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Knowing how much amperage your wire can handle is important when installing electrical wiring.
If you don’t, you could have a fire on. So can 8 gauge wire handle 50 amps? Let’s take a closer look.
Can 8 Gauge Wire Handle 50 Amps?
Yes, 8 gauge wire can handle 50 amps. However, you must use it with appropriate insulation for the application and follow all safety codes.
Amperage is a measure of the electrical current flowing through a conductor.
The amount of amperage a wire can carry depends on the diameter of the wire and the insulation quality. Always consult your local electrical code when installing wiring.
How Many Amps Can 8 Gauge Wire Carry?
According to the NEC code, 8 gauge wire is suitable for 40-55 Amps. This is for a copper wire conductor with an insulation thickness of 0.006 inches.
But the aluminum wire conductor with the same insulation thickness can only cater to 30-45 Amps.
The table below shows the allowable amperage for different types and sizes of wires:
|Can’t Handle||100 Amps|
|Can’t Handle||60 Amps|
As you can see, 8 gauge wire can handle 30-55 amps, but it is recommended that you use it with appropriate insulation for the application and follow all safety codes.
However, non-metallic cables are not as strong and can only withstand 40 amps.
If you utilize copper wires, the current usage rises to 55 amps. But with aluminum wires, it drops down to 30-45A.
In this case, it is better to use 8 gauge wire with an insulation thickness of 0.006 inches for your project that needs 50 amps to carry.
This is to ensure that your project is done safely and follows all the safety codes. The lower the amperage, the less current is required to move through a wire.
Because electrical equipment draws more than 55 amps of electricity from your house wiring, any operation that requires more than 55 amps of current to flow through the 8AWG conductor is considered incorrect.
In other words, you may connect appliances with lower amperage cables to your home wiring.
How Far Can You Run 8-Gauge Wire?
It depends on the amperage and the wattage of your project.
The American wire gauge (AWG) is a standardized wire gauge system for round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting wire diameters.
The 8-gauge wire is thicker than most wires in an electrical circuit in your home. As a result, this type of wire is able to carry more current than thinner wires in the circuit.
In a 120V circuit, 8 AWG copper wires may be used for 62 feet; in a 240V circuit, they can go for 124 feet; in a 480V circuit, they can reach 249 feet.
Their goal is to keep the voltage drop at 3% or less. 8 gauge aluminum wires can run for 53 feet in a 120V circuit, 106 in 240V, and 213 in 480V.
In the below table we have given the maximum length that an 8-gauge wire can run in different types of electrical circuits:
For 8AWG Copper Wire:
For 8AWG Aluminum Wire:
As you can see, the 8-gauge wire is thicker than most wires in an electrical circuit.
Therefore, it would be best if you kept in mind that the Voltage drop is a significant hazard to circuits and appliances.
Because of an increase in resistance, the voltage drop will be more significant if the wire is too lengthy.
If you use 8AWG conductors, increase the size to 6 or 4AWG to avoid Voltage Drop from increasing when the wire is excessively long.
So, it is essential to know the voltage drop formula and ensure the voltage doesn’t drop more than 3% for the smooth functioning of your project.
Which Factors Need to Consider When Choosing the Electrical Wires
It would help to consider many factors when choosing the correct electrical wire for your project. These include:
The first factor you need to consider is the distance the wire will be running. The further the distance, the thicker the wire needs to be.
Because there is resistance in all wires, this resistance increases with length.
Keep in mind that the voltage drop should not be more than 3% for the proper functioning of your project.
Ampacity is the amount of current a wire can carry without overheating. It would be best if you chose a wire that can handle the amount of current your project will draw.
For example, if you are using an 8-gauge wire for a project that needs 50 amps, the wire will be able to handle the current.
But if you are using an 8-gauge wire for a project that needs 60 amps, the wire will not be able to handle the current and will overheat.
When the wire is excessively long, voltage is lost through resistance. Long cables are typical, mainly when the distance involved is lengthy.
If the voltage drop is too high, it can damage your equipment. It would help to consider the voltage drop when choosing the wire gauge for your project.
You also need to consider the wattage load of your project. The wattage is the amount of power your project will use.
It would be best if you chose a wire that can handle the wattage of your project.
For example, if you use an 8-gauge wire for a project with a wattage load of 1000 watts, the wire will be able to handle the load.
But if you are using an 8-gauge wire for a project with a wattage load of 2000 watts, the wire will not be able to handle the load and will overheat.
Types of Wires
One of the most critical factors you need to consider when choosing the wire for your project is the type of wire.
You can find different types of wire in the market, but you need to pick the one that is right for your project. So, make sure to do your research before purchasing the wire.
Now you know all the factors you need to consider when choosing the correct electrical wire for your project.
You need to follow the above guide to choose the perfect wire for your project.
Can I Use 10 Gauge Wire On A 50 Amp Breaker?
A 10 gauge wire is not thick enough to support a 50 amp breaker. Using a 10 gauge wire on a 50 amp breaker is not advisable.
The 10 gauge wire will not be able to handle the current and will overheat.
So, it is better to use an 8 gauge wire for a 50 amp breaker.
Does Distance Affect Its Amp Rating?
Yes, the distance does affect its amp rating. The further the distance, the thicker the wire needs to be.
So, if you are using an 8 gauge wire for a project that is 50 feet long, the wire will be able to handle the current.
But if you are using an 8 gauge wire for a project that is 100 feet long, the wire will not be able to handle the current and will overheat.
What Happens If I Use A Wire That Is Too Thin For My Project?
If you use a too thin wire for your project, the wire will not be able to handle the current and will overheat.
This can damage your equipment and can even cause a fire. So, using the correct wire size for your project is essential.
It is imperative to choose a suitable electrical wire for your project. It would be best if you considered various factors which we discussed above.
Always try to use thicker wire for your project to avoid any mishap.
We hope that this guide was helpful for you, and now you can easily choose the correct electrical wire for your project.