When it comes to house wiring, choosing the right wire size is crucial for safety and efficiency. The decision between 12-2 and 14-2 wire depends on the amperage of the circuit you’re working on. Here’s what you need to know:
12-2 wire is rated for circuits up to 20 amps
14-2 wire is rated for circuits up to 15 amps
If you’re installing a circuit with a 20 amp breaker, you must use 12-2 wire. It’s also important to note that you cannot use sub-branches for lighting using only 14-2 wire, even if the lights are not expected to use more than 15 amps. This is because the overall circuit is still rated for 20 amps, and using smaller wire could result in overheating and potential fire hazards.
In summary, always adhere to the amperage guidelines and choose the appropriate wire size for each circuit. Don’t take shortcuts, as sacrificing safety is never worth it.