Wires have been holding the world together, as you need wires for building or manufacturing anything from a house, a car, an electronic device, etc. Wires hold a crucial part in the making of things. There’re several types of wires because everything needs a different kind of wiring.
The world’s thinnest wire is 10,000 times thinner than human hair, although it contains the same electrical conductivity as a traditional wire. An interesting fact is that the U.S. Pentagon is one of the world’s largest office buildings that use 100,000 miles of telephone wires to accommodate about 200,000 phone calls that are made every day.
From this piece of information, you might’ve got an idea why wires are extremely important and because of them the world is operating properly.
There are many sizes of wires, but we’re going to talk about the 12-2 wire and a 14-2 wire.
The major difference between 12/2 wire and 14/2 is, that 12/2 wire consists of two conductors and can carry about 20 amps, while 14/2 wire also consists of two wires, but can merely carry 15 amps. The 14 gauge is considered a light and smaller wire, thus it’s ideally used for house lighting, whereas the 12/2 wire can easily carry more current, meaning it can be used for kitchen appliances and many other products that use more electricity.
Here is a table for small differences between a 12/2 wire and a 14/2 wire.
|12/2 wire||14/2 wire|
|This wire can carry 20 amps||This wire can carry about 15 amps|
|This wire has a diameter of 2.05 mm||This wire has a diameter of 1.63 mm|
|This wire is thicker and stronger||This wire is thinner and less strong than a 12/2 wire|
|This wire can be used for hot water heaters, refrigerators, and other items with more electricity||This wire is mostly used for lighting|
Check out this video to understand the difference between a 12/2 wire and a 14/2 wire.
For more information, keep reading!
When should I use 12-2 wires?
As 12/2 wires can carry about 20 amps, they can be perfect for the 15-amp or 20-amp circuit. Basically, 12/2 wire would be perfect for lighting, outlet circuits, refrigerators, etc.
Moreover, 12/2 wire will cost you slightly more, but it is completely worth it. It’s a better conductor wire of electricity, thus you’ll have much lesser loss between the service panel and the fixtures.
When should I use a 14-2 wire?
14/2 wire can be used for outlets and lights with a 15-amps circuit. Each light is usually of one amp, thus you can use 14/2 wire to 12 outlets which are protected by a 15-amp breaker. Mostly 14/2 wire is used for powering the light fixtures which require low amperage.
Moreover, you shouldn’t use 14 AWG on a circuit that consists of a 20A breaker, however, if you’re putting 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit with 12 gauge wire, then you should use the screw terminal, the side terminal, not the backstab terminals.
What’s bigger 12-2 or 14-2 wire?
There isn’t much of a difference between the size 12/2 and 14/2, however, a standard 12-gauge copper wire is 2.05 mm and the diameter of 14-gauge copper wire is a mere 1.63 mm. This tells us that 12- gauge wire is thicker which makes it stronger than 14-gauge wire.
Most people are confused about which wire to use as there’re so many. The ideal choice would be a 12-gauge wire if you want to wire a circuit that will carry both lights and outlets as it’s stronger.
The minimum size of wire for a 30-amp, 10-gauge is for the 240-volt circuit.
Moreover, if there’s is a voltage drop and you want to prevent it, you should upgrade to 8-gauge if the outlet is far from the panel. For a 50-amp circuit, you would need a 6-gauge wire.
How many lights can you put on a 12-2 wire?
There’s a specific wire for a specific number of lights. In a 12-2 wire case, you can put about 30×15 with 450 watts. You can put 450 watts of load on a 12/2 wire.
A 12/2 wire can be used for hot water heaters and refrigerators so you can have an idea from this, that a 12/2 wire can easily power a load of lighting. However, these wires shouldn’t be used with a voltage of more than 30 volts.
Here is a list of wires and how many amps they carry.
|Wires||Amount of amps|
|14 gauge||15 amps|
|12 gauge||20 amps|
|10 gauge||30 amps|
|8 gauge||40 amps|
Can 14-2 wires be used for lights?
14/2 wire is mostly used for lights as it can’t handle more electricity, like the electricity of a refrigerator. You can easily use these wires for outlets and lights that consist of a 15-amps circuit.
You can power lights with 14/2 wires that are of one amp and about 12 outlets protected by a 15-amp breaker.
What are the types of wire?
There are four different types of wire and every one of them is used for a different purpose.
- Triplex Wires: These types of wires are mostly used in single-phase service drop conductors. They are made of two insulated aluminum wires covered with a third bare wire that is used as a common neutral. The neutral is made from a smaller gauge and grounded at the electric meter and the transformer.
- Main Feeder Wires: These wires connect the service weather head to the house. They’re made with stranded and/or solid THHN wire.
- Panel Feed Wires: These wires are mostly black-insulated THHN wires and are used to power the main junction box and the circuit breaker panels.
- Non-Metallic Sheathed Wires: These wires are used primarily in homes and contain about 2-3 conductors that have plastic insulation and a bare ground wire. Each wire is wrapped with another layer of non-metallic sheathing.
- Single Strand Wires: These wires also use THHN wire, but there are other variants that can be used. Every individual wire is separate and a number of wires can be easily hauled through a pipe. Single-strand wires are popular for layouts that use pipes to contain wires.
A 12/2 wire consists of two conductors and carries about 20 amps and a 14/2 wire consists of two wires, but it can carry 15 amps only. The 14 gauge is a light and small wire and can be used for house lighting, while the 12/2 wire can carry more current that’s why it can be used for kitchen appliances and other products that use more electricity.
12/2 wire is perfect for the 15-amp or 20 amps meaning it can be used for Lighting, Outlet Circuits, and refrigerator. 12/2 wire is expensive as it’s a better conductor wire of electricity which means, you’ll have less loss between the service panel and the fixtures.
14/2 wire should be used for outlets and lights with a 15-amps circuit. As light is usually of one amp, you can use 14/2 wire to 12 outlets protected by a 15-amp breaker. These wires are mostly used for powering light fixtures requiring low amperage.
There are four different types of wire. Triplex wires are used in single-phase service drop conductors. Main Feeder wires connect the service weather head to the house. Panel Feed wires are used to power the main junction box and the circuit breaker panels.
Non-Metallic Sheathed wires are used in homes. Last but not least is the Single Strand wire, every wire is separate and a number of wires can easily be hauled through a pipe.
Moreover, these wires are popular for layouts that use pipes to contain wires.
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