"I can"t really finish my basement on mine own, since I don"t know exactly how to do electric stuff. I don"t even know what wire to buy!"

You speak "stuff" since you yes, really don"t have actually a reservation what it"s all about.

You are watching: Difference between 12 2 and 12 3 wire

Well... I would say earlier to girlfriend - "That"s a yes, really lame excuse." girlfriend haven"t even investigated that yet.

You haven"t read an post like this that reveals to you this 1 basic fact:

You only need 3 cable types:

14/2 - The White cable - supplied for wiring lights and also light switches

12/2 - The Yellow wire - supplied to cable plugs

14/3 - very same as 14/2 yet with one extra red cable in the so friend can control the exact same lights through 2 various switches (like because that hallways and stairs)

THAT’S IT! That"s all you really have to know!

What Does it All typical Though?

Here"s a typical 14/2 strand that Romex electrical wire


Both 14/2 and also 12/2 wire types have 3 wires wrapped in "sheathing". Yellow sheathing because that the 12 gauge. White sheathing because that the 14 gauge.

Wire 1:  The white wire. This is the neutral wire.

Wire 2: The black color wire. This is the "hot" wire.

The copper wire, this is the floor wire. (they don"t counting this one, for this reason the 2 rather of 3)

All the the wires space made the copper yet two of them space coated in white or black insulation due to the fact that they proactively carry an electric charge. It"s kind of stupid but thus "they" neglect the base wire as soon as counting them… therefore 12/2 and also 14/2 instead of 14/3 or 12/3. Occasionally the ground has brown record sheathing about it, various other times not. (I don"t understand why.)

12 gauge wire (the yellow one) is thicker 보다 14 gauge. because it"s thicker it deserve to handle an ext "load". Since things that you plug-in prefer TVs, stereos, etc. Have tendency to use an ext electricity 보다 light bulbs, plugs are generally wired through 12 gauge. You could additionally wire her plugs through 14/2 if you wanted to. (assuming your neighborhood code enables for it)

Technically you could also wire your lights with 12 gauge wire. The only difficulty is it"s thickness provides it really tough to work with. Twisting it have the right to be difficult and through lights and light switches, there"s a most twisting, periodically 3 or 4 wires together.

Professionals - perhaps you males do that all the time? Little baby hands favor me, i go with 14 gauge (the white wire) because that my light circuits.

Here"s what ns did to wire my basement:

Once I acquired the cave of it i ran the wiring for every the plugs and also lights. Nothing was hooked up. I simply ran it earlier to the wiring panel and also let it cave there.


Can ns tell friend something the is going to completely blow your mind?


You deserve to wire her basement and also pass your electrical inspection without ever transforming on the power.

BOOM! say what?

How go the inspector know you wired your basement correctly? They simply need to see that it was wired correctly. If you did the right, you have the right to move-on to drywall. They"ll inspect light switches and also plugs in the final inspection.

Listen, hopefully this article gets you going in the appropriate direction. You"ll still have to read a couple of books and spend a couple of weekend pack your mind around the basics concepts of electricity. Yet once you obtain that part down you space golden.

It"s just Wire

We"ll need another article to cover exactly how to run electrical wire. Plus, I desire to covering the form of things that examiners are want to see. For now, remember these 2 things:

You deserve to run your own electrical and pass inspection there is no ever transforming on a light or hooking up a plug.Finishing your basement requires three varieties of wire. 14/2 (lights), 14/3 (lights with 2 switches) and 12/2 (plugs).
NOTE: If you room planning to have actually a sauna, microwave, dishwasher or experienced workshop in your basement you"ll need some various other wire species as well. We"ll cover that in one more article.

If you"re walk to her local residence Depot or some various other hardware keep this might be your an initial time in the electric section. Don"t freak out.

There"s a the majority of stuff the you"ve never seen. Just remember what you require - 14/2 - White, 12/2 - Yellow, 14/3 - White. If you want to start small get a 100 feet. However if your basement is a thousand square feet or more you need to go ahead and also buy the 250 ft roll.


Some human being may contact it Romex. Romex is the brand BRAND name of type NM cable designed by the Rome Wire Company. That"s what we"ve been talking about.

Good happy on your project. Ns hope you"ll take into consideration trying electrical (if her area permits it), it"s yes, really fun and you can do it!

Cheers - Jason

Need More? examine out These various other Resources

1. Go earlier to how to cable a basement key page

2. Do you need some electric books? Here"s what i used.

See more: How Do You Say French Toast In Spanish (Mexico)? How To Say 'French Toast' In Spanish

3. The history and origin of Romex Wire (don"t pick this, so boring)

WARNING: You space responsible because that your very own safety and that of those approximately you. This short article is mine opinion. I am no a licensed electrician. You must consult v your municipal structure department to watch if girlfriend are enabled to occupational with electrical power without a license. Bsci-ch.org can not be held liable for injuries or damages.