Stranded vs. Solid wire


Old 05-16-05, 09:10 AM
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Stranded vs. Solid wire

Just a quick question regarding the comparison between stranded and solid.

Is it more just preference/ease of use when deciding on whether to use stranded or solid core, or are there any real benefits either way?

For example, I am about to start the wiring portion of my finished basement project and I am going to run #12 wire throughout for all circuits. Would there be any reason that I shouldn't use stranded wire? The stranded is more flexible, possibly easier to pull, but the solid keeps it shape and would be easier to wire to screws, etc, I would imagine.

But, are there any reasons I shouldn't use one over the other?

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Old 05-16-05, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north Carolina
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The choice between solid or stranded depends on the need for flexibility in handling and working with the Wire. Smaller electrical Wire Sizes are generally made of solid Conductors; while Wires larger than Number 6 AWG are generally stranded. The cross-section area or "circular mill" size of a stranded Conductor is equivalent to that of a solid Conductor for the same designated Wire Size. This means when looking at a "Number 10 stranded or solid Wire," the "Number 10 stranded" will look slightly larger in diameter but has the exact same cross-section area of conductive material as the solid Wire.
Extension Cord
Extension Cords are made of stranded Wires since they require flexibility allowing the Cord to be bent and twisted without stressing the electrical Wires.
Note most stranded wire are run in a emt (electric conduit)

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