Reply by crank49

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4032 posts in 3055 days

#1 posted 04-08-2010 11:09 PM

I’m an engineer and an electrical control specialist. So you might not want to trust me right off, but for what it’s worth:
- Appliances don’t have to follow building electrical codes with internal wiring; the cord is considered internal. They have to obey the laws of physics, however, so they could even use 14 ga wire for a 20 amp circuit if its insulation had high enough temperature rating. Effeciency would not be very good though.
- You have to obey the electrical code for the building location and also comply with state and even local ordinances.
- The voltage has nothing to do with the guage of wire required. Voltage has everything to do with the insulation on the wire.
- The amperage load on the wire determines the guage needed. The amperage load will be increased with distance so a very long run, say 100ft, with a full 20 amp load might very well need 10 guage or even 8 guage wire. In most cases, a 10 guage (30 amp capacity) wire is a good choice for most motored appliances.
- The inrush starting amps for a motor can be several times the running amps. Therefore, the breaker might very well need to be either a special motor circuit breaker, or be oversized, like to 30 amps for a 20 amp load. If you install a 30 amp breaker, you are required by code to run 10 guage wire.
- The code will also require a ground wire so the wire should be 10-3 or 10-2 w/ground, if it’s romex.
Hope this helps, and good luck.

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