How Do I Know What Size My Wire Gauge Is ? It Doesn't Say On The Wire ?


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Tony Fyler Profile
Tony Fyler answered
Wire gauge is the measurement of both the diameter of wire and the cross-section and relates to both electrical wiring and non-electrical wiring. The wire gauge determines how much electricity the wire can conduct and safely carry. The term wire is used to refer to a metallic rod as well as a combination and collection of wire strands.
If all you have is the wire and no size stated you can find out the size through a couple of ways. Unless you have a measuring device, you can do it the harder way - take it to a store and compare the other wires against it until you come across your size. You can also buy measuring devices to be more accurate in your answer. A commonly used measuring device for wire gauge is a disc that you can find in most hardware stores. The disc is also called a gauge and contains thirty six holes usually, all of which are different sizes. The disc works in a very simple way whereby you poke the wire through the holes until you find the one it fits in best. The size is then read off the disc and that is the size of the wire gauge.
As with all measurements, the gauges can be divided into the two general measurement groups, imperial and geometric. The current British Standard for metallic materials includes wire. It is BS6722:1986  and is a solely metric standard. The Imperial Standard wire gauge was sanctioned by the British Board of Trade and was formulated by J. Latimer Clark.
American wire gauge is also known as Brown and Sharpe wire gauge and is a standardised wiring gauge system used since 1857 for round, solid and electricity conducting metallic wire.
The AWG system is also commonly used to measure body piercing jewellery.
Hello Boss Profile
Hello Boss answered
Standard size wiring used in main circuits is usually 12 gauge, wiring used in branch circuits for lights is normally 14 gauge. Outlet plugs should have 12 gauge wiring and circuit breakers should not exceed 20 amps. You should be able to tell by sight what gauge the wiring is. Romex wiring is always marked with the size. Examples are 12/3, 14/3, etc

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