There are basically two concerns to address when deciding as to what type of electrical wire to use at home – one is the size of electrical wire and the other is the safety issue related to wiring conditions. Lets know in this article about how to know what size and what type of electric wire to use for home!
Use Right Size of Electrical Wire!
As far as size of wire is concerned, it is determined by the wire gauge system, apart from which you must also pay attention towards wire capacity, and what the wire will feed. When the wire gauge is smaller, its amapcity increases. electrical cable gland Ampacity can be explained as the safe amount of current that a wire can handle without getting hot enough to cause a fire. Some of the popular appliances and needs found in most of the houses, their rated ampacity (within brackets) and required wire gauge have been mentioned below for your guidance.
Low-voltage lighting and lamp cords (10 Amps)- 18 gauge
Extension Cords (13 Amps)- 16 gauge
Air Conditioners (110-volt ), Sump Pumps, Kitchen Appliances (20 Amps)- 12 gauge
Clothes Dryers, Window Air Conditioners, Built-in Ovens, Water Heaters (30 Amps)- 10 gauge
Cook Tops (45 Amps)- 8 gauge
Furnaces, Large Electric Heaters (60 Amps)- 6 gauge
Furnaces, Large Electric Water Heaters, Sub Panels (80 Amps)- 4 gauge
Service Panels, Sub Panels (100 Amps)- 2 gauge
Service Entrance (150 Amps/ 200 Amps)- 1/0 gauge/ 2/0 gauge
Use Safe Sheathed Electrical Wire!
A proper plastic covered wires- called NMC or Non Metallic Sheathed Cable- are so far considered the ideal one for indoor wiring. There are many types of such non metallic wires. However, the basic three of them are the NM, NMC and UF electrical wires.
For normal indoor electrical wiring like lighting and receptacle circuits, use NM electrical cables.
Use NMC electrical cables above ground or in damp areas indoors because they are well insulated and so safe to use in these areas.
UF or the underground feeder is an electrical cable which can be used outdoors beneath the ground. Such wires are sometimes not safe to use above the ground as sunlight can destroy the cable sheathing. So, restrict the use of UF wires for undergrounds only.