Branch circuit conductors shall be copper and shall be sized not smaller than No. 12 AWG.
Rationale for Rule 24-102(2).
We intend that panelboard circuit breakers be inaccessible to patients and other persons not authorized, and consequently this requirement frequently dictates that panelboards be located some distance from their loads. Also, we intend that receptacles at patient care locations be capable of supplying 1000 to 1500 W loads with a reasonably stable voltage.
To satisfy these conditions and the voltage drop requirements of Section 8, we intend that branch circuit conductors be not smaller than No.12 AWG and will frequently have to be larger.
Electrical Safety Authority