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  • What size wire you need to use for the current draw you need.

       Wiring Home > Electrical > Wire sizes and current draw
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    When wiring electrical devices yourself, it is extremely important to use the proper size wire for the amount of current that the device will draw. Below ia a quick guide of what size wire to use for the size of the current draw of the device.

    Important: This is a general guide, never exceed 80% of the amphere rating. For Example: If the circuit is likely to draw 15 amps, you will need to install a 20 amp circuit.

    Note: If your wire run is over 300ft, you will need to consider voltage drop in your circuit.

    Wire Size / AWG. Aluminum Wire Max Current Copper Wire Max Current
    0000 gauge 200 amps 253 amps
    000 gauge 175 amps 214 amps
    00 gauge 150 amps 186 amps
    0 gauge 125 amps 163 amps
    2 gauge 100 amps 119 amps
    4 gauge 60 amps 89 amps
    6 gauge 40 amps 65 amps
    8 gauge N/A 48 amps
    10 gauge N/A 30 amps
    12 gauge N/A 20 amps
    14 gauge N/A 15 amps

    It is important to note that you will not be using aluminum wire to wire receptacles, switches or appliances. These days this really only comes into play with your home service panel.

    Conductor Sizes for Service Feeders.

    The table below covers the conductor size and type for 120/240 volt, 3 Wire, Single-Phase home services and feeders.

    Copper Aluminum Service Amps
    4g 2g 100
    3g 1g 110
    2g 1/0 125
    1g 2/0 150
    1/0 3/0 175
    2/0 4/0 200
    3/0 250 225
    4/0 300 250
    250 350 300
    350 500 350
    400 600 400

    If you are having problems, Play it Safe.
    Make sure you check the regulations in the National Electrical Code and your local codes. If you are still unsure of how to properly wire the circuit you are working on, you will need to contact a qualified electrician in your area. You can also ask questions in our forum.

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    Related Resources:
  • National Electrical Code Handbook 2008
  • 2008 National Electrical Codebook
  • Stallcup's Illustrated Code Changes, 2008 Edition
  • The Complete Guide to Home Wiring (Black and Decker Complete Guides Series)
  • Wiring Simplified
  • Guide to Using the National Electrical Code
  • Residential Remodeling and Repair Professional Reference
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    Disclaimer: You understand that you are personally responsible for your own wiring, and that you're wiring should conform to the National Electrical code. The information provided is general installation advice. We make no claims about the completeness or the accuracy of the information as it may apply to an infinite amount of field conditions. It is the responsibility of the person or persons using this information to check with all concerned parties, owners and local authorities, etc. before doing an installation. Users of this information agree to hold Wireityourself.com or any of its agents harmless form liabilities of any kind relating to the use of this information. You also agree to the terms set forth in our terms and conditions.

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