# Electrical Wiring in the Home/gauge 10 or 3 x 14 ?

Question
Hello Will,

I'm comparing two extension cords for 120v and 15amp or less, which of these two wires is thicker (less resistance)?

a wire composed of three separate gauge 14 cables (includes ground)

or

a gauge 10 wire with ground?

My doubt comes from not knowing how thick are the cables that compose the gauge 10 wire

Thanks, appreciated

Sincerely,

Rick

Rick,   they do make things confusing,     your 14 should be two conductors for power with one more 14 to be used as an earth ground,  all in one sheath, individual conductors are all insulated    RO cable or other descriptions describe the type of sheath,

your 10  should be the same,  three 10 wires in one sheath, but with ground means two are insulated and the ground wire is bare,

As AMG wire sizes go,  two 14s would equal one 11

But size is not the only formula you need to be concerned with,    distance is another,  while 50 feet compared to 100 feet should not create a significant volt drop,  but if you are using the extension cord at or close to the amp limit,   and or used to start some type of inrush load such as an electric motor,  the bigger the better,

Rules of thumb

The sixth power of this ratio is very close to 2,[5] which leads to the following rules of thumb:

When the diameter of a wire is doubled, the AWG will decrease by 6. (e.g., No. 2 AWG is about twice the diameter of No. 8 AWG.)
When the cross-sectional area of a wire is doubled, the AWG will decrease by 3. (e.g., Two No. 14 AWG wires have about the same cross-sectional area as a single No. 11 AWG wire.)

Additionally, a decrease of ten gauge numbers, for example from No. 10 to 1/0, multiplies the area and weight by approximately 10 and reduces the resistance by a factor of approximately 10.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

Volunteer

#### Will Babbitt

##### Experience

Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a \$400 service call, we did well,

Organizations
Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............

Publications
SEE ELECTRIC MOTOR CATEGORY

Education/Credentials
10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

Awards and Honors
Yes

Past/Present Clients
Federal Government, National Weather Service, NOAA, Commercial Power Plants, Major Vehicle Manufacturers, Printers, Other industrial and Commercial Businesses