wire gauge

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  #1  
Old 01-24-05, 09:26 AM
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wire gauge

is there any way to tell what gauge a wire is....also if the wire from the panel is 12 gauge and i was to tap a new outlet in it,and use 10 gauge would it be alright.....i have a bunch of 10 gauge wire but i think the feed wire is 12,possibly 14...thanks
 
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Old 01-24-05, 09:53 AM
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To determine wire gauge, first look for the writing on the cable or insulation. If you don't have access to enough of the cable or insulation to tell, the I suggest you go buy one foot of wire in each of 14, 12 and 10 gauges and keep it around for comparison.

If you look at the breaker, you can get a clue. If the breaker is 15-amp, the wire is probably #14, and if 20-amp, probably #12. This is not very reliable however.

#10 can be connected to #12 or #14. Some people would suggest you not do this because it can lead to confusion. And of course #10 is harder to work with.
 
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Old 01-24-05, 01:04 PM
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You did not say what type of 10 ga wire.
Make sure the insulation on your 10 ga wire is for house wiring.
don't use automotive wire for house wiring.
 
  #4  
Old 01-24-05, 01:16 PM
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10ga is also used a lot for low-voltage wiring (landscape lighting). Do not use this for house wiring either.
 
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Old 01-24-05, 03:33 PM
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thanks guys fior the info...ill be running 10 or 12 gauge romex outside for my pond..ive posted before that this is going to be tapped into an 15 amp airconditioner outlet that is not used .i know it should be 12 gauge but im not to confident in the previous owners electical work.that is why i want to make sure he used 12 gauge,cause my pond pump is 3 amps and runs 24/7 in the warm months.and i actually have had it running for the past two years under this set up,but the outdoor wiring is just runnning exposed along the retaining wall of property,so i want to run new cable and also run it in conduit....and there is no ground on the outside line cause they never hooked up the ground wire....they tapped the neutral and hot wire into the outlet and disregarded the copper ground....again thanks guys i will go with the 12 gauge wire....
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-05, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by lovmy4x4
thanks guys fior the info...ill be running 10 or 12 gauge romex outside for my pond..ive posted before that this is going to be tapped into an 15 amp airconditioner outlet that is not used .i know it should be 12 gauge but im not to confident in the previous owners electical work.that is why i want to make sure he used 12 gauge,cause my pond pump is 3 amps and runs 24/7 in the warm months.and i actually have had it running for the past two years under this set up,but the outdoor wiring is just runnning exposed along the retaining wall of property,so i want to run new cable and also run it in conduit....and there is no ground on the outside line cause they never hooked up the ground wire....they tapped the neutral and hot wire into the outlet and disregarded the copper ground....again thanks guys i will go with the 12 gauge wire....
One of the trade mags had a situation very similar to this a few years back. A carpenter had run NM cable outside and buried under gravel. He did not hook up the ground wire either. Eventually, the cable was destroyed to the point that the hot conductor made contact with the bare ground. When the carpenter tried to pick up a submersible pump, he was electrocuted and died.

Also, around here, inpsectors will not let you place any type of NM (romex) cable outside the foundation of the house. They insist on UF for sump pumps and things like this. Even in conduit, I would worry that it was too wet for NM cable. If it was me, I would go with the UF in conduit and bury it at least 24" deep. Just my feelings.
 
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