Electricity causes many fires and billions of dollars worth of damage in the US and across the world.
The main reason for this is accidents that are caused by misuse of electrical accessories such as connecting wires.
There are different sizes of wires in the market, and you need to know which one was meant for what voltage before using it.
Let us take a more detailed look into this topic to make sure you always use the correct cables for your wiring;
What Size Wire for 60 Amps
It is safe to use a 4-gauge wire when connecting appliances that draw 60 amps. This wire will have a 0.162-inch diameter, and it is capable of transmitting high voltage without overheating or starving your appliances.
You could also use a 6-gauge wire, but the resistance will increase and heat the wire. Eventually, it might end up melting your wire or damaging your equipment.
Details on Wire Gauges and Their Currents
When wiring electrical appliances in your house, there are many factors you need to account for. It would help if you considered the diameter, gauge and length of the wires you are working with, as well as the amperage you intend to pass through the wires.
In your preparation, you must have come across the abbreviation AWG, American Wire Gauge. This is a system used to tell the physical size of a wire and the amount of current it can handle safely.
You will notice that a 6-gauge wire is much thicker than a 15-gauge wire, which could be confusing.
You need to understand that a bigger number represents a smaller wire; thus, a smaller gauge wire can carry more amps.
For instance, a 10-gauge wire can handle a current of 30 amps, while a 20-gauge wire can only carry 5 amps.
Therefore if you need to conduct a lot of current, you should be looking for a smaller gauge wire since it will be thicker.
The resistance also increases with the increase in gauge number. A high gauge number has a small diameter; thus, there will be a more significant amount of resistance that will heat the wire.
The resistance doubles when the gauge increases by three, so you can project the level of resistance you would be dealing with when using a 40-gauge wire. Understand the current you want to pass through the wire before you pick a line.
Understanding Wire Thickness And The Current
You will realize that there are many guidelines on choosing wires depending on where they will be used.
The biggest difference between the wires is their diameter. The basic concept is, you will need thicker wires when you need to carry more electricity.
You can notice the difference between the wires in your house that carry 250V inside your home and those that pass over the poles to supply about 1000V. They are much thicker, and so we need to understand why.
Metals that can conduct electricity use electrons in them to carry this current. The electrons move from one end to another, and they carry the current with them.
A thin wire has limited space for the movement of these electrons; thus, it can’t carry as much current.
If a lot of current is pushed into it, the electrons inside the wire will constantly crash into each other, generating a lot of heat. This is why you will notice that the temperature of a cable that is overloaded increases.
A thicker wire will have more space for the current-carrying electrons to move. This means that there will be reduced resistance in the cables which means there will be no temperature rise. The major factor affecting resistance in a wire is the thickness of the wire.
A thicker wire also can carry more electrons at a time; thus, there is a broader medium for the transmission of the electric current.
A lower resistance reduces the heat, and this is important since high temperatures can even melt wires.
Electrical Connection And Use Safety
Electricity is a big part of today’s industry, and we depend on it for almost everything we do. When dealing with electricity, you have to put safety above all else; thus, here are some safety tips you need to know;
- When making a connection, make sure you cover all the cables well with insulators. This is to make sure the cables don’t touch each other and that people don’t touch the exposed cables since both could damage.
- Stay away from broken switches, sockets or any power outlets. These could have live wires with current that can shock you. If a cable is cut or some wires are exposed, don’t use it in any power outlet.
- Power outlets were meant for plugs; thus, only plugs should go into outlets. Do not stick any metallic object into the socket for any reason since they transmit electricity, and you will get shocked.
- Don’t use any electrical appliances when your hands are wet. Do not do electrical wiring near pools of water or on wet surfaces. Water is a good conductor of electricity, and you can get shocked when the wires touch the water.
Factors Affecting The Choice Of Wiring
Wiring is important when building a house, and a few minor mistakes could mess up your home. If you have a large building, repairs could be tedious and difficult since you might not pinpoint the exact source of the problem.
To avoid all these issues, there are some factors you need to consider when wiring. Correct choices will mean that you won’t have to deal with incorrect wiring and fire hazards. Here are the most important factors;
The type of wiring you select should be of the highest standard possible. All the components should be well built to work for long hours, even when transmitting high voltages.
Getting durable wiring will ensure that your building survives any and all-weather patterns that might hit your building. Otherwise, you would have to do expensive repairs every few years, which will be a major problem for you.
The wiring option you decide to go with has to provide safety to all the building users in question. They have to be safe from electricity leaks, electric shocks or fire hazards.
Even the operation personnel that work closely with the wiring have to be protected from the power surging in the cables.
Endangering the users of a building could lead to you paying hefty fines or loss of lives which can turn into prison time for you.
The wiring also needs to be protected from mechanical damage. You can put pipes over the wiring or put them inside the walls to ensure they don’t get cut by accident. Cut wires can injure or kill anyone who touches them, so they have to be avoided.
Appearance and accessibility
You need to pick a wiring option that works well with your taste and décor. The wiring should look good inside your house. The cables should be well concealed in the walls or integrated into the interior design.
The sockets and switches should all be placed strategically around the building. A user should be able to get to any of the switches without using extension cords or moving the furniture.
The switches should be placed at reasonable heights from the ground so all users can get to them. You might have to make changes or additions to your wiring system later on.
You, therefore, need to get wiring that will allow you to extend the wiring whenever you need to.
Installation and maintenance costs
Building a house requires a lot of money; thus, you need to save as much as you can. Having said this, you need to select a wiring option that does not cost you too much money.
After installation, you shouldn’t spend too much money on maintenance. The system may develop some issues over time, but you need to make sure that you get all the details right so that you don’t repair or make changes to it very often.
The best size for 60 amps is a 4-gauge wire that will account for all the power without heating up.
If you use a higher gauge wire, it might end up melting due to the high resistance in them that causes temperature increase.
There are numerous wire gauges you can choose from depending on the current you are dealing with.
For high currents, use wires with lower gauges since they are much thicker and less resistant.
When choosing the wiring for your home, you need to make sure it is high quality so that you don’t spend money on constant repairs.
ake sure you are careful when dealing with the electricity lines since a simple mistake can be fatal for you and your appliances.