Wire Size Calculator

How To Determine The Correct Wire Size For Your Project

How To Choose The Right Wire Size

It is important to carefully select the correct wire sizes for any electrical project. Incorrectly selected wires can overheat and cause fires. There are two considerations for wire size.

  1. The maximum current a given wire can flow without heating enough to melt off the insulation material.
  2. The Voltage Drop caused by the resistance of the wiring. Resistance increases with reduced with wire diameter and increased wire length.

Given these considerations we need to gather some information to make an informed choice.

Firstly we need to know the current that will flow through the wire. If you don't know this see this guide to learn how to determine the current in your circuit. Alternatively the equipment documentation usually contains this value.

Secondly we need to determine the length of the circuit in Meters. This length is the round trip length Eg, From the battery through the appliance and then back to the battery. The longer this length the thicker your wire will need to be.

Thirdly we need to consider the operating environment of the wiring. How many wires are bundled together and what will the ambient temperature be around this bundle. This is important because the wires installed in an engine bay are in a much hotter environment. This can melt wire with less current flowing.

Enter the determined values in the wire size calculator below to get your result.

 

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