Understanding Cable Size for Home Wiring
What wire gauge can be used for outlets and switches? Electrical Wire and Cable Size for Home Electric Wiring.
What Size Cable for Home Electrical Wiring
Electrical Question: What wire gauge can be used for outlets and switches?
Can I use 14 gauge wire instead of 12 gauge for outlets and switches?
This electrical question came from: Mike, a Handyman from Quebec City Canada, Canada.
Thanks for your electrical question Mike.
Home Electrical Wire and Cable
Application: Electrical Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Electrical Wire and Cable Size
Mike, the wire or cable size that can be installed will depend on the room or application for the intended circuit. It is common to use #14 for outlet wiring in some locations, such as bedrooms, however it is not permitted for kitchen small appliance circuits. As for lighting circuits, #14 Romex or cable can be used as well, however it will actually depend on the the actual amperage load that will be place on the circuit. Keep in mind that you cannot mix the two different sizes of cable within the same circuit.
More about Home Electric Wiring
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Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
For more information about Outlet Wiring
How to Install Electrical Outlets
Wiring Electrical Outlets
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Wiring Electrical Outlets with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
This link is helpful as a Handyman
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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