Wire Gauges - Current Ratings

Common US wire gauges - AWG gauges and their current ratings

The AWG - American Wire Gauge - is used as a standard method denoting wire diameter, measuring the diameter of the conductor (the bare wire) with the insulation removed. AWG is sometimes also known as Brown and Sharpe (B&S) Wire Gauge.

The AWG table below is for a single, solid, round conductor. Because of the small gaps between the strands in a stranded wire, a stranded wire with the same current-carrying capacity and electrical resistance as a solid wire, always have a slightly larger overall diameter.

The higher the number - the thinner the wire. Typical household wiring is AWG number 12 or 14. Telephone wire is typical AWG 22, 24, or 26.

The table below indicates the current ratings of PVC-insulated single and multicore wiring cables. Always check manufactures data before detailed engineering.

AWGDiameter
(mm)
Diameter
(in)
Square
(mm2)
Resistance
(ohm/1000m)
Current Load Ratings (amps)1)
Single CoreMulticore
up to 3 cores4 - 6 cores7 - 24 cores25 - 42 cores43 and above
40 0.08 . 0.0050 3420
39 0.09 . 0.0064 2700
38 0.10 0.0040 0.0078 2190
37 0.11 0.0045 0.0095 1810
36 0.13 0.005 0.013 1300
35 0.14 0.0056 0.015 1120
34 0.16 0.0063 0.020 844
33 0.18 0.0071 0.026 676
32 0.20 0.008 0.031 547
30 0.25 0.01 0.049 351
28 0.33 0.013 0.08 232.0
27 0.36 0.014 0.096 178
26 0.41 0.016 0.13 137
25 0.45 0.018 0.16 108
24 0.51 0.02 0.20 87.5 3.5 2 1.6 1.4 1.2 1
22 0.64 0.025 0.33 51.7 5.0 3 2.4 2.1 1.8 1.5
20 0.81 0.032 0.50 34.1 6.0 5 4 3.5 3 2.5
18 1.02 0.04 0.82 21.9 9.5 7 5.6 4.9 4.2 3.5
16 1.29 0.051 1.3 13.0 20 10 8 7 6 5
14 1.63 0.064 2.0 8.54 24 15 12 10.5 9 7.5
13 1.80 0.072 2.6 6.76
12 2.05 0.081 3.3 5.4 34 20 16 14 12 10
10 2.59 0.10 5.26 3.4 52 30 24 21 18 15
8 3.25 0.13 8.30 2.2 75 40 32 28 24 20
6 4.115 0.17 13.30 1.5 95 55 44 38 33 27
4 5.189 0.20 21.15 0.8 120 70 56 49 42 35
3 26.65 154 80 64 56 48 40
2 6.543 0.26 33.62 0.5 170 95 76 66 57 57
1 7.348 0.29 42.41 0.4 180 110 88 77 66 55
0 (1/0) 8.252 0.33 53.49 0.31 200
00 (2/0) 9.266 0.37 67.43 0.25 225
000 (3/0) 10.40 0.41 85.01 0.2 275
0000 (4/0) 11.684 0.46 107.22 0.16 325
250 127 345
300 152 390
400 178 415

1) Current ratings for up to 1000 V, PVC-insulated single and multicore wiring cables, ambient temperature up to 30oC

The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter, and the thinner the wire.

Because of less electrical resistance a thicker wire carries more current with less voltage drop than a thinner wire. For longer distances it may be necessary to increase wire diameter - reducing the gauge - to limit voltage drop.

Correction-factors at ambient temperature above 30oC

  • ambient temperature 31 - 40 oC: correction factor = 0.82
  • ambient temperature 41 - 45 oC: correction factor = 0.71
  • ambient temperature 45 - 50 oC: correction factor = 0.58

Related Topics

  • Electrical - Electrical units, amps and electrical wiring, wire gauge and AWG, electrical formulas and motors

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