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Old 03-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
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telephone line gauge?


I am a bit curious what gauge a standard 4 wire telephone cord is and if it could safely handle 12v for extended periods of time.

The use would be for connecting LED 5050 strip lighting for under cabinet lighting use. I need to go from a cabinet on the left side of a sink to the cabinets on the right side of the sink. The line won't go through walls, but through the cabinets and always remain accessable. I've been wondering what I'd buy, then saw that I had this telephone cord and it's flat and white, just like what I want.

Thanks!

EDIT....if it matters the run will be about 10'-12' at most, probably less, and 6amp at most.

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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telephone line gauge?


Phone wire is from 18 to 22 or 24 gage., and I would not run 6 amps through it.

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Old 03-25-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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telephone line gauge?


You should look into LV landscape wiring.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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telephone line gauge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan
Phone wire is from 18 to 22 or 24 gage., and I would not run 6 amps through it.
The old stuff was #18. Now it is 22-24awg, and usually is just Cat-5e. Hardley is Cat-3 used anymore.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:54 PM   #5
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telephone line gauge?


Master Brian, you need to go get what is typically called "Bell wire". You can find it in the furnace parts dept or in the electrical, depending on the store.

Menard's keeps it in the furnace ducting& parts area, Lowe's, Home Depot & Ace hardware in the elecrixal, or go to Radio Shack and pick some up.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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telephone line gauge?


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Phone wire is from 18 to 22 or 24 gage., and I would not run 6 amps through it.
Out of curiousity, what is the most you'd run through it? Reason I ask is I'm not sure if Ill actually be running that many amps through it as that's the max it can handle and I'm still trying to figure out what transformer to get.

Also, what gauge wire you would suggest based on the 6amp max?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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telephone line gauge?


When I wired up my LED tape lights in my service truck I used T-Stat wire.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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telephone line gauge?


It will handle 120vac & 240vac, and yes can take 6amp, and even as high as 10 amp, depending on the outer jacket.

You can also get away with stranded #16 for speakers, that is used for in wall, not the zip cord, but the jacketed CL-2 single or 2 pair.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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telephone line gauge?


Greg, are you referring to the bell wire or the phone wire ?

For the 24awg phone wire:
6 amps @12v DC for 10 ft yields a 25.67% voltage drop.
Not really knowing exactly what the specs are on your equipment, I would aim for 3% or better. That would be less than 1 amp on 24awg.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:15 PM   #10
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telephone line gauge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
It will handle 120vac & 240vac, and yes can take 6amp, and even as high as 10 amp, depending on the outer jacket.
No way is the insulation rated for that high a voltage.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #11
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telephone line gauge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles

No way is the insulation rated for that high a voltage.
It will handle 120vac or 240vac, depending on the amperage, and also as I stated before, on the jacket on the wire.

Ring voltage on telephonne wire peaks over 90vac and around 1amp. Have seen as high as 115vac on telco wiring.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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telephone line gauge?


Sixteen gauge wire has 4 ohms per 1000 ft. or 0.04 ohm for ten feet. For a 20 foot round trip, 6 amperes at 12 volts will suffer a voltage drop of 4% or one half volt. Because you are tapping off of the line every so often for the various fixtures, the 6 amp draw will be carried only by the first few feet so the voltage drop at the far end won't be the full half volt. You will have to do some math to figure it out exactly, or you can use the worst case of assuming the entire amperes draw goes the full length of the wire, the latter assumption leads to a larger computed wire size. If the transformer is at the middle as opposed to at one end, you get less drop at the far ends all other things being equal.

I think bell wire (used for wiring up doorbells) is typically 18 gauge.

In any portion of a circuit including the wiring, the number of volts dropped (regardless of supply voltage) is equal to the number amperes being drawn times the resistance in that portion of the circuit.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:06 PM   #13
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telephone line gauge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Greg, are you referring to the bell wire or the phone wire ?

For the 24awg phone wire:
6 amps @12v DC for 10 ft yields a 25.67% voltage drop.
Not really knowing exactly what the specs are on your equipment, I would aim for 3% or better. That would be less than 1 amp on 24awg.
^^ This

Phone wire (CM / CL3 rating usually) should not be pushing this kind of power
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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telephone line gauge?


Guys, lets try reading a code book before we post. First off, take a look at Article 411, it clearly states we MUST use a chapter 3 wiring method for lighting systems operating at 30 volts or less.... so NO, you cannot use telephone wire.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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telephone line gauge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sgip2000 View Post
You should look into LV landscape wiring.
You cannot use that inside a dwelling unit.

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