What Happens If The Wire Gauge Is Too Big?

Installing an electrical system with adequate wiring is necessary to restore new buildings and older homes. However, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency by having your electrician utilize a greater wire gauge than the minimum suggested size. Read the full article to know about What Happens If The Wire Gauge Is Too Big?

What Happens If The Wire Gauge Is Too Big?

Increase the size of your home’s cables for added safety, flexibility, and expandability. Here’s all you have to know about wire diameters and home wiring. When a wire gauge is “too big,” it is more expensive, more difficult to bend, and more difficult to connect with wire nuts or switches. Apart from that, there isn’t much to report.

Happens If The Wire Gauge Is Too Big

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Gauge Wire? Or Can You Run A 14 Gauge Wire Off A 12 Gauge Wire?

Only if you’re only going to use 15 amps, also, instead of the 20-amp breaker that the 12-gauge wire is most likely connected to in the panel, make sure there is a 15-amp breaker in the main panel. I would not do that unless the breaker was set to 15 amps.

From now on, I’m going to do everything off the grid and use 12-volt led lights for everything. It was a lot less expensive. It only cost me $700 to install my full solar system. It generates more power than I require. I could never go back to using grid power.

How Do You Determine The Wire Gauge Size?

There are a few methods for determining a wire’s gauge. One method is to measure the wire’s diameter and then seek up the gauge in a table. A wire gauge calculator is another option.

A caliper or a micrometer can be used to determine the diameter of a wire. A ruler will suffice if you don’t have one of these instruments. Measure the wire thickness and look up the gauge in a table.

There are numerous wire gauge calculators available on the internet. They all operate slightly differently, but they all accomplish the same goal. They determine a wire’s gauge by measuring its diameter and length.

Wire gauge tables come in a variety of formats. The American Wire Gauge (AWG) table is the most common. It’s the one used by the majority of wire gauge calculators. Different gauges for different types of wire are included in the AWG table. Aluminum wire,  copper wire, and steel wire all have different gauges. Gauges for wires of various thicknesses are also available.

Is It Best To Use 12 Gauge Wire Over 14 Gauge When Wiring A House?

If I were building a new home, I would use 12 gauge wire for all electrical outlets, 20 amp breakers, and 20 amp outlets. This is more expensive, especially for the outlets, but it is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

  • It is highly costly to rewire a circuit for 20 amps. Larger loads, such as window air conditioners, necessitate 20 amp circuits.
  • If you have #12 gauge wiring and need to convert an outlet to 220 volts, you can change the outlets and the breaker. This is not doable with the #14 gauge wire without running a new wire.
  • Receptacles with a 20-amp rating are of higher quality. I recently assisted my daughter in replacing all of the outlets in a property she purchased in the 1980s. The outlets were all low-cost 15-amp receptacles. The plugs were all so worn that they wouldn’t stay in the outlet and ignited when plugged in.
  • The copper connectors inside the outlet popped open due to wear and tear. The receptacles were replaced with high-quality 15-amp units. I would have utilized 20 amp commercial receptacles if they had been wired with #12 wire. Always purchase branded receptacles such as Leviton or Cooper. Home Depot stocked only trash and charged more than Lowes for the same brand name.
  • Never use push-in connections to connect to a receptacle or allow an electrician to do so. A handful of work, but you should avoid them unless you know what to look for. Better yet, keep your distance. They’re on the verge of catching fire.

#14-gauge wire is sufficient for ceiling lighting wiring. If you’re going to use a ceiling fan, #12 is a good option, but I’d go ahead and wire a dual switch to control the fan and the light separately.

Why Does The Size Of A Wire’s Gauge Decrease?

This, I believe, refers to the wire gauge numbers getting smaller as the wire grows thinner. Because this was the way it was done historically, both British Standard (SWG) and later (AWG) American wire gauges follow this pattern.

The number corresponded to the passes through the wire drawing machine, which caused a reduction in wire diameter at each pass. During the industrial revolution, I believe it was the choice of one British engineer.

When A Wire Gauge Is Too Small, What Happens?

The higher the resistance of a wire, the thinner it is. Because voltage loss equals resistance times current, a thinner cable will have a higher voltage loss across its length.

Voltage (loss) x current = power, and power is lost as heat in the cable in this scenario. As a result, a thinner wire generates more heat. As a result, an undersized cable will not transmit full voltage and will be at risk of overheating and, in difficult situations, catching fire.


Let’s conclude the topic What Happens If The Wire Gauge Is Too Big? Overloading or harming anything by using larger wires is out of the question. There are many things to know when assessing how big a wire is too big, including how much it costs, where it has to fit, and the body stature of the joining mechanism (such as the size of termination or clamp).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay if I use 12 gauge and 14-gauge wire together?

Anyway, the first point is a tricky one since it’s tough to do an inspection when all of the wires going into the panel have 12, but several of the circuits are 14. If the OCPD matches the smallest wire, there’s nothing wrong with combining wire sizes in these circuits.

Is it possible to connect 18-gauge wire to 12-gauge wire?

No. The fundamental cause for the difference in wire gauges is amperage. Sure, it’ll work, but it’s completely incorrect, and the #18 gauge wire becomes a fusible link and a fire hazard. It would be easier to solve it if you used #18 wire to pull #12 wire.

Is it possible to link a ten gauge wire to a 14 gauge wire?

The circuit can take up to 30 amps with ten gauge copper wire, but once standard lights and receptacles are added, the circuit is limited to 20 amps or less. When using a 14 gauge wire, the circuit is limited to a 15 amp breaker.

Is it possible to reduce the wire size?

There is no such “step down” rule in the NEC. There is no code violation if the conductor is large enough for the load and shielded at or below its ampacity.

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