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HOW TO SELECT GAUGE OF CABLE REQUIRED

Table 1 has been formulated to indicate the maximum circuit length in feet before a voltage drop of 1/2 volt
is reached in a 6 volt system.
EXAMPLE:
Assume that six-volt lamp circuit is 23 feet in total length and requires 7.5 amperes.
Read across the 6-volt system line (Table I) to 7.5 amperes.
Then read down to the first figure in Table II that is greater than the 23 feet required;
this figure is 24 feet. Now read directly to the left, from 24 feet (on the same line),
and you will find 14 gauge conductor adequate for this application.
     
NOTE: Since this table is based on a 1/2-volt drop allowance; specific drops can be easily
determined by the following:
For a 1/8 volt-drop—Divide Table I allowable lengths by four.
For a 1/4 volt-drop—Divide Table I allowable lengths by two.
For a 1 volt-drop—Multiply Table I allowable lengths by two.
For a 2 volt-drop—Multiply Table I allowable lengths by four.
TABLE I

SYSTEM

AMPERAGE LOAD IN CIRCUIT

6 Volt

0.5

0.75

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

5

6

7.5

10

12

15

18

25

50

75

100

12 Volt

1

1.5

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

10

12

15

20

24

30

36

50

100

150

200

24 Volt

2

3

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

20

24

30

40

48

60

72

100

200

300

400

TABLE II

GAUGE

ALLOWABLE CONDUCTOR LENGTH-FEET IN CIRCUIT BEFORE 1/2 VOLT LOSS

20

106

70

53

35

26

21

17

15

13

10

8

7

5

4

3

3

2

1

0

0

18

150

100

75

50

37

30

25

21

18

15

12

10

7

6

5

4

3

1

1

0

16

224

144

112

74

56

44

37

32

28

22

18

14

11

9

7

6

4

2

1

1

14

362

241

181

120

90

72

60

51

45

36

30

24

18

15

12

10

7

3

2

1

12

572

381

286

190

143

114

95

81

71

57

47

38

28

23

19

15

11

5

3

2

10

908

605

454

302

227

181

151

129

113

90

75

60

45

37

30

25

18

9

6

4

8

1452

967

726

483

363

290

241

207

181

145

120

96

72

60

48

40

29

14

9

7

6

2342

1560

1171

780

585

468

390

334

292

234

194

155

117

97

78

65

46

23

15

11

4

3702

2467

1851

1232

925

740

616

529

462

370

307

246

185

154

123

102

74

37

24

18

2

6060

4038

3030

2018

1515

1212

1009

866

757

606

503

403

303

252

201

168

121

60

40

30

1

7692

5126

3846

2561

1923

1538

1280

1100

961

769

638

511

384

320

256

213

153

76

51

38

1/0

9708

6470

4854

3232

2427

1941

1616

1388

1213

970

805

645

485

404

323

269

194

97

64

48

2/0

12194

8127

6097

4060

3048

2438

2030

1743

1524

1219

1012

810

609

507

406

338

243

121

81

60

3/0

15624

10413

7812

5202

3906

3124

2600

2234

1933

1562

1296

1039

781

650

520

433

312

156

103

78

4/0

20000

13333

10000

6666

5000

4000

3333

2860

2500

2000

1666

1333

1000

833

666

555

400

200

133

100

Wire gauge usage in light blue shaded area not recommended for 12-volt system.
Wire gauge usage beyond yellow - blue shaded area (solid line on PDF printout/download)
not recommended for 24-volt system.
In either case for amperage load use the next larger gauge below the shaded area or solid line.

 

Table II
SUGGESTED GAUGES FOR ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS
Note: If circuit is longer then 10 feet, use next larger gauge wire size.

Electrical Equipment

6-Volt Sys.

Gauge

12-Volt Sys.

Gauge

Electrical Equipment

6-Volt System

Gauge

12-Volt System

Gauge

Cigarette Lighter

14

16

Heater to Fuse Block

14

16

Ammeter to Fuse Block

10

12

Horn Button Circuit

14

16

Ignition Switch Feed

10

12

Horn to Relay & Battery

10

12

Battery to Ammeter

10

12

Instrument Lamps/Sending Units

16

18

Coil Wire (Low Tension)

14

16

Light Switch to Relay or Fuse

12

14

Interior Lights

16

18

Parking/Direction Signals

16

18

Fuel Gauge

16

18

Radio to Ammeter or Fuse

16

18

Gen/Alternator to Starter Relay

10

12

Back-up Lights

16

18

Gen/Alternator to Regulator

14

16

Tail Lights

16

18

Marker (Fender) Light

16

18

Stop Lights

16

18

Head Light Circuit

14

16

Windshield Wiper & Washer

14

16

Head Light Relay

10

12

     

 

 
 
 
 
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13

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(909) 923-5800 * (800) 233-3539 * Fax (888) 923-8965
 
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