The gauge of a wire is an important metric that determines how much electric current it can carry. It also affects other important properties such as resistance and weight. A wire gauge chart can help industry professionals and DIYers select the best sized wires for a particular project.
In this video, master electrician Heath Eastman explains how wire gauges work and what different sizes are used for. He also talks about how to make a simple chart and shows off some of his favorite tools for working with electrical wiring.
A wire gauge chart is a table that shows the diameter of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting copper conductors and provides information on their allowable current (ampacity) values. It is a logarithmic stepped standardized system. The larger the number on the gauge chart, the thinner the wire. This wire size system originated from the number of drawing operations required to produce a given gauge of wire. The finer the wire, the more drawing passes it takes to produce a single wire of that gauge.
This wire size table is useful to help users select the correct cable for an application based on its required voltage, length and current load. The tables show the diameter of the wire in inches and millimeters, and also give its cross-sectional area. The data is based on the diameter of solid, round copper conductors with plastic insulation. The tables also show the equivalent copper cross-sectional area of stranded wires.
It’s essential to choose a wire with a sufficient gauge for any project. A wire with a lower gauge will have higher electrical resistance, and may not be able to safely carry the desired amount of current. Conversely, a wire with a higher gauge will have lower electrical resistance and can easily carry the desired amount of current.
There are several factors that determine the gauge of a wire, including its length and current load. The longer the wire, the more it will lose voltage through resistance and heat. In addition, the amount of current that will be transferred depends on the circuit’s distance. To minimize voltage drop, it is a good practice to choose the largest wire gauge possible for a specific circuit length.
Wire Ampacity Calculator
A free online tool is available to help you calculate the maximum current that a wire gauge can safely handle. It requires the gauge, current load, and circuit distance to be entered. It will then display the maximum wire amperage capacity and other relevant information.
The calculator uses the standard American wire gauge (AWG) system to determine the diameter and current capacity of a copper wire. It uses the formula D = r/AWG, where r is the resistance and AWG is the wire’s diameter in decimal inch or mm. The calculator also supports converting between decimal and metric units. It is a handy tool for electrical engineering students and hobbyists. You can download the tool here. The calculator can be used on a PC or mobile phone with a web browser. wire gauge chart