Manufactured by Southwire, ROMEX® is a widespread type of residential wiring used in many home applications. Also called Non-metallic (NM) sheathed cable, ROMEX® consists of two or three Thhn wires and a ground wire. There are four main types of ROMEX® wires, each delivering different amperage and denoted by a separate color for quick recognition.
With the lowest amperage available, white ROMEX® has a load capacity of 15 amps. It is commonly used for outlets, lights and smoke detectors in the home. This 14-gauge wire is called 14-2 when two insulated wire conductors are included and 14-3 with three wires.
The heavier, yellow ROMEX® is rated at 20 amps. Common applications for this 12-gauge wire are receptacles and three-way circuits. Larger appliances, such as a microwave or welder, require the additional power this wire delivers.
There is a significant weight difference between the 14- and 12-gauge ROMEX®. White ROMEX® with two wires, 14-2, weighs 57 pounds for every 1,000 feet of wire. With three wires, 14-3, the weight increases to 74 pounds. Compare this to the weight of yellow ROMEX® at 82 pounds. for 12-2 and 107 pounds for 12-3 wire.
Getting hands dirty is just part of the fun for Sarah Shelton, who draws on personal experience to write home and garden, automotive and travel articles. Her pieces have appeared on ConsumerSearch.com, USA TODAY, Dremel.com and other websites. Shelton received a bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and currently lives in southern Oregon.