14/2 vs 14/3 Gauge Cables: What’s the Difference?

There are different types of electrical wire used. Some wire is used to connect underground, some is used for commercial uses, and some is used in residential circuits. Some commonly used wires are Romex, 14/2 and 14/3 wires. We will cover the detailed difference between 14/2 and 14/3 gauge cables. If there is 14/2 wire, that is black wire, white wire, and bare copper wire in insulation. The black wire is a live wire, and it has current for the circuit. White wire is neutral, moves current back to the source, and completes the circuit. The bare copper wire is used as ground. This wire is connected to save circuits and people from shock.

While in 14/3, there are black, red, white, and bare copper wires covered in insulation. Red wire can be used for different purposes. If there is a connection to 3-way switches, there is a need to use 14/3 wire since wires are used for three-way switch connections.

For many branches, circuit 14/3 wire is also used. The black wire was used for phase A, the red wire for phase B, and the neutral wire as a mutual wire. If there is a 240-volt circuit, the red wire is used to handle one leg of power to devices. Let’s discuss 14/2 vs. 14/3 gauge cables: What’s the difference?

14 2 vs 14 3 Gauge Cables

14/2 vs. 14/3 gauge cables: what’s the difference?

  • These two 14-2 and 14-3 wires are 14-gauge wires. They can transmit 15 amps without overheating. The basic difference between them is that 14/2 has two conductors. Black wire that is a live wire and has current. and white wire is neutral and used to send current back to the source. 14/2 also comes with a green or bare conductor that is used as ground. It moves extra current to the earth. 14/3 has three conductors. The black color is a live wire that has a current flow. The red wire is also the hot wire it has. The white wire is used as a neutral and has a bare conductor for ground use.
  • These wires are normally used in 15-amp circuits. so they carry the same ampers.
  • The circuit that needs three wires will use 14/3 cables, and some devices use 14/2 wires. 14/3 has been used in multibranched circuits. They need black wire on each phase. A neutral wire can be shared. The red wire will do different operations. It is used for communication lines for the connection of smoke detectors. 14/3 is used in multi-wire circuits and devices like fans.
  • 14/2 wire is used for a light load, normally used in light fixtures and outlets. The number of lights on the circuit is 14/2, based on the devices connected. 14/2 is considered the low-watt wire used. 14/3 wire is used for heavy loading connections as it has two wires.
  • 14/2 is worse used for 120-volt circuits since it is used to handle lighting circuits, and 14/3 wire is used for 240 circuits, and it is best to use 3-way switches.
  • The 14/3 has a larger number of wires, which means it has more copper or aluminum materials, so its prices are higher than the 14/2, which has two conductors.
  • Three-way switches are normally used to turn on and off the light at different locations. For three-way switches, 14/3 wire was used. 14/2 wire cannot be used for 3-way switches.

Which gauge wire (14-2 or 14-3) is best to use?

The answer is not simple: say which one is better than the other. 14/3 is a multi-branch circuit. It is used in 3-way switches, and 14/2 is not used, so it does not mean 14/3 is better than 14/2. If your circuit is not multibranched, 14/2 is the best to use. 14/2 is used for lights and outlets that are used on a 15-amp circuit.

These wires have the same gauges. They can transmit a 15-amp current. The extra conduction in the 14/3 cable does not affect its current-carrying features. Current carrying features are based on the length of wire, materials, and temperature rating.

(14-2 or 14-3) wires

Can We Connect 14/2 and 14/3 Wire?

yes, these wires can be connected. Their connection is thought to be a 3-way switch connection but it is not correct. These two wires are used in 3-way switches but not to connect cables. The 3-way switch has three wires that are also used in 14/3 wires two screws on each side that connect black and red writes. So before using 14/3 able to use 14/2 wire from the electrical panel to the switch box.

14/3 was used to make the connection of two switch boxes. The 14/3 and 14/2 cables do not have to connect to 3-way switches. These wires are connected to increase the existing wire of circuits. Such as if 14/2 is connected in the circuit and there is a need to connect a new load with the use of 14/3 we can connect 14/3 with 14/2 to provide power to the new load. For these connections must make connections of black, neutral, and ground wires of 14/2 cables with black, neutral, and ground wires of 14/3. Not consider the red wires. it is not used in this circuit. Use insulation to make safe connections and for the same gauge wires make their connection without any damage.

Uses of 14/2 Wire vs 14/3 Wire

  1. 14/2 cable is used for light outlets on 15-amp circuits. it is preferred for in-home wiring connections. Normally, two conductor cables are used to power the low-ampere light modules.
  2. The use of 14/2 is considered illegal. So be careful when using gauge wire according to your circuit. The highest ampere for 14/2 cable is 15 amperes.
  3. The 14/2 copper wire 15-amp circuit can be used for 12 outlets.
  4. The 14/3 cable is used for 3-way switches, while we can use it in receptacles. It is plugged with current-isolated upper and lower parts. Red and black ire give power to two different parts.
  5. Using 14/3 3-way switches, we can connect two separate power lines to a common place.
  6. 14/3 is mostly used in kitchens where many devices are connected.

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