Wire Gauge

This homeowner had a dangerous problem heating up in the electrical service panel. A wire connecting to one of the breakers was not the proper gauge to handle the electrical load and could have overheaded and started a fire.

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The homeowner in Riverside, California had a very dangerous problem heating up in the electrical service panel. A wire connecting to one of the breakers was not the proper gauge to handle the electrical load. Wire gauge must be matched to the connecting breaker or fuse, or it could overheat and cause a fire.

Matching wire gauges can be tricky. Each circuit breaker or fuse is made to be connected to a specific gauge wire. The higher the gauge, the thinner the wire. That's right; 18 gauge wire is thinner than 10 gauge wire, and the thinner the wire, the less electricity it can carry. A breaker connected to incorrect wiring is one of the most common electrical problems found in homes. Luckily, it can be easily corrected by a licensed electrician.

Never attempt to remove the electrical service panel cover yourself. Get some help if you think you have a wiring problem. Replacing wires and breakers is definitely not a do-it-yourself job. The electrician may replace the circuit breaker to match the wiring. That's the easiest and cheapest way to correct the problem. Getting an improperly wired electrical panel box fixed can be pricey. But it's well worth the cost to protect your home and your family.

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