Electrical wire for homes in the USA usually ranges between the thicker 8 gauge (AWG) to the thin 22 gauge. The larger the number, the smaller the wire and the less current it can carry. 22 gauge wire is often used for speaker wire and other low-voltage applications. Lamps, radios and other similar household items usually use 18 gauge wire. Powers tools, vacuums and refrigerators most often use 16, 14 or even 12 gauge wire. Most of the wiring in your walls is 12 or 14 gauge. The wire from the street to a 100 amp breaker box may be 2 gauge.