16 Gauge Wire in Circuit?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by achaean27, May 14, 2013.

  1. achaean27

    achaean27 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chicago
    I have a setup where I need to connect a pump (ac motor) to a relay switch that is hard wired to a 15 amp electrical circuit (14 gauge wire). The maximum wire size to connect the pump motor is 16 gauge. Below would be the setup:

    15 amp breaker @ 14 gauge wire --> Relay --> Pump

    The amp draw of the pump is no more than 3 amps. Most of the time it would be 1.5 amps.

    My question is, can I connect a 16 gauge wire from the relay to the pump? Is there a better way to wire this?
  2. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    "The maximum wire size to connect the pump motor is 16 gauge"

    If the pump comes from the manufacturer with 16 ga, you can wire that to the relay. But you cannot use any 16 ga anywhere else in your rig, it all must be 14 ga.

    Why is the maximum to the pump 16 ga? Why can it not be 14 ga?
  3. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    How to determine which wires are in a three wire circuit when six wires are in a....

    Sorry, wrong place.
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  4. achaean27

    achaean27 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chicago
    I'm not sure why the motor is 16 ga, but that's what the technician says. Thank you for the advice, I'll give it a try just to the relay.
  5. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    The manufacturer is not bound by the code the way we are.

    The cords on the various things you plug into a 20 amp general purpose circuit are not 12 ga, are they? They are large enough for the item being plugged in.

    Look inside a dish washer some time. Not much 12 ga in there.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is seldom a "maximum" wire size for anything, unless you try to use a wire that exceeds the capacity of the connectors.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    The manufacturer of the device knows the internal load and needs of what's inside and then, it is tested for proper operation so knowing what they know, they can and often do use smaller wires than the circuit that may feed it. Up to the device, the wire must be sized based on the protection device (the fuse or CB)...after that, in the device, anything goes once it has passed testing. This is why you can plug in a lamp with a 50W (less than 0.5A) load into say a 20A branch circuit.
Similar Threads: Gauge Wire
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Wire gauge for under cabinet lighting. May 3, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog advice on wire gauge for built in oven Nov 1, 2011
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Converting from larger to smaller wire gauge May 15, 2011
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Sizing Kitchen Range Breaker Size & Wire Gauge Apr 12, 2011
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Wire gauge for new double-oven? Nov 6, 2010

Share This Page