Solera Home Improvements provides you with electrical wiring services in the vicinity of Milpitas, CA
Electrical Wiring – Milpitas – Wire Gauges
The first article in this series on electrical wiring acts as the table of contents for this entire series.
Wire gauge is a measure of the thickness of the wire, which in turn determines how much current the wire can carry. The thicker the wire, the more current it can accommodate.
This matters because if a wire carries more current than it is rated for, it gets hot. When wires get hot, a few different things are happen:
- At best, over time the insulation becomes brittle and cracks, eventually cracking off an exposing the bare conductor. This can lead to a short circuit.
- At worst, the wire gets so hot it melts the insulation and ignites other material (insulation perhaps) that touches it.
Either way, not good!
The standard wire gauges for residential circuits are:
14 gauge is for lighting circuits
12 gauge is for outlet circuits
There is an article describing wire size and amps rating, if you want more detail.
But the most important point of this article is:
The wire amp rating and the circuit breaker amp rating must match.
For example, a 20A breaker (as used on outlet circuits) on a #14 wire (as used in lighting circuits) is an accident waiting to happen, as the circuit breaker will permit more current than the wire is rated for.
When you need electrical wiring assistance, or assistance with a full remodel (bathroom remodels are our specialty), please contact us for your no obligation consultation…