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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a stove wire, 8-3 with ground. When I opened up the sleeve I was surprised to see the ground is tiny compared to the Red, White, and Black.

It must be okay, else they wouldn't sell/have it that way but can someone explain why the ground wire can be so small compared to the other wires? Thanks!
 

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Civil Engineer
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5,832 Posts
A little bit of terminology may help. A wire is a single conductor, either stranded or solid, and either insulated or bare. A cable is an assembly of two or more wires, covered with an outer sheath. Wires may be aluminum or copper. From your description, you purchased an 8/3 cable with ground. The two hots are red and black, the neutral is white, and the ground is often green (can be bare copper with some types of cable). The ground is typically one size smaller than the conductor, since the ground is NOT considered a current carrying conductor, NEC allows the ground to be smaller than the conductors. The ground only carries current in a fault condition.
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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The ground is typically one size smaller than the conductor,
This is not so. The ground can and is anywhere from the same to several sizes smaller that the circuit conductors.
 
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