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TWO DIFFERENT WIRE GAUGES IN SAME RUN

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http://boards.diynetwork.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9221916776/m/8683946277

Jul 30, 2013, 02:28 PM
GREEN 270
TWO DIFFERENT WIRE GAUGES IN SAME RUN
during a repair today on a burnt out
outlet i finally found out that what was thought
to be two different circuits was actually that
this outlet was the first in a line of three
outlets,or 'middle of the run'so to speak.....
my question here is that the wire coming in is
of a heavier gauge than that of the wire going
to the next outlet,and it was this wire that
'smoked' keep in mind that this set-up has
been in place at least twenty years and this
is the first time i ever had to even look at
this particular outlet...this outlet was used
much less than all the others according to the
previuous tenants and it was just that this one
tenant started using this particular outlet..
the other two outlets have been in constant use
for years...but the question still remains...is
this okay????
as usual..thanx in advance
Jul 30, 2013, 04:24 PM
CommonwealthSparky
It depends on the size or AWG {gauge} of the smaller wire. Certain size copper wire is matched with a certain size breaker during instillation to safely power your everyday electrical needs.
Say it is #14 copper and the breaker is rated @15 amps all is good to go. Now this is just one example but in the real world the most possible. Saying that does not mean it is chiseled in stone though. Your task is to examine the wiring and breaker on this circuit.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jul 30, 2013, 04:30 PM
swschrad
the SMALLEST gauge of wire is the one that determines the ampacity of the circuit, and thus, the size of breaker needed for protection. provided that the lines were correctly installed, it's not an issue. in fact, on a longer run than (I offhand remember) 250 feet, you are supposed to up-size one standard gauge.

watch them wire stoplights on a street corner. they are pulling goshawful thick lines, perhaps #8 or larger, for little 60 watt bulbs or LEDs. that is so the resistance in the wire doesn't drop the voltage.

all of this assumes you are using standard copper wire throughout. it is NOT PROPER to ever mix aluminum and copper, and frankly there should be no aluminum branch circuits at all in a home. inspectors consider a direct run to a stove or a dryer borderline acceptable because there are no intermediate connections to heat up and burn through.

the electrical code is administered by the National Fire Prevention Association. it's sorta against lighting yourself up with electricity, but mostly against lighting the house up with fire.

I'm a howling hound about spring-loaded back wired devices... in my experience, the springs wear out after notching the wire, causing hot spots and arcing. always wire down under a screw, or between interrupted plates in the device, as in a back-wired device that requires you to screw the wire tight. if those can be certified for hospital use, they're good enough for anything. the $50 difference is in the type of plastic and metal, not in the physics, between HG and the heavy duty units in the home centers.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jul 31, 2013, 08:55 AM
CommonwealthSparky
Thanks for seconding my post. Odd that you present information not related to the issue. This tends to confuse the OP in my opinion. {Seems like the poster on board way back that Googled every answer}. Plus some of it is just plain incorrect. As is stoplight bulbs rated at 60 watts for one example. Really not close on that one. And your rant about back stabbing outlets is an opinion, no more no less. Plus it does not relate to the OPs query.
Not out to start a flame war, even if they are still around, just trying to present a factual answer to the OP.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jul 31, 2013, 10:43 AM
swschrad
we used to buy stoplight bulbs as the overnight hallway backups in the hospital, availiable in 40s and 60s, filaments designed for either 140 or 150 volts. this is what I based my discussion on.

no flaming here, you are a licensed pro, and I am a DIYer who occasionally goofs, but that's what the wholesaler stocked them for.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jul 31, 2013, 05:37 PM
CommonwealthSparky
We tend to agree 99.99% on an answer anyway. I just like to keep answers shorter. Most people who post a query tend to have limited knowledge but willing to learn and tackle a job. As long as they are confident in what they can do.
Not a flame war person my self, to much like say 1995 for that. Dang have I had a PC for around for 18 years... Wink


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...