected wire. Why does the wire need to be protected? When you overload a wire by plugging in an appliance that needs more current than the wire’s rating, the wiring gets very hot. Overheated wires can melt their protective insulation.
|NMWU||Non Metallic Wet Underground (Direct Burial Wire)|
|NMWU||Nominal Molecular Weight Unit(s)|
GS Power 16 Gauge Wire (16 AWG) – 100 Foot, Pure Copper, Stranded Electrical Wiring for Speaker, Automotive, Trailer, Stereo and Home Theater Applications – Red/Black. In stock soon.
As long as you don’t put too many lights on the light circuit, you can usually control that circuit with a 15-amp breaker, as well as wire it with a 14-gauge wire. … On the other hand, an outlet circuit controlled by a 20-amp breaker requires a 12-gauge wire.
As shotguns and shells became more efficient in the beginning of the 20th century, the 12 gauge shotgun became more effective for hunting and the large, clumsy 8 gauge became obsolete. It was banned for waterfowl hunting in 1938 by the Federal Firearms Act.
“Here [in the U.S.] it’s measured by gauge.” Gauge sizes work in reverse, meaning that the higher the number, the thinner the width. So higher numbers (like 16 gauge) are thinner than smaller numbers (like a 6 gauge). When discussing gauges, references to a “larger gauge” means bigger around, not a bigger number.
|1 Pound / gauge = weight of lead sphere||Diameter of bore is then measured|
Because it has even less chance of overheating, 12-gauge wire is also acceptable on a 15-amp circuit.
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