What's new
What's new

Slightly OT: Has the specification for wire gauge changed?

crossthread

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Location
Richmond,VA,USA
I had to move a compressor this week which is wired from the shop with #12 UF cable. I bought a roll of #12 UF cable to extend the wiring to the new location. The existing wire was buried probably thirty years or so ago. The new wire is absolutely smaller then the older #12. I even double checked to make sure it was not marked wrong on the wrapper for the roll. What is printed on the wire is #12/2 w/ground. I thought #12 would be something of a constant. Has anyone seen this?
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
I had to move a compressor this week which is wired from the shop with #12 UF cable. I bought a roll of #12 UF cable to extend the wiring to the new location. The existing wire was buried probably thirty years or so ago. The new wire is absolutely smaller then the older #12. I even double checked to make sure it was not marked wrong on the wrapper for the roll. What is printed on the wire is #12/2 w/ground. I thought #12 would be something of a constant. Has anyone seen this?
"Absolutely" ???
Machinist's reside here, dealing in accurate dimensions.

What does it measure ?
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Or, its chinese. They'll print whatever sells on the label.

To quote Amber Heard, "Suck my dick."

There are no Chinese hardware stores in the US. Chinese writing is totally different from English. In fact, I don't remember seeing any labelling on the wire used in China and since they run 220v and I've not seen Romex, it's entirely different from what is sold in the US. Walmart, Lowes, etc all buy and check the items they sell. This kind of stupid, unsolicited and unwarranted garbage-slinging is beneath contempt ... as are the people who engage in it.

ESAD.
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
Well....that was a nice rant. I believe the supposition is that while the actual hardware store is not Chinese, the products contained therein might well be Chinese-produced and therefore cutting corners and skimping on quality. As for getting your dick sucked....might I suggest a good local Chinese massage parlor? They love you long time and a 2" pee-pee won't faze them a bit.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
In the last decade plywood has switched to metric without letting customers know. I wonder if the same has happened with wire. They measure existing USA made wire and round the size down to the nearest mm without changing the designation.
Bill D
 
Last edited:

boslab

Titanium
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
wales.uk
There are interestingly lots of wire gauges, Birmingham, Stubbs, standard, and many more, I’m assuming your wire is standard wire gauge, these are set but the electrical wire may be different, old wire may be different resistance as electrical standards usually work of the characteristics more than the physical size, perhaps the old copper was full of arsenic and oxygen not electrolytic copper like todays 99.9x purity, only a thought to investigate
Mark
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Insulted member(s) of the community
Well....that was a nice rant. I believe the supposition is that while the actual hardware store is not Chinese, the products contained therein might well be Chinese-produced and therefore cutting corners and skimping on quality.

You can sup whatever the hell you want but that won't make it fact or even sensible. The original post was silly, this is supposed to be a machinist forum. Ten seconds with a set of $5 calipers will answer the question.

But the retarded post I replied to is shit. Stupid, ignorant, assholian shit. There is no Chinese-native wire sold in the US. Romex is not common in China and households run on 220v, not 110, so the wire size is totally different. I also don't remember seeing any labelling on electrical wire but if they did, it would be in Chinese and metric, not imperial and English.

So, for people with an IQ over five, any wire sold in the US that could possibly be sourced in China would be SPECCED AND PURCHASED BY US RETAILERS.

Because you apparently never owned or possibly even worked in an actual machining business, here's a clue -- vendors create what the buyer contracts for. If there is undersized wiring of a Chinese source in the US, it's because Walmart, Lowes, or whoever specified, ordered, inspected, and paid for it. This has nothing to do with bullshit "quality" claims by internet assholes slinging vomit.

Got to hell, Gordon. You are dishonest.
 

Gordon Heaton

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Location
St. George, Utah
This kind of stupid, unsolicited and unwarranted garbage-slinging is beneath contempt ... as are the people who engage in it.
Oh, its warranted in many cases. Fortunately, contempt floats - right up to you, the high and mighty. Which leaves us commoners relatively unscathed. I am personally aware of a number of instances where chinese suppliers under contract made material or process substitutions without notice, resulting in an inferior product. Hardened and ground? Well, harder than wood I suppose, and ground to whatever 'looks about right'.
Yes, they can make very fine products, and yes, domestic manufacturers sometimes cut corners too but my comment stands on its own merit with anyone who's been watching for a while.

I see you got nastier as I was typing. Like I said, the contract and specs are there, they just aren't always followed. You have a problem. BTW I've been on my way to hell for years. See you there!
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
my comment stands on its own merit with anyone who's been watching for a while.

Your comment stands on a pile of dogshit, which most of us don't want on our tennyrunners.

You know absoutely nothing about this situation. OP did not even bother to measure the wire size or even tell us which part was "bigger". The wire itself or the appearance of the romex? who knows? There's no actual evidence of anything.

You have no idea where the old wire came from or where the new wire came from. You have no idea if there even is a difference. What's he measuring ? Nothing, as far as I can tell. It just "looks smaller". You know less than doodly about anything in the situation but feel compelled to pull this grbage out your ass and sling it.

I hate liars. Fuck off.


You have a problem.

Yes. People like you who spread lies based on nothing. I'm in a bad mood and don't like lies. You know exactly nothing about this situation but can't help yourself, just have to speculate and make unfounded claims against your own private bogeyman.

It's garbage. People who do that are garbage.
 

crossthread

Titanium
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Location
Richmond,VA,USA
I beg to differ. It was not a "silly" post at all. Both cables are marked #12. After nearly forty years in the trade, I can at least tell when something is bigger then something else. I only mention this because it seems like it was implied that I am some kind of retard for not measuring the wire. I thought that wire was marked as a certain physical size, not the ability to conduct due to the composition. Bill D offered the only plausible explanation that perhaps they are rated differently now. That was the intent of my original post, to find out if that may be the case. Just as a follow up, I just went to the shop and measured the wire with my "five dollar" Starrett mics. The old wire marked #12 is .1005" in diameter and the new wire, also marked #12 is .0780"
 

mnl

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Location
Maryland near DC
Spec for #12 AWG is 0.0808” +- 0.0008”. If you have the capability to make a good resistance measurement that might be amusing. It should be 1.59 Ohms/1000’. Your old #12 wire is spec diameter for #10, actually 0.0004” under.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
The old wire marked #12 is .1005" in diameter and the new wire, also marked #12 is .0780"

Looks like - uh-oh ! - it's two thou under.


Omigod, them damn commie chinks at it again, passing off low-grade crap as good ol' amurrican quality !

As I said, you could have solved this puzzle in about five minutes with a pair of calipers and a quick look online. But then we wouldn't have given Gordon a chance to pull a bunch of unfounded insults out his ass.
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
It's very possible a Chinese supplier can scrimp on the wire size. There are the usual reasons - like translation issues or unfamiliarity with real numbers (as opposed to metric numbers). Then, there is the ever-sneaky behavior wherein they cut corners and provide a generally inferior product. An excellent example is cardboard.....you can tell at a glance if it's Chinese cardboard because it is thinner and cheaper. But you can bet the US retail store that purchased it relaxed their standards so as to not make waves. If Home Depot ordered a million boxes of wire.....are they really gonna send it back? Especially when there's a good chance no one even QC'd it when it arrived? Or is it gonna get distributed and sold? Hmmm....

I can't tell you how many pipe fittings I've bought at Home Depot and Lowes that just flat sucked.....crooked threads, threads too deep, threads not deep enough, shitty galvanizing, fittings made of a mystery brass that doesn't even begin to resemble the brass you'd get from a McMaster Carr fitting.
 

rons

Diamond
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Location
California, USA
Solid wire and stranded wire of the same diameter are not the same. Use circular mils calculation for each strand and then multiply by how many stands.

4 cents
 








 
Top