Knowing the gauge of electrical wire is incredibly important to an electrician. This is what tells an electrician how many amps any one wire can actually conduct through the line. If the voltage you are trying to pass through a specific wire is more than the electrical wire gauge, you run the risk of shorting out the line or causing an electrical fire. Your home requires much more electricity than your stereo speakers; this is the reason why a cable running from a utility pole is much larger than a speaker wire. This article will show you how to identify the electrical wire gauge yourself.
Step 1 – Expose the Wire
Before you expose the wires in any circuit box or outlet, always make sure that the power is turned off at the main junction box. Never touch a wire with your bare hands until you are completely sure that the wire has no current running through it. After cutting the power, use current tester to determine if the line is still hot or not.
You will first remove the face plate or the cover of the circuit to get to the wires themselves. Inside, you will see several wires attached to the circuit. Use the screwdriver to loosen them.
Step 2 – Determine the Size of the Wire
The insulation around the electrical wire offers little help to you. The colors are used to identify the polarity of the wire, the most common being red, black, and yellow. However, wire strippers have multiple holes labeled with dimensions where you can insert the wires. You not only can strip wires of a specific size but can also determine the circumference of the wire.
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