What size wire do I need to run 50 amps?
50 AMP Wire Size
For a maximum of 50 amps, you'll need a wire gauge of 6. Fifty amp breakers are most often used to power many different appliances. However, a kitchen oven can alone require 50 amps.
#8 Gauge THHN Copper Stranded Wire is the most popular single conductor copper wire we carry and is RATED FOR 55 AMPS @ 90°C.
This all depends on the type of appliance. However, most ranges require a 50 amp 240-volt circuit that is wired with a 6 gauge wire. A 4 gauge wire will be best if the current will be travelling longer distances.
Calculating With Voltage Drop Considered
On the off-chance that your panels are rated at 110V/120V, the right wire size for 50 amp sub panel should be bumped up to 2 AWG copper or 1/0 AWG aluminum for 200 ft.
8-gauge copper will handle fifty amps, but it will get hot (75 degrees C).
10 Gauge wire can not handle 50 amps. The maximum rating on 10 gauge is 30 Amp. Aluminum wires are less ampacity than copper but more resistant. While copper is the standard, aluminum wire is becoming increasingly popular.
You will likely need 2 AWG but that's going to be less than 4 AWG Cu. Secondly, you may want to consider running a conduit vs. direct burial. That way you can upgrade in the future.
RULES OF THUMB
“Twelve-gauge wire is good for 20 amps, 10-gauge wire is good for 30 amps, 8-gauge is good for 40 amps, and 6-gauge is good for 55 amps,” and “The circuit breaker or fuse is always sized to protect the conductor [wire].”
8 AWG may carry a maximum of 70 Amps in free air, or 50 Amps as part of a 3 conductor cable.
As you can see, the maximum number of amps a 6 gauge wire can handle is 60 amps. This is the 6 AWG copper wire at 90°C (194°F).
What size wire do I need for 50 amps at 100 feet?
In most cases, 6 AWG is an almost perfectly-sized wire for a 50 amp breaker. In limited cases, you will probably have to use a larger 4 AWG wire. That's when you have a long circuit and are sending electrical current at some distance (100 feet or more).
As you can see from the graph, a 6 AWG is the safe choice if you have a 220v 50 amp that you need to power. A 12-gauge is the right wire size for your 220v 20 amp needs.
You could use a #8 copper or #6 Aluminum if the lugs on the breaker are rated for 75 degree connections, and it's close to the breaker feeding the subpanel. If they're rated for 60 degrees or less or if you plan to run a long distance or through an attic you should use #6 copper.
How many amps can a 4 gauge wire handle? It has a rated ampacity of 85 amps at 75°C. This means that, for average use, the 4 gauge wire can handle up to 85 amps safely.
A 50-amp breaker can run appliances like ovens, hairdryers, air conditioners, and multiple lights simultaneously while (possibly) still sparing power. The reason for this breaker's capacity is because it can hold up to 12,000 watts running on a 240-volt circuit (50-amps x 240-volts).
The circuit breaker must be no larger than the wiring is fit for - if the wiring is 8 AWG, the breaker must be 40A (or smaller). If the wire is 6 AWG, the breaker may be 40 or 50 amps (or any value up to 50A). With large circuits like this, there is only one appliance per circuit.
For 240-volt circuits:
|14 AWG||100 feet|
|10 AWG||128 feet|
|8 AWG||152 feet|
|6 AWG||188 feet|
In most situations, when calculating wire Ampacity, one uses 75°C/167°F maximum wire surface temperature meaning that for the 60 Amps current one should use either AWG 4 wires (up to 50 feet) or AWG 3 wires (up to 150 feet).
Most 100 amp panel will let you install a 50 amp single or double pole breaker.
Your standard wire size chart will tell you that 6 AWG wire, which is rated for 55 amps, should be the wire size for 50 amp circuits. At 50 feet, that should be fine. You can consider that as the maximum limit for how far will 6 gauge wire carry 50 amps safely.
How far can you run 8 gauge wire for 40 amps?
The rule of thumb is to go up one size larger if you plan on running the recommended wire size over 100 feet. This means that if you are planning on running 8-gauage wire for a 40 amp breaker over 100 feet, you should go to 6-gauge wire.
Size 8 wire can handle anywhere between 40 and 55 amps and the aluminum versions can handle 40 to 45 amps. This type of wiring has a lot of applications both in commercial and residential buildings.
This is what all those homeowners that mistakenly use 6 AWG gauge wire for 60 amp breaker don't take into account. 6 AWG can only handle 65 amps. Here's what a professional will know: The next wire size that can handle more than 75 amps (as required for a 60 amp breaker) is the 4 AWG gauge wire.
For 60 ampere breakers, electricians and professionals suggest using a wire size gauge ranging from 6 AWG to 4 AWG. All household wires have a rating of at least 600V, so only amperage really matters when it comes to determining wire gauge. Therefore, the wire size for 60 amp 220v, for example, is still 6 to 4 AWG.
The 6 3 copper wire amp rating is typically 55 amps. But heat can also change the 6 3 wire amp rating, for there's a relationship between temperature and the wire's current carrying capacity. For example, a 6 3 wire with ground might have a reduced amperage carrying capacity of 50 amps.