In a world that is powered by electricity 24/7, correct and reliable electrical wiring in homes is vital. There are many different elements that make up a solid electrical infrastructure, but one that is both basic and all-important is the wiring that is run throughout the home. 14AWG wire and other specialty products make it possible to efficiently and safely run power to every room and device in your home while keeping costs down.
What Is 14AWG Wire and Where Is It Used?
Electrical wiring of 14-gauge thickness is designed to run standard amounts of electricity throughout homes and businesses. It is the go-to wiring for most areas of any typical home, partly because it strikes a great balance on the spectrum of electrical wiring.
The gauge of a wire (in this case 14) refers to its physical thickness, and it's measured by the AWG (American wire gauge) standard. It's important to note that the higher the gauge number, the less thick the wire is.
For example, 12-gauge wire is thicker and more robust, and as a result, it is typically the wiring used to run electricity to kitchens. This is because kitchens usually have multiple appliances that are more electrically demanding, so it's safer to attach them to higher-capacity electrical circuitry.
Match the Right Amperage
Typically 14AWG wire is run on 15-amp circuits of electricity, which are the most common and basic types of circuits in-home wiring. 20-amp circuits are used for the more robust areas of a home, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and even some dining rooms. These circuits are run with 12AWG wire.
Part of the reason for this distinction is that 14AWG wiring will lose more of its voltage when run over long distances than 12AWG wiring. However, due to the higher cost of thicker wires, 14AWG wiring is still the preferred product for most applications and can be a great cost-saver.
Know Your Circuit Breakers
One of the best ways you can stay aware of how your home's electricity is functioning and catch any potential issues is by becoming familiar with your breaker box. Usually located on the side or back of your home outside, the breaker box will contain all of the breakers that toggle power on and off to the various circuits running throughout your home. At your breaker box, you can find out how many amps each circuit is, label the circuits, and temporarily turn circuits on and off in various parts of your home as needed.
It's important to know where any 20-amp circuits are because if you find that 14AWG wiring has been run on those circuits, there will be a higher risk of fire due to the wiring being unable to carry the higher load of electricity.