I thought I'd point out that the wire gauge isn't the only consideration. In fact, in Richard's case, where the connectors fused together after years of working properly, it sounds more like it was a bad connection that heated up rather than the wires themselves.
Try to avoid bending the blades of the male connector whenever possible. They're fairly well annealed brass but they will eventually fatigue. I like to see them bent inward slightly; that gives a little bit of pressure between the blade and the socket which helps provide a low-resistance connection. Also keep an eye on the strain relief on the backside of the connector, that's where I've seen most failures in my day, and where my SR's cord failed. If you see cracks starting to appear, you might want to replace the cord or at least get a backup so you won't be left without one when it fails. Be sure to always grab the molded part of the connector when disconnecting, rather than yanking on the cord. Especially when the cable is warm and soft, that's a great way of pulling it apart.