Circuit Current Rating - Electrical 101
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Current Rating of a Circuit

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Current rating of a circuit is defined by the lowest current rating of wires and circuit breakers on that circuit.

Wire Gauge and Current Rating

Wire Gauge and Breaker Rating Table

15 Amp Circuit Rating

When a circuit is rated for 15 amps, the wires and circuit breakers must be rated for at least 15 amps. The circuit is rated for the lowest current rating of wire or circuit breaker. For example, if the wire is rated for 15 amps, the circuit should not have a 20 amp breaker even if the breaker trips frequently.

20 Amp Circuit Rating

When a circuit is rated for 20 amps, the wires and circuit breakers must be rated for at least 20 amps. It is important that a 20 amp (or higher) circuit breaker NOT be used on a circuit with a wire rated for 15 amps or less.

Cable Ripper

Commercial Electric cable ripper

A cable ripper is used to slit cable sheathing without damaging the wires inside the sheath.

This ripper from Commercial Electric has wire guaging holes to help determine wire gauge. The wire guaging holes include 14, 12, 10, 8, or 6 gauge solid wire.

Cable Ripper