Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
8 gauge wire image source: Battery Equivalents
You have an 8 gauge wire, or you want to buy one and use in your respective application area.
How many amps do you think such a wire can handle?
This is the first question that most people tend to ask before buying wires.
But that is not all. There more that you need to know about such wires.
Including how we have come to the 40 amps and which wires you should buy for such amps.
We have also given you tips for choosing the best 8 gauge wires for sale in China.
What does 8 gauge wire mean?
Image of 8 gauge wire source: Wire and Cable Your Way
Also referred to as 8AWG (American Wire Gauge), this is standard size electrical wire that is mainly used for the residential wiring applications.
The diameter of this wire is 0.128 inches or 3.25mm, making it suitable for both low-voltage and high-voltage applications.
The wire can also be used for the grounding purpose among other numerous basic wiring applications.
How can you identify that it is an 8AWG wire? Simply check on the side of the wire or insulator. It is well indicated by the manufacturer.
Also, ensure that you buy from a reputable supplier to avoid being scammed. This is vital as some suppliers may end up selling a different size purporting that it is an 8 gauge wire.
What is the capacity of 8 AWG wire?
Generally, an 8 gauge wire is built and designed to handle up to handle up to 40 amps.
But again, this depend son the type of conductor used.
If you are using a copper conductor, the capacity should remain at 40 amps. But if it is an aluminum wire, the capacity should be 30 amps.
Later on you will learn why the difference of the material matters.
What is the voltage capacity of an 8 gauge wire?
Now that you know the current that an 8AWG wire can handle, I which is up to 40 amps, it will be wise to find out the voltage capacity of the same wire.
After all, it is the voltage capacity that will determine the current.
A typical 8 gauge wire is designed for both small volts to high-voltage applications.
To be precise, it is capable of supporting up to 600 volts.
It is vital to verify the voltage rating of the wire before you even proceed to use it in any application. If you use a wire that has low voltage rating on a high voltage application will lead to overheating and even fire.
Voltage rating is also a a safety measure for the people and other entities that are directly connected to the application using the wire.
To support the full capacity of an 8 gauge wire, proper insulation should be considered. There are different types of insulation used on these wires. They include THHN, THWN-2, XHHW-2 among many others.
The type of insulation used may depend on the manufacturer, target application area and maybe buyer;s preference.
As we have mentioned, 8AWG is suitable for both small-volt and high-volt application areas.
Some insulation materials are weak hence not suitable for high-voltage applications. A material such as NM-B is likely to melt when subjected to 40 amps which will definitely result in high temperature on the wire.
On the other hand, THHN(Thermoplastic,High-Head Resistant Nylon) will easily withstand high current and heat when used as the insulating material for the wire.
PVC is another ideal material that is used to insulate 8 AWG wires. It is flexible and can withstand physical factors such as abrasion. It also has excellent chemical resistance properties, a feature that makes ideal for industrial applications.
What we are implying is each insulation comes with its set of pros and cons. So, you should take time to analyze the properties of each material before deciding on one.
You can seek the services of a reputable sourcing agent such as ICRFQ. We will help you decide on the perfect material that is suitable for your need.
What circuit breaker size can I use of 8AWG wire?
At this point, you already know that the current capacity of an 8 gauge wire is 40 amps. So, you should not have any trouble when it comes to choosing the ideal circuit breaker.
The breaker should be at least 50 amps.
How have we arrived at this answer?
Well, first you know that the breaker trips whenever there is an overcurrent. This means that there will be instances when the wire will carry more than 40 amps.
In fact electric engineering experts usually recommend that the breaker should be at least 125% of the rated circuit capacity.
So, a 50 amps circuit breaker will be ideal for the 8 gauge wire.
Can 8 gauge wire handle more amps?
Still on the factor of amps capacity of a wire, we have to consider if the wire can handle more amperes than what is stipulated.
Can a 8 gauge wire handle 50 amps or can 8 gauge wire handle 100 amps?
Technically, the wire may be capable of handling 50 amps even though it will somehow strain.
However, it will not be able to handle 100 amps. The wire is likely to overheat and burn out.
What is the ideal length of an 8 AWG wire ?
8 AWG gives quite numerous options when it comes to the length. It can be as short as 10 feet and as long as 200 feet.
Perhaps this explains why this wire is used in a wide range of applications-it is not limited by the length.
Other than the length, the material of the wire gauge also matters. Copper is the the most preferred material for the 8 AWG wire. Aluminum may be used but in very limited cases.
With this detailed guide, now you know what to expect from 8 gauge wire. Ensure that the current passing through it does not exceed 40 amps and voltage 600V.
If you want to buy quality wires ensure you get from the best 8AWG suppliers in China. Remember that a quality wire will always guarantee you performance and as well as meet the required safety standards.
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