Over current protection. Gauge the gauge. Look for amateurish installations.
What happens if the wires are undersized?
Choosing the correct wire gauge within a home is important.
The service wiring sizes that run from an electrical distribution panel or (load center) breaker to the various electrical outlets (receptacles/switches) for appliances is crucial. You do not want a wire to act as a fuse and burn should a short circuit occur.
Below are the corresponding wire gauges as recommended for the size of the breaker, or overcurrent protection device/s, installed in residential first point of services or mechanical service electrical panels or (load center.)
Amateur Electrical Work Can Be Dangerous.
Circuit breakers are overcurrent protection devices (OCPD) that are designed to break the circuit and prevent equipment damage or fire. When too much current runs through a circuit the heat in the circuit exceeds the breaker 's load rating and it trips, shutting off the electrical power. Proper sizing eliminates overloads and insures safe electrical operation. Circuit breakers are designed to carry 100% of their rated current while the NEC dictates an 80% application.
A commonly misunderstood fact about circuit breakers (CBs) is related to the percentage of loading permitted by the NEC and the CB design, and why the two may be different. Let's investigate both aspects.