Code Q&A: Smallest Approved Conductor

Your most pressing National Electrical Code (NEC) questions answered

Q. What is the smallest conductor allowed by the NEC for branch circuits? The answer is based on 2011 NEC.

A. The smallest conductor permitted for branch circuits in residential, commercial, and industrial locations is 14 AWG copper, except as permitted elsewhere in the Code [Table 310.106(A)].

There’s a misconception that 12 AWG copper is the smallest conductor permitted in commercial or industrial facilities.

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