#6 or #8 wire conductors how to tell?


Old 06-07-14, 09:18 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,466
#6 or #8 wire conductors how to tell?

I recently acquired a property and found out there is a big thick romex running on two 60A breakers to a tanked water heater which does not require those wiring. My guess is at one point they had planned on a tankless ran the wires then decided not to.

Problem is I can't see the jacket labels on both ends. The jacket was stripped as soon as entering the junction box and the panel. I wanted to make sure those are #6 conductors and not #8 for the tankless.

I removed a short piece of the conductor and took it to Home Depot, put it against their #6 and #8 and still can't tell. The guy at HD can't tell either.

Looking at the strands, mine has seven thick strands. The conductors at HD has many more strands but each strand is much skinnier. Is there a way to tell for sure without crawling into the attic to look for the wire jacket that's readable? It's under a lot of blown insulation Grrrrr....
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Old 06-07-14, 09:39 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
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Do you have a wire stripper that will strip #8? (I do ) That would be one easy to tell.
Old 06-07-14, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
Look for a wire gauge at your local hardware store. Or you could use a caliper on the copper AFTER turning off the power. Check these Google images. https://www.google.com/search?q=american+wire+gauge&client=firefox-a&hs=IPM&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=eU-TU6r6LYWVyASj54CICw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1152&bih=711

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