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Old 06-13-2011, 05:40 AM   #1
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DC amps wire sizing


Do DC amps need to be rated to 80% of the circuit breaker size like AC amps do?
I have a marine battery charger that needs + and - cables but dont know what size wire I need, the charger has an output of 12v 15A DC. so with the 80% value I'd need the next wire size up which is 12gauge @ 20A. Is this correct? it seems like like its really small wire compared to actual real jumper cables
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:57 AM   #2
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DC amps wire sizing


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Originally Posted by bluemoonshine View Post
Do DC amps need to be rated to 80% of the circuit breaker size like AC amps do?
Where did you hear this myth???




You have a charger, not jumper cables. BIG difference.
#14 or #12 will be fine for what you are doing. Unless of course the length is pretty long, like over 50'.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:13 AM   #3
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DC amps wire sizing


What he said. Jumper cables are required to carry a LOT of current for a very brief time span. Not the same set of requirements for a charging circuit.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:49 AM   #4
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DC amps wire sizing


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Originally Posted by bluemoonshine View Post
it seems like like its really small wire compared to actual real jumper cables
Ever look at the cables that connect to your car battery? They are probably #4 copper stranded wire. That is because when you energize the starter motor, especially in cold weather, it draws lots of current - maybe even a 100 amps. Jumper cables have to support this current draw too. For your charger use #14 stranded wire, it will be fine, and #14 rip cord is a good choice. When you charge a battery it only draws heavily for a short time and then the current will taper off as the battery charges.
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