Electrical Wire Gauge

Electrical wiresWire gauge is a measurement of wire diameter. This determines the amount of electric current a wire can safely carry, as well as its electrical resistance and weight.

Wire is sized by the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system. Wire gauge refers the physical size of the wire. Whenever a circuit is extended or rewired, or when any new circuit is installed, the new wiring must be made with wire conductors that are properly sized for the amperage rating of the circuit.

The higher the amperage rating of the circuit, the larger the wires need to be in order to avoid excess heat that can melt wires and cause fires. The proper circuit size, as indicated by amperage, is determined by several factors, including the planned load on the circuit, the number of outlets or light fixtures, and the length of the circuit.