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  • Wire thickness

    Is the thickness of a wire required for a heavy duty outlet determined by voltage or amps?

  • #2
    Re: Wire thickness

    Amperage. And it is not thickness it is gauge. Roughly speaking, double the voltage and halve the amperage. Thus, if a load required #12 wire at 240 volts, if you drop the voltage to 120 volts The amperage would double and the wire size would double.

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    • #3
      Re: Wire thickness

      Thank you for your reply!

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      • #4
        Re: Wire thickness

        Originally posted by killavolt View Post
        Amperage. And it is not thickness it is gauge. Roughly speaking, double the voltage and halve the amperage. Thus, if a load required #12 wire at 240 volts, if you drop the voltage to 120 volts The amperage would double and the wire size would double.
        This is true, but keep in mind it's not like you can always choose what voltage to use something on. The voltage is determined by the appliance/tool is built/designed to run on.
        For instance a larger power tool motor that pulls 10A @ 240V, if it is available or can be wired for 120V will pull 20A. Many motors can be wired for two different voltages. Many cannot and must be purchased in the voltage of choice.

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        • #5
          Re: Wire thickness

          Originally posted by Speedy Petey View Post
          This is true, but keep in mind it's not like you can always choose what voltage to use something on. The voltage is determined by the appliance/tool is built/designed to run on.
          For instance a larger power tool motor that pulls 10A @ 240V, if it is available or can be wired for 120V will pull 20A. Many motors can be wired for two different voltages. Many cannot and must be purchased in the voltage of choice.
          Also true, and that is why I prefaced my reply with the phrase "Roughly speaking". The OP asked a simple question: Is the gauge of the wire determined by volts or amperage.

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