Specifications Of Safe Electrical Wires

colored wires

Before you can use it in your house, design engineers and electrical engineers need to check the specs of the wires for safety. Each wire and cable come in different diameters, ampacity, and lengths. Wires and cables need to carry electricity with the right configuration. Here, we will discuss safe electrical wires.

Determining the wire for you depends on the contractors. Be sure that the wires should not become a problem for your project. The experts have their knowledge regarding wires. Once you know the one you need, your next home renovation will be easy.



The proper wire size is important. Everything is based on the American Wire Gauge System (AWG) to determine the diameter of the metal conductor. As an example, the higher the AWG, the smaller the conductor. Inversely, the lower the AWG, the larger the conductor.

However, having a wire with the wrong amperage and carrying capacity can result in overheating. In turn, you get short circuits and fire.


Wire Gauge

Wire sizes come in their gauges and ampacity. Remember, the higher the gauge, the lower the ampacity. It also means the conductor is thicker with a higher gauge. Here are some gauges to help you familiarize yourself: 

  • 4-gauge – meant for electric furnaces and heaters at 60 amps
  • 60-gauge – meant for cooktops at 40-50 amps
  • 10-gauge – meant for dryers, 240-volt air conditioners, water heaters at 30 amps
  • 12-gauge – meant for kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor receptacles at 20 amps
  • 14-gauge – meant for lighting fixtures, lamps, and circuits at 15 amps
  • 16-gauge – meant for extension cords at 13 amps
  • 18-gauge – meant for low-voltage lighting and lamps at 10 amps


Color Coding

Color coding is used on both the outer sheathing of cables and wires. Knowing the coding can help you which wiring is used in a system. For example, a white-sheathed cable is used for 15-amp circuits, while the yellow cable is for 20-amp circuits. Some colors can include blue, gray, and orange.

The coloring does not indicate the exact size and rating. But it does make it a standardization for any circuit. For example, black and red wires are typically used for carrying “hot” connections. White wires, in this case, are for “neutral” conductors.


Wiring Labeling

Every wire you see contains information about insulation, size, and material. They are stamped on the wire once it is made. While the color can help you narrow it down, it is better to read the label. It may even contain details you missed while shopping. The information provided can ensure better materials for your project.



The application of wires is possible for cable, telecommunications, and the internet. If your television’s wires are not working properly, you can get a coaxial cable for better display. For Wi-Fi, there is the LAN cable. Once connected to the computer, an internet connection will be fast. Telephone cables are reserved for landlines in the house.

For cables, they have to withstand the elements. There is a reason why direct-burial cables are used for outdoor projects. You can install it underground with and without the conduit. The practice can change depending on the local building code rules. For indoor usage, the wires must be able to run on walls, ceilings, or floors. Cables must not be tangled up with any other materials to have a smooth distribution.

Every specification for wires should not be mixed up. Knowing the ampacity and diameter can save you a lot on your projects. By the next time you visit the hardware store, you have an idea of what to get.

Firefly Electric has been a leading electrical solutions provider in the Philippines for over 20 years. Firefly Electric provides air coolers, LED lights, Ecolum lights, and other high-quality electronic products with over 8500 stores, 800 retail outlets, and 1000 partner contractors and developers. These electronic products are made from high-grade materials and are the best on the market. 

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