Author Topic: will this work?  (Read 3064 times)

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larryf

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will this work?
« on: May 12, 2011, 01:51:50 PM »
Probably everyone in the world already knows this [ I sometimes feel like a truck driver in a roomful of physics profs} but ok.  If you need a size 8 wire, can you use two size 14 wires of equal length instead?

birdhouse

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Re: will this work?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 02:50:08 PM »
larry-
short answer, no.  #14 is designed to carry 15 amps @ 120v.  #8 is designed for 50 amps?? ish at 120v.  so in theory, two #14's could move 30 amps at 120v. 

code doesn't allow doubling, or tripling up conductors to allow for higher current, however it does work, and i do this sort of thing on my off-grid system.   

electricity takes the path of least resistance, and resistance gets higher as wire warms up.  so lets say you had two wires carrying the same load.  lets say one had a slightly better connection, thus less resistance,  it would begin to carry more load, until it started to get warm, and the load would shift slightly to the other wire...  in other words, things sort themselves out naturally in this scenario. 

charts are out there showing the area in mm squared or inches squared or whatever.  this is the key number.  i always size the multiple conductors to the same amount of area squared as the conductor i should be using. 

hope this helps.

adam

birdhouse

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Re: will this work?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 02:57:59 PM »
larry, here's a great chart on it-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

basically, (4) #14's would be just under the total area of one #8. 

adam

TomW

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Re: will this work?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 03:04:45 PM »
A "rule of thumb" seems to be that if you double the wire it is equivalent to 3 sizes larger.

2 #12 is = #9 and so forth.

YMMV

Tom
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larryf

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Re: will this work?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 03:39:27 PM »
thank you to all.  It helped 8)