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Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Posted by eleena (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 1, 12 at 16:28

It says so on the breaker.

Everything I have read said it had to be 6, not 8.

I might be totally missing the point, though. :-)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

In general, 50A circuits must have 6 AWG copper conductors (or 4 AWG AL conductors). As with many parts of the NEC, there are exceptions to this rule. Is there a compressor or a welder involved with that circuit? They fall under a different part of the NEC.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Sorry, Kurto's first statement is wrong (either because he doesn't know what ampacity ratings are or he doesn't understand what generally means or both). 75 and 90 degree C 8 AWG Copper conductors has sufficient ampacity for 50A.

Even #8 aluminum (if 90 degree rated) can be connected to a 50 A breaker.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

It said 65/75 degree C. Is that OK?

The wiring was for a wall oven.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Probably 60/75? What else is stamped on the sheething (should be a type).
There are some special rules for things like type NM.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Yes, you are right.

It says "60/75", HACR type, CU/AL wire.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Are you reading the breaker or the wire?


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

The breaker, as far as I know.

How would read the wire?


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

There should be writing on the outside of the wire. Roughly the same place you found out what the gauge was.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

There is another "label" that says:

0250 Type: QP (or OP, I cannot be sure as it is scratched and there is no way to read it clearly).

Underneath, it specifies 2-pole breaker. 10,000 120V/240V and has a bunch of other stuff.

Does it make sense?

TX!


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Oh, and it says it is Siemens.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

The information is printed on the wire itself, on the insulation. I think you're looking at the panel or the breaker.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Here is a picture of the panel.
I cannot see the wire.


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Pic of the outlet.

And here is the outlet itself (where the appliance should be plugged).

BTW, does this box have a name other than "outlet"? I did Google image search using several key words but couldn't find it.

I see no wire. :-(

Help!


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

What you are looking at on the right side of the circuit breaker is a small chart that indicates the torque to tighten the connections to based on the wire sized used. AWG 8 to 40 inch pounds. AWG 6-4 to 45 inch pounds.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

It said AWG 8, that was my question.

Unless I am not understanding you.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Ah, so, despite your initial question, you have NO IDEA what size wire you have on your circuit. As pointed out, you're just looking at the specs for tightening the allowed wire sizes which we've already established could very well allow #10 for certain types of conductors.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

That is very possible. :-)

The breaker I am asking about is the lower one (on the picture) with 50 stamped on the handle.

The label on its upper pole, says:

Use 60/75 degree C
CU/AL wire
AWG 8 44 (?)

I am not sure about the last number (44). I am reading it from the pix as it is too dark outside to go look again.

So, you are saying that it does not mean that it has AWG 8 wire and it could be 6?

Where should I look to figure out what wire is there?


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

Again, it's not telling you squat about the wire you have...it's just telling if you use that gauge how much force you need to tighten the screw down with.

Why do you think you have a problem? If you want to find out what gauge wire you have, you're going to have to take the panel cover off so you can see what's actually connected to the breaker.

However, I seriously recommend you don't do so. Inside live electrical panels is not a place for those who don't know what they are doing.


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

I guess I don't have a problem.

I was confused by the label that said AWG 8, that's all.

I really need to take Electric Wiring 101, LOL.

See, I would have never bothered with this before. It is just that I have heard so much cr*p from contractors here in the last 6 years that I do not trust anything they say anymore. But that is an area-specific problem. I had never had it when I lived in other parts of the country.

So, thank you very much for your help!


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RE: Why does my 50 amp circuit have AWG 8?

'Wiring Simplified' might be a good place to start.


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