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14 AWG should satisfy majority of installs
on November 4, 2011
As stated, this is not pure copper...it is copper clad aluminum (CCA). Cost is less, but that's because aluminum is cheaper and more resistive than copper. I work as an engineer for a power company. Lower voltage distribution power lines used to often be made from pure copper - however it is more cost effective to use aluminum or aluminum alloys... but since the resistance is greater for these wires, the wire gauge is increased - so you need thicker wires to accomplish the same thing...however this is more cost effective. Same theory applies here...it's not pure copper, so ideally - you should use bigger wire than what your application would require if pure copper was used.
General rule for 16 AWG wire is to keep runs at 48' or less. Most runs aren't that long, so 16 AWG will even satisfy most short wire installs... having said that, if you purchase the 14 AWG CCA wire - I'd imagine runs of wire up to 50' would be acceptable.
Some reasons to shop around include corrosion resistance found in oxygen free coppers.. The other issue is unlike my power industry example, this product isn't necessarily cost effective if you know where to shop...pure copper from bigger bargain sites (or even 12 AWG lamp cord from a local hardware store) are priced about the same as a roll of this 14 AWG wire sells for. So....having said that, you might as well purchase a better quality product given the same cost and a choice between the two.