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Old 08-14-2008, 03:07 PM   #1
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working with wire - differently


I'm wiring a simple AC circuit for two bulbs passing through a switch.

The wiring I'm working with is non-standard for this application however. I have two 16 gauge cables (5 wires each). I was thinking of using one of those cables as hot wire, where I'd twist together ends of 3 of those wires. The other cable would act as neutral, again with 3 wires twisted at ends.

Does "splitting" the conductor wire this way (for the length of the circuit the 3 wires would run in their own insulations and be twisted only at ends) cause any issues? I'd think that would even act as increasing the gauge of the wire - making it suitable for heavier load... Am I correct or is it backwards?
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Last edited by electripela; 08-14-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:16 PM   #2
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working with wire - differently


I'd be concerned with the potential for more current through one of the wires than it can handle. Hopefully this is a science experiment and not household wiring you're doing!

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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that's the thing exactly... it is household wiring and that is why I need to know if I should strip these wires down.
what is the minimum gauge needed for two bulbs, no more than 60W each?
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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electripela,

why not just run 14-2? 14-2 will handle a 15a circuit. right now with just two 60watt bulbs in the circuit, u shouldnt be drawing much more than 1a, and you will have plenty of room to add more lights, outlets, etc...
i,m not an electrictian by any means, but have done some basic house wiring. im sure someone on here can answer u better, but, thats my two cents.

bob
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:29 PM   #5
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NO! The wire gauge must be matched to the circuit amperage. BOB
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:44 PM   #6
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working with wire - differently


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Originally Posted by electripela View Post
that's the thing exactly... it is household wiring and that is why I need to know if I should strip these wires down.
what is the minimum gauge needed for two bulbs, no more than 60W each?
You should call an electricain. You abviuosly don't what you are doing and are going to get some one injured.

Aside from being against all codes here are some of the thing you are not considering.
What if some of the wires break and you are only left with one?
What is the insulation rating on the wire. Is it at least 300 volts like AC wiring?
What is someone else sees that cable and assumes it is low voltage door bell? Not an unusual assumption.

Last edited by joed; 08-14-2008 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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buletbob,

i understand that the wire ga needs to match the amps. 14ga wire, 15a breaker, 12ga wire, 20amp breaker. why cant you put the two 60 watt bulbs in a circuit with 14ga wire? the load is not going to trip a 15a breaker, and if it shorts out, the break will trip, nothing will burn. pls advise.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:19 PM   #8
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buletbob,

i understand that the wire ga needs to match the amps. 14ga wire, 15a breaker, 12ga wire, 20amp breaker. why cant you put the two 60 watt bulbs in a circuit with 14ga wire? the load is not going to trip a 15a breaker, and if it shorts out, the break will trip, nothing will burn. pls advise.

bob
Yes you can. Most common lighting circuits are feed from 14GA 15 Amp circuit. my answer to the first poster was . you can't run multiple 18 Ga wires in a circuit and expect them to carry 15 Amps. if one of the fixtures shorted out these wires will be the first to heat up before the breaker trips.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:03 PM   #9
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thank you all,
i'll just face the daunting task of replacing the existing wire.

this circuit is about 20-25 ft long. 14g wire will do then?
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:09 PM   #10
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buletbob,

ok, im on the same page now bob! i didnt realize, for whatever reason, that you were answering the op, sorry, i got confused! yes, i agree, the thinner 16ga wires would burn before the breaker trips, wires would be too light for the circuit.

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Old 08-14-2008, 09:47 PM   #11
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thank you all,
i'll just face the daunting task of replacing the existing wire.

this circuit is about 20-25 ft long. 14g wire will do then?
That depends on the existing circuit and th breaker size. If it is a 15 amp breaker, then #14 is good. If it is a 20 amp breaker, then you must use #12.

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