2019-04-26 Fake 14 AWG Speaker Wire

I got this 10 Amp power supply, so I wanted to make some heavy duty cables for it. I found that Walmart sold 50 feet of 14 AWG speaker wire for less than $20. I got it today, and after I stripped off the insulation, I thought that the stranded wire was much smaller than 14 gauge. I measured the diameter of the stranded bundle and compared that to what a chart of wire sizes said. The bundle measured 0.048 inch, and the closest AWG to that was 16 AWG at about 0.050 inch. So this speaker wire is stranded which means there are air spaces between the strands, and the actual size is even smaller, so it’s probably 17 AWG or maybe less. To get the actual circular mil size I will have to count the dozens of strands and add them up, which takes a long time.

The wire is labeled 14 gauge speaker wire so it does not have to meet the national electrical codes required for wires that carry electric power. Speaker wire has very little risk of fire or safety hazard. But still the consumers are not getting what the product is advertising as the specifications.

I tried to report it on Walmart’s website. But when I purchased it, I made the purchase as a guest. When I logged in, they show I have not made any recent purchases. There is no way to make a dispute. So right now it looks like I am not able to get a refund. I’m not too concerned about the money, but I think they should know they are selling an inferior product that is cheating the customers out of their money. I will have to wait until next week to call their number. I might be able to take it to the local store, but I hate to wait in line for an hour to hassle with some salesdroid who knows nothing about anything technical. This is not the first time I have been ripped off by Walmart. I should have kept to the pledge I made long ago to never buy anything from them ever again.

Update May 8 – I received a survey in my email inbox from Walmart asking a lot of questions about this purchase. They said that some of their items are sold by independent sellers, and this item was one of them. I gave most of the questions about quality, defects etc. poor marks. I wrote a paragraph telling what the problem was and why I was dissatisfied. I didn’t receive any information on what to do about the problem. I’m waiting to see if my complaints will be answered.

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