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About American Wire Gauge (AWG)

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.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Below is a table of copper wire gauges and their approximate resistance.

AWG wire
size (solid)
Diameter
(inches)
Resistance per
1000 ft (ohms)
Resistance per
1000 m (ohms)
24
0.0201
25.67
84.2
22
0.0254
16.14
52.7
20
0.0320
10.15
33.2
18
0.0403
6.385
20.9
16
0.0508
4.016
13.2
14
0.0640
2.525
8.28
12
0.0808
1.588
5.21
10
0.1019
0.999
3.28




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