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Color-code for residential wire/ how to match wire size and circuit breaker

Orange 10 gauge 30 amp


Orange/ #10 gauge for for 30 amp circuits including water heater
with ground
Buy:
10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp


Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
with ground
Buy:
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

Rolls of stranded wire

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
White 14 gauge 15 amp


White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
with ground
Buy:
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Copper ground wire
Use same size as other wire in circuit

Buy
Spools of ground wire
Ground rods at Amazon

Household NM-B Wires are color-coded so inspectors/ electricians can easily identify which wire is used during construction

Match wire size and breaker amp rating

If your home was wired by professional electrician who pulled permits, then circuit breaker and wire size will match. If manufactured home or travel trailer has not been altered by homeowner then breaker and wire size will match.


If breaker is oversized for wire... fire danger

Breaker can let too much electricity travel through the wire. Wire can overheat and cause fire.
Call electrician if you suspect wiring is not correct,
Absolute electrocution danger when removing cover off main panel. More information below.
Main breaker terminals are still Hot when main breaker is turned off.

Buy:
Wire wire at Amazon

Resource:
How to replace circuit breaker

Match breaker to voltage that shows on appliance label

3-phase breakers are used for commercial service panels

Resource:
How to replace circuit breaker
3-phase wiring
wire size chart

Circuit breaker and wire size must match

Chart on left shows that 30 amp breaker matches 10 gauge copper wire.
Do not use aluminum wire. Copper wire is safe.
Aluminum wire expands when electricity travels through wire. Expansion causes loose connections and fire hazard.

Rating for short lengths household NM-B and DU-F

Resources:
Larger image with wire types, temperature, long length
Maximum wattage for houshold NM-B and DU-F wires
Wire diameter, weight, resistance

Larger image

How to figure correct size wire and breaker

Use chart on left to select wire and breaker (for short lengths of wire)
Use the 80% rule when calculating Capacity.
wattage shown on chart shows the 80% rule.
When wires and breakers operate at 100%, they get warm.
Warm wires mean amp loss and potential fire hazard.
Warm breaker means that breaker will not last as long, and busbar can be damaged by heat (over period of time)

14 ga wire ++  rated for 120 Volts x 15 Amp = 1800 Watts x 80% = 1440 Watts safe maximum

12 ga wire ++ rated for 120 Volts x 20 Amps = 2400 Watts x 80% = 1920 Watts safe maximum

10 ga wire ++ rated for 240 Volts x 30 Amps = 7200 Watts x 80% = 5760 Watts safe maximum

Larger image

Longer distance requires larger breaker and larger wire

Look at label to find watt rating of appliance, or motor or tool
measure distance between appliance and main breaker panel
Use chart to select larger wire when needed
Volts x amps = watts
Watts divided by volts = amps
Volts squared divided by watts = ohms

Resources:
Electrical formulas

Larger image with wire types, temperature, long length
Maximum wattage for houshold NM-B and DU-F wires
Wire diameter, weight, resistance
 
circuit breaker resources

Circuit breaker resources

Resources:
Water heater is tripping breaker
How to replace circuit breaker
How to wire gfci
Can AC breaker be used for DC breaker
How to reset circuit breaker
Not enough space for circuit breakers/ use tandem
Circuit breakers
How to install subpanel
Why you need ground wire
See inside breaker box
How to wire safety switch
How to wire whole house surge protector
Figure volts amps and watts
Figure correct wire and breaker
Types of surge protection
amp draw for motor
Volts x Amps = Watts
Amps = Watts divided by Volts

Typical motor starting currents of 6 to 8 times normal running current when starting.

Motor amp draw


motor
Buy:
AO smith / Century / motors at Amazon
Dayton motors at Amazon
Electric motors at Amazon
Draft inducer blowers for gas appliance + water heater
Water pumps at Amazon
Wet dry vacs

Resources:
Motors can run 10% more or 10% less than rated voltage
AO Smith motors with troubleshoot and wiring .pdf
AO Smith motor wiring
Magnetec motors is AO Smith, AO Smith motors are now Century
Motor troubleshooting/ pdf
Motor troubleshoot 2/ pdf
Timer for 2-speed motor
Repair and wire motors .pdf
Basic motor wiring illustration .jpg
Reverse motor .pdf
Hayward pool equipment error codes
Swimming pool replacement motors and identification
The motor doctor
Dayton motor guide/ pdf
Control motor with 2 switches
Always connect ground wire.
" Current capacity must be adequate enough to maintain rated voltage at the motor terminals under all conditions. If it’s too high, contact the local utility.
If it’s too low check for overloaded circuits, loose connections or wire of the wrong gauge"
More than 3300 feet above sea level, use next higher horsepower.
Motor must be grounded. Test that ground is connected. Turn power off before touching motor.
Incorrect voltage at motor will cause motor to overheat. Check wire size.
Motors are hot to touch. Provide ample circulation around motor.

Horsepower / wire size / distance

Motor horsepower and wire size for 115Volt and 240V
Horsepower = watts 746
Resource:
How to wire subpanel

For example: 1-1⁄2 Hp motor at 115 volts over a distance of 150 feet, use #8 wire.
If the motor can be installed to operate on 230 volts, #12 wire should be sufficient for a 150 foot distance

Larger image

Horsepower / wire size / distance

Length of wire/ amp draw

Use larger wire and breaker with longer distance
3-phase wire size
Larger image

Single-phase/ 3-phase Wire and Breaker size chart



Larger image

Single-phase/ 3-phase Amp load by Kilowatt

Water heater wire size chart
Larger image

Water heater 

recommended Circuit Breaker size/ non-simultaneous

Residential water heaters are non-simultaneous. Tank label will show type of operation.
Resource:
How electric water heaters work
Longer distance, use larger wire and breaker
Oversizing wire and breaker will lower heat loss and improve efficiency

Cooler wires = cooler circuit breaker = longer life for breakers and main panel


Dual-element water heaters are 240Volt and are normally factory-wired for non-simultaneous.
This means only one element is ON at a time.
Both elements are never ON at same time.
Resources:
How to wire water heater elements and thermostats
How to wire tankless electric water heater
Single-phase water heater amp draw
Larger image

Water heater 

Amp draw/ non-simultaneous

Residential water heaters are non-simultaneous
Same as chart above except showing actual amp draw instead of recommended breaker size
Simultaneous water heater wiring
Larger image
.pdf file

Water heater 

Amp draw/ simultaneous

Residential water heater, or commercial water heater can be wired for simultaneous operation.
Some regions require commercial food sellers to have manufacturer-certified commercial-grade simultaneous water heater
Simultaneous is NOT typical for ordinary residential water heaters, except special order, or some models with 80 gallon capacity. Tank label will show type of operation.
Chart shows typical residential single-phase 120Volt, and 240Volt.
Chart also shows voltages found with commercial 3-phase service.
Water heaters can be wired for 3-phase
Resource:
How to wire water heater for simultaneous operation
How to wire 3-phase water heater
water heater circuit breaker

4500 watt and 5500 watt water heaters should connect to 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire.

Calculate safe maximum for water heater circuit

If residential water heater is connected to 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire, then overheating problem occurs over time.
Circuit breaker will not last as long, and damage can occur to busbar.
Resource:
See basic water heater circuit
How to replace circuit breaker
20 amp breaker is subject to 80% safe-maximum rule.
20 amp circuit breaker x .8 = 16 amps. So safe maximum for 20 amp breaker is 16 amps.
240Volt 4500 watt water heater draws 18.75 amps. And 5500 watt water heater draws 22.91 amps.
So 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire is rated too small for most water heaters. Over time the breaker is getting warm, and is more likely to get hot and fail.

Recommended that all water heaters be connected to 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire.
Safe maximum for 30 amp breaker x .8 = 24 amps.
Safe maximum for 10 gauge wire at 240volts is 5670 watts See chart
30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire run cooler, with less heat loss and more efficiency. Circuit breaker and main box last longer with less chance for heat damage.
Resource:
Figure Volts Amps Watts for water heater
in line fuse
Larger image

Use in-line fuse

.... When connecting 2 different gauge wires
Connect 12 gauge wire to 10 gauge wire.
Illustration shows smaller 12 gauge wire connected to larger 10 gauge wire.

10 gauge wire is protected by 30 amp breaker
The amp draw on 30 amp breaker is too large for 12 gauge wire.
12 gauge wire should have 20 amp breaker.

Use busman fuseholder with 20 amp fuse.
Fuse will protect entire length of 12 gauge wire.
Connect fuse to Hot wire.
Not necessary to put fuse on Neutral

If the 12 gauge wire was wired for 240V, then fuse is necessary for both hot wires.
Always make connections inside a box with cover
Buy:
Buy fuseholder at Amazon
Buy fuseholders at Amazon
Resource:
See fuseholder

GFCI in breaker box

Household Main panel 120 volt and 240 volt

This is called single-phase electric power. Phasing is determined by the power company.

- Each 120 volt circuit can include up to 12 outlets, and supply power to lights inside a room.
- Generally each 120 volt circuit sends power to one area of home. This is because the wire leaves breaker box and goes to first junction box inside a room. From the junction box, the wire splits off and goes to each individual box, jumping from box to box until the final box is reached. So each box will have 1 black hot wire, 1 white neutral wire, and 1 ground wire that connect back to main breaker box.
- Some circuit breakers are dedicated to 1 specific appliance. For example the kitchen microwave is usually wired to 1 circuit breaker and no other outlets or lights are connected to that breaker. This is because microwave draws so much amperage. That is called dedicated circuit, and dedicated breaker.

- Each 240 volt circuit is usually dedicated to one appliance. For example electric water heater is connected to 1 240 volt breaker. The electric dryer is connected to another 240 volt breaker. The heat/AC is connected to another 240 volt circuit breaker, and so on.
Resources:
See inside main breaker box
How to replace circuit breaker
How to install subpanel
Figure volts amps watts for electric water heater
How to wire GFCI
How to wire Arc fault breaker


Multimeter

Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
Buy:
Multimeters at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon 
Resource:
How to test and replace element
How to test thermocouple
Element tests for 120 volts
How to test wire
Safety when testing wires:
Never touch wet or previously flooded appliance.
Never stand on wet surface when working on electric.
Never stand on bare soil, put down dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Use non-contact voltage tester before touching wires.
Never touch or lean into any made of metal.
Remove metal objects from pockets.
Do not use oxygen or fuel accelerants in same room as electrcial repairs

Resource:
Basic house wiring

Non-contact voltage tester

Test for power without touching connectorss
NEVER assume power is OFF
Buy:

Non-contact voltage tester Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon
 
Resource:
How to test electric power is off

Resource:
How to install terminals
Treminals

Terminals

Buy:
Terminal kit
Blue for 16-14 wire
Yellow for 12-10 wire
Read about terminals
wire connector assortment

Twist-on wire connector assortments

Do not reuse old connectors 
Buy

Connector assortment at Amazon
Connector assortment at Amazon

Resource
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Weatherproof wire connector

Weatherproof wire connector

Connector cavity is full of silicone
Built-in cover keeps silicone in place
Protect from water, dust etc
Buy from my affiliate links
Weatherproof size 14 to 6 Amazon
Weatherproof size 22 to 8 Amazon

Resource
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Wire connector wrench

Wrench to apply wire connectors

Tighten connector 
Buy

Wire connector blaster
Twist connector wrenches at Amazon

Resources:
How to twist wire
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Push on wire connectors

Push-on wire connectors in place of twist-on connectors

Buy:
Push on wire connectors Amazon
Red 3P connector for 10-14 gauge wire
Lever connectors for stranded wire at Amazon
add solder to stranded wire

Turn stranded wire into solid wire

Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire

linesman pliers
Buy tools:
Wire strippers at Amazon
Linesman pliers
Utility knife at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon

Fire inside timer caused by stranded wire
Keep enclosure door closed at all times

Fire caused by stranded wire

Do not use stranded wire under screw plate

Applies to timers, switches, outlets, pumps etc.
Small devices, with small loads, such as lamp socket, stranded wire is fine
Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire
Additional links:
main breaker box
Larger image
Resource:
See inside main breaker box
Electricity leaves power plant Resource:

What is 3-phase electric: power plant to end user

How to wire 3-phase timer


Basic household wiring
Basic water heater circuit

Figure volts amps watts for electric water heater
Test elements
Replace elements
How to wire tankless electric
How to change water heater temperature using timer
Change water heater from 240Volt to 120Volt
Replace thermostats
How to wire thermostats
How to wire water heater for off peak operation

How to twist wire
How to wire Cooper 277 pilot light switch
How to wire combo switch-outlet
How to replace 3-speed fan switch
 

How to wire dimmer
How to wire 3-way dimmer
How to wire occupancy switch
How to wire motion detector
How to wire TM811 and TM8111 switches
How to wire wall timers
How to wire box timers
How to wire off-delay timer
Wire off-delay timer
How to wire pin timers

How to wire and troubleshoot photo eyes
Reverse photoeye so it turns on in day
24 Volt photoeye
24 volt programmable timer

How to wire switches
How to add switch
How to add 3-way switch


Timer for 3-way switch
Timer for 4-way switch

How to add outlet 
How to wire 3-way switches
How to wire 4-way switches


Troubleshoot Malibu outdoor lights
Terminals 
Select and install wire connectors
Select wire size

Electrical formulas
Electricians forum
 

Electrical pages


How to wire arc fault breaker
How to wire GFCI
How to wire GFCI combo

Basic water heater circuit
How to wire water heater for 120Volt
Install old work box

How to drop wire from attic
Wire connector

How to wire 240volt outlets
How to install 3-phase timer
How to wire 3-phase outlets
How to wire 3-phase surge protector
What is 3-phase

How to wire whole house surge protector
How to wire under-counter water heater
 

See inside main breaker box
Replace breaker
Install subpanel

Fuseholder
Contactors
How to solder wires
Whole house surge protector
3-phase surge protection
Circuit breakers

Difference between 120 volt and 240 Volt
Difference between 50Hz and 60Hz
How to install electric meter on water heater
How to wire water heater thermostat
How to wire water heater with switches and timers

6x6x4 Enclosures
Intermatic timer enclosures

Convert AC water heater to DC
How to wire DC solar water heater
DC relays for solar water heater
How to add another thermostat to water heater

How many Kwh to heat water
Chart for figuring heating time for electric heater

Terminals
Cutler Hammer C25BUB230A
Contactors

How to twist wire

Wire connectors

Electricity from pole to breaker box

How to wire off-peak water heater

Compare all water heater timers
Do it yourself
Do it yourself water heater

Gas control valves
Pass and seymour TM8113
How to wire switches

Remove rusted element

Electricity
Water heater in earthquake
Water heater Safety precautions
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Gas and electric water heaters Buy:
Industrial electric at Amazon

Industrial supplies at Amazon

Industrial and scientific Amazon
Intermatic control centers Intermatic control centers:
+ manuals and parts


All control centers:
+ manuals and parts


Including Z-wave
box timers Compare box timers

Control with Z-wave
programmable timer Compare programmable timers

Control water heater with programmable wall timer
Countdown timers Compare countdown timers

Control water heater with countdown timer
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