Old 01-29-02, 05:20 PM
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as we are planing on building an home, i would like to know
what the letters stand for on the wire like 14-2 ???? with ground
i know they will use different size for different things, but i dont know what the letters stand for. thanks in advance.
Old 01-29-02, 06:49 PM
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"14" is the gauge of wire. The smaller the number, the bigger the wire. You will see a lot of 14 and 12 in your house, plus some 10 and 8 and 6. Nothing smaller (i.e., with a larger number) than 14 will be used.

"2" tells you how many current-carrying conductors are in the cable, not counting the grounding wire. When the number is 2, the wires are usually insulated with black and white insulation. When the number is 3, you usually get black, red, and white.

You sometimes see it written "14-2" or "14/2". There is no difference.

"with ground" says that there is a bare grounding wire in the cable too. These days, it usually goes without saying that the grounding wire is there, since cable without it is rare (and not sold at places like Home Depot).

The wire will usually say "NM-B" too. The "NM" means that the cable sheath is non-metallic. "NM" is synonymous to most people with "Romex", the leading brand of NM cable. The "-B" is a code that means the insulation is rated to withstand 90 degrees C. You may see "UF" instead of "NM", which means "Underground Feeder" and can be run underground (NM is strictly for dry locations). It's also possible to see some SE (Service Entrance), USE (Underground Service Entrance), or MC (metal clad)

Cables are also marked "600 Volts" which tells you the maximum voltage to ground that the cable can be used for. This covers everything in your home.

You will also see "(UL)", which means the cable has been tested and "listed" by Underwriters Laboratories.

You may also see a date of manufacture, and the name of the manufacturer. The "Romex" brand is made by GCC, General Cable Corporation.

I think that about covers it. Any book on home wiring from your library or home improvement center will tell you all of this and more.
Old 01-30-02, 08:10 AM
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wire letters

Thanks thats what i wanted to know, about the letters

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