American Wire Gauge Guide (12-Volt)

AMERICAN WIRE GAUGE GUIDE (12-VOLT)

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) is a wire gauge system used to represent the thickness of the wire. This system is specifically used for non-ferrous (not-containing-iron) wires.

All wire has inherent resistance and the longer the wire, the greater the resistance. A 6-foot wire length will have less resistance than a 15-foot wire of the same gauge, therefore a longer length of wire will require an increase in the wire gauge to provide adequate voltage to the accessory. For that reason, it is important to choose the correct wire gauge based in the length your wire will have.

To choose an adequate wire gauge, determine the current draw (amperage) that the wire circuit will carry. Then measure the distance that the wire will travel (length) including the length of the return to ground (the ground wire running to the chassis or back to a ground block or battery). Using these two numbers, current draw and wire length, locate the nearest gauge value in the chart below.

CURRENT DRAW WIRE LENGTH
5 FT 10 FT 15 FT 20 FT
5 A 16 16 16 14
10 A 16 14 12 10
15 A 16 12 10 10
20 A 14 10 10 8
25 A 14 10 8 6
30 A 12 10 8 6
40 A 12 8 6 6
50 A 10 6 6 4
60 A 10 6 4 4