3rd September 2011 11:15 PM
Wire gauge question
I'm needing some info. 120 volt @ 14.3 amps what wire gauge should I use?
3rd September 2011 11:29 PM
Personally I would run with AWG12 while AWG14 would likely be OK. Really depends on variables like the insulation type used, open air or tight space, length of the run from source to load and other things. For residential use general wiring with for example Romex cable, I would still opt for AWG12.
On another note I don't see 120 VAC as high voltage.
Last edited by Reloadron; 3rd September 2011 at 11:31 PM.
4th September 2011 12:08 AM
What is the current rating of your circuit breaker? If 20A, then use 12 AWG.
4th September 2011 12:10 AM
My bad, I should have mentioned that also.
Originally Posted by jpanhalt
4th September 2011 02:10 AM
Also pay attention to the length of run -- and bump up the wire diameter for long runs. I ran into this problem powering my ditch pump. My home's power comes from a power pole a couple hundred feet from my house. Then a wire from the house goes out to an outbuilding next to that power pole. I ran 12 gauge Romex for my 1 HP pump from the outbuilding to the pump with about another 100 feet of wire. I've measured about an 8% voltage drop from ideal and, when I had a borderline pump (bearings going out & finally died), I stuck a Variac on the circuit and bumped things up about 10 volts. Knowing what I know now, I would have used larger diameter wires, as amortized over the 25 years I've been using the setup, the incremental cost would have been negligible.
5th September 2011 11:08 PM
Hey Guys thanks for the input. I rewiring a popcorn kettle the run is about 20" to the receptacle which plug and recep are rated at 30amp the breaker at the panel is 20amp and I'm using insulated heat resistant 12awg stranded wire. The reason I asked is that I had a total thermal meltdown in kettle compartment. I think perhaps the crimp terminals and wire lugs I was using may have damaged the wires or created hot spots where the two were joined, kind of like a kink in a hose situation?
Soooo, can you recommend a brand of terminal or type of crimper designed for this type of application? I was thinking maybe I should use my Molex crimper next time it seems to be more subtle than the sheer squeezing force of my Klein wire crimpers.
Again Thank You everyone for taking the time to read my post and help me in a most perplexing situation.
Last edited by jeffrey776; 5th September 2011 at 11:11 PM.
5th September 2011 11:23 PM
20A is 12 gauge. Most electrticians will tell you that, unless the distance is really large (one-way >100ft). 30A is 10 gauge. Be sure it's copper to copper. 12 AWG is usually solid; 10 AWG can be either solid or stranded -- I use stranded. Some people use stranded 12 AWG, because it pulls easier. It works, but most electricians I have talked to use solid.
Originally Posted by jeffrey776
If you are getting meltdowns at 15A with 12 AWG, your connections are poor. Without a lot more detail it is impossible to give more specific advice.
5th September 2011 11:24 PM
Yeah, been there and seen that with heating elements. The connection to the heating element(s) should be made with a high temperature crimp lug. I don't know your location but if you are familiar with McMaster Carr Supply their part number 69405K93 would be for #8 lugs and for AWG 10-12 wire. You also want high temp wire to the actual heaters. Be aware these terminals are hard to crimp, hope you have strong hands. . I see you say:
I don't know what heat resistant is degrees F but if you want some high temp wire designed for these applications I'll be happy to send you some. Do not use everyday terminal lugs or in a week you will be doing this again.
I'm using insulated heat resistant 12awg stranded wire.
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