Q:

What size wire is necessary for a 50 amp breaker?

A:

Quick Answer

A 50-amp breaker uses four wires, two of which are hot feeds of 120 volts. This results in 50 amps at 120 volts for each leg.

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Full Answer

Voltage is the measurement of differences in electric potential energy. Amps measure the current or how much electricity something is using. Using the proper voltage to handle the amps is important because it is the vehicle that voltage pushes through a wire. The wire is like a bridge and it needs to be able to handle the demand of the amps and voltage or else it fails to power the appliance or other electrical component.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the correct size wire for 60 amp service?

    A:

    For 60-amp electrical service, 6-gauge copper or aluminum wire is the correct size to power such devices as electric furnaces and large electric heaters. A 50-amp circuit breaker or fuse box can also be powered by 6-gauge wire. When the amperage increases, the width of the wire needs to be larger to conduct more electricity. The American Wire Gauge system features smaller gauge numbers as wire widths increase.

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  • Q:

    How do you use a wire gauge amp chart?

    A:

    Use a wire gauge amp chart to determine the approximate wire size for an electrical load. There are separate charts for different types of wire. Since the resistance of electricity is dependent on several factors, the chart cannot give the exact size for every application. In the United States, wire is sized using the American wire gauge system.

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  • Q:

    Where can you find a wire gauge amp chart?

    A:

    Cerro Wire, a manufacturer of copper electrical building wire, provides a wire size and amp ratings chart on its website. On the chart, Cerro identifies the maximum amp load for both copper and aluminum wire of varying wire gauge sizes.

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  • Q:

    What is the wire size per amp according to NEC code?

    A:

    The maximum wire size per amp according to NEC code varies according to the material of the conductor or wire, its temperature rating and the number of current-carrying wires in a cable. The National Electric Code contains wire amperage capacities, or ampacities, for cables containing up to three current-carrying wires.

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