Choosing guages and general questions


Old 08-08-04, 11:04 PM
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Choosing guages and general questions

Should I use 12AWG or 10AWG for a 20A water heater?

Also, for a 55A Range Receptacle, What size breaker do I need? I have one that says 50A on both throws. Is that good enough, or will it blow? I didn't see any at the store that said 55A on each one. I also am not sure if the range will need all 55A. (we are just installing an outlet ahead of time.)

Two other general questions:

How many 15A outlets, using 14AWG, can be connected in a series to one 15A breaker?

Also, is it OK to use a combination of the Quick Connect holes and the screws on 15A outlets rather than using wire-nuts and pigtails?

Thank you for your help,
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Old 08-09-04, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
A 20 amp water heater only needs 12 gauge wire, unless the run is extremely long. However, I would use 10 gauge since your nest water heater may need it.

Refer to the range documentation to determine what breaker size and what wire size you need.

Your question is incorrect. Only one receptacle can be in series on any circuit. Electrical devices are wired in parallel, not in series. However, to answer the question you meant to ask, in a residential circuit there is no limit to the number of receptacles that may be on a circuit. You need to base the circuit on what is likely to be used at any given time.

You can use the backstab connections or the screw terminals or both. However, many people do not recommend using backstab connections because they tend to fail. I recommend using only the screw terminals, which means wire nuts and pigtails when necessary.

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