If you’re a home owner, you might have wondered lately about all things concerning breakers. If you’re not a professional engineer, but you have some experience in wiring, you’re probably quite familiar with some of the basics. You probably know more about what size wire should be used for a given application, and you understand why certain wire gauge for 60 amp breaker boxes is a good idea. But just how much should you know?
Before you even start thinking about what size wire you should use for breakers, it’s important to get an understanding of the electrical work you will have to do. In most cases, this means being familiar with the electrical codes for your area. If you live in an area that requires a certain amount of amperage on electrical service, you need to understand which wire gauges are acceptable for these areas. Also, as a general rule, the larger and thicker you make the wire that goes into your breaker box, the more power it will provide.
To find out what wire gauge you should use for your area, start by measuring the total amps you expect your home to draw. Add those amps to the amperage required for your outlets, and figure the number of outlets you need on each floor of your house. Once you’ve figured that out, divide by two: the total amperage required for your entire home’s wiring. Remember to leave some room; multiple wires won’t allow you to install all your outlets at once.
Wire gauges come in a variety of different sizes. For example, the two smallest gauges (3-inch and 4-inch) will allow you to handle small loads, but large loads won’t be safe. Also, when you need to install a single-family dwelling, such as a ranch style house, you can install the largest size wire because there will be only one outlet. If, however, you want to install several different outlets in your house, you’ll need to use the smaller size wire, which will give you more flexibility. Still, the smaller size wire will give you more protection against dangerous electricity that could ruin your appliances.
In addition, the proper size wire for the job will depend on how much wire you need and how big your job is. For example, if you’re installing three outlets, you’ll need three-inch wires, while a four-inch wire is adequate for installing two outlets. Likewise, you’ll need to pay close attention to the wire gauge: the smaller the wire, the safer it is to handle. In addition, you’ll need to avoid using wire with a gauge over six awg, because it will give you more flexibility and make it easier to handle.
One other thing to remember about choosing the right wire size: if you don’t know the correct wire gauge, it’s okay; there’s no need to get a professional. However, it is important to know what size you should be using. The wrong gauge can be just as harmful as wire with the wrong gauge, because six awg wires are very soft and are very likely to bend and become damaged. This means that you have to choose the right gauge no matter what you’re doing.
When you have the proper size wires, you’ll need to choose the wire configuration for the connections. Since all breakers are installed at the same height, you can simply have a run of the same length connected between the breakers. However, for multi-outlet or multiple-wall outlets, you have to get different sizes of wires. You will probably also want to get crimp splices for crimping the ends of the larger cables.
If you have an old breaker that you want to replace, you can use wire gauges to help you determine the correct replacement wire size. Not only will it allow you to get the right size wire for your circuit breaker, but it will also help you install the breakers correctly. Finally, when buying the correct size wire for your circuit breakers, you should get advice from a professional electrician.