Location: AWG - American Wire Gauge

Wire Gauges, AWG, and more.

Wire Gauge is the sizing of wires for electrical current transportation. The size of your wires is listed in AWG or American Wire Gauge The American Wire Gauge (AWG), is a standardized wire gauge system used for conductive wires and rods in the United States. The AWG system was devised in 1857 and has been used for non-ferrous and conductive wire ever since. This AWG system is predominantly used to size wires, rods, and other conductive metal parts in solid form from the "DRAWING" process, but stranded wires come in AWG too.

In the AWG wire gauge system, bigger numbers yield smaller wire diameters. The smaller the number the larger the wire. The reason for the backward stepping scale is the manufacturing process. As a piece of metal is "DRAWN" or pushed through a die, it is made smaller. The American gauge system originated as a relationship to the number of drawing operations used to produce a given size of wire. Very fine wire ( 20-30 gauge for example) requires more passes through the drawing dies than does larger wires (0 gauge for instance).

As we have discussed above, the diameters attributed to each AWG size are for a single, solid, round conductor as the AWG tells us the amount of material in the wire. However, a solid wire is not acceptable for all applications. To accomodate stranding, yet conform to the AWG standard, size of stranded wire is determined by the total cross-sectional area of the conductor. By sizing the metal inside the wire, not the size of the wire, we can compare in a meaningful way, a solid and stranded wire. Each should have similar current-carrying capacity as long as the material is the same. In addition, each should have similar electrical resistance. Please do note, there are small gaps between the strands of wire inside the insulation as it is braided. Due to these small gaps, a stranded wire will always have a slightly larger overall diameter than a solid wire with the same AWG size.

To understand Voltage Drop (why you want bigger wires) click here.
To Calculate Voltage Drop across a Wire, click here


AWG Diameter Turns of wire Area Copper
resistance
NEC copper wire
ampacity with 60/75/
90C insulation (A)
(inch) (mm) (per inch) (per cm) (kcmil) (mm) ( ?/km) (?/kFT)
0000 (4/0) 0.4600 11.684 2.17 0.856 212 107 0.1608 0.04901 195 / 230 / 260
000 (3/0) 0.4096 10.404 2.44 0.961 168 85.0 0.2028 0.06180 165 / 200 / 225
00 (2/0) 0.3648 9.266 2.74 1.08 133 67.4 0.2557 0.07793 145 / 175 / 195
0 (1/0) 0.3249 8.252 3.08 1.21 106 53.5 0.3224 0.09827 125 / 150 / 170
1 0.2893 7.348 3.46 1.36 83.7 42.4 0.4066 0.1239 110 / 130 / 150
2 0.2576 6.544 3.88 1.53 66.4 33.6 0.5127 0.1563 95 / 115 / 130
3 0.2294 5.827 4.36 1.72 52.6 26.7 0.6465 0.1970 85 / 100 / 110
4 0.2043 5.189 4.89 1.93 41.7 21.2 0.8152 0.2485 70 / 85 / 95
5 0.1819 4.621 5.50 2.16 33.1 16.8 1.028 0.3133
6 0.1620 4.115 6.17 2.43 26.3 13.3 1.296 0.3951 55 / 65 / 75
7 0.1443 3.665 6.93 2.73 20.8 10.5 1.634 0.4982
8 0.1285 3.264 7.78 3.06 16.5 8.37 2.061 0.6282 40 / 50 / 55
9 0.1144 2.906 8.74 3.44 13.1 6.63 2.599 0.7921
10 0.1019 2.588 9.81 3.86 10.4 5.26 3.277 0.9989 30 / 35 / 40
11 0.0907 2.305 11.0 4.34 8.23 4.17 4.132 1.260
12 0.0808 2.053 12.4 4.87 6.53 3.31 5.211 1.588 25 / 25 / 30 (20)
13 0.0720 1.828 13.9 5.47 5.18 2.62 6.571 2.003
14 0.0641 1.628 15.6 6.14 4.11 2.08 8.286 2.525 20 / 20 / 25 (15)
15 0.0571 1.450 17.5 6.90 3.26 1.65 10.45 3.184
16 0.0508 1.291 19.7 7.75 2.58 1.31 13.17 4.016 - / - / 18 (10)
17 0.0453 1.150 22.1 8.70 2.05 1.04 16.61 5.064
18 0.0403 1.024 24.8 9.77 1.62 0.823 20.95 6.385 - / - / 14 (7)
19 0.0359 0.912 27.9 11.0 1.29 0.653 26.42 8.051
20 0.0320 0.812 31.3 12.3 1.02 0.518 33.31 10.15
21 0.0285 0.723 35.1 13.8 0.810 0.410 42.00 12.80
22 0.0253 0.644 39.5 15.5 0.642 0.326 52.96 16.14
23 0.0226 0.573 44.3 17.4 0.509 0.258 66.79 20.36
24 0.0201 0.511 49.7 19.6 0.404 0.205 84.22 25.67
25 0.0179 0.455 55.9 22.0 0.320 0.162 106.2 32.37
26 0.0159 0.405 62.7 24.7 0.254 0.129 133.9 40.81
27 0.0142 0.361 70.4 27.7 0.202 0.102 168.9 51.47
28 0.0126 0.321 79.1 31.1 0.160 0.0810 212.9 64.90
29 0.0113 0.286 88.8 35.0 0.127 0.0642 268.5 81.84
30 0.0100 0.255 99.7 39.3 0.101 0.0509 338.6 103.2
31 0.00893 0.227 112 44.1 0.0797 0.0404 426.9 130.1
32 0.00795 0.202 126 49.5 0.0632 0.0320 538.3 164.1
33 0.00708 0.180 141 55.6 0.0501 0.0254 678.8 206.9
34 0.00630 0.160 159 62.4 0.0398 0.0201 856.0 260.9
35 0.00561 0.143 178 70.1 0.0315 0.0160 1079 329.0
36 0.00500 0.127 200 78.7 0.0250 0.0127 1361 414.8
37 0.00445 0.113 225 88.4 0.0198 0.0100 1716 523.1
38 0.00397 0.101 252 99.3 0.0157 0.00797 2164 659.6
39 0.00353 0.0897 283 111 0.0125 0.00632 2729 831.8
40 0.00314 0.0799 318 125 0.00989 0.00501 3441 1049


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