How To Use the Correct Electrical Wire Size

Electrical wire photo

Electrical wirings, either for domestic or industrial purposes, require careful and intricate planning and design. Furthermore, use of the correct electrical wire size is required to ensure safety and protection from possible voltage overload that may result to serious fire incidents. In constructing homes and buildings, electrical connections should be given utmost attention because once the electrical fixtures are installed it will be difficult to take them apart in case there are errors since they are mostly embedded inside walls and ceilings. As often is the case, when you find out too late you used the wrong electrical wire size, the only alternative you have is to set up an altogether new system which can drain your budget as well as waste your precious time.

Here are some guidelines for you to consider in using the correct electrical wire size:

  1. Determine the load of electricity that the house or building is going to require. Of course the size of the structure should be the number one consideration here hence bigger houses will obviously entail extra electricity use.
  2. Consult the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system to know the different sizes of wires and their respective ampacity. Wire ampacity refers to the quantity of current that a wire can safely accommodate. If you look at the AWG chart, you will note that lower the number of the wire gauge, the higher the ampacity of the wire. This is where you should base what correct electrical wire size you need for your installation.
  3. Be reminded that a home wire is very much different from a power wire that is connected to the utility pole. A power wire is much bigger in size and is devised to hold higher voltage because it acts as retailer of electrical current to power consumers. Thus a power wire may conduct approximately 200 amps while your home wire may only need 20 amps maximum.
  4. Construct a list of electric appliances that you will be using in your home and in what area of the house they will be situated. For instance since the kitchen is loaded with the refrigerator, freezer, ovens, table top stoves and other gadgets, you will need to use thicker wires in each electrical socket in this part of the house.
  5. Consult a licensed and experience electrician and ask him to estimate the overall power requirement in your home. He can also recommend the proper electrical wire size you will need in your installations. And as he makes an assessment of your electricity requirements, he can also decide whether you need to mount a ground wire connection to support your whole system. Electrical ground wires help in preventing electric shocks while you are handling electrical gadgets as they bring the current back to the ground when your body accidentally get exposed to electricity.
  6. To ensure optimum safety in your home or building, it is advised that you make use of electrical wires with maximum ampacity size as prescribed by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). You may look into IEC 60228 or consult the American Wire Gauge (AWG) for further guidelines.

Using the correct electrical wire size should never be brushed aside because safety is the number one concern in any home. Loss of life and property can be a gruesome nightmare to any family, therefore compliance with wiring safety codes as established by your particular city or state is imperative. 


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