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Can 8 Gauge Wire Handle 50 Amps? (Answered)

Are you looking for a way to upgrade your home or office’s electrical wiring? If so, you might want to ensure that 8 gauge wire is capable of carrying 50 amps when installing 50 amp wiring. 

When you want to install high-powered electrical equipment at home or in your office, this type of wire can handle a lot of currents. See if 8 gauge wire is the right choice for you by reading our guide.

Can 8 gauge wire handle 50 amps?

8 gauge wire is capable of handling up to 50 amps. Additionally, 8 gauge wire is not intended for use in high-voltage applications. The type of wire and the voltage limit can also affect the capacity. To determine the ampacity of a wire, it is best to use an amp meter.

8 gauge wire has very few restrictions when used as an electrical conductor. Let’s say that you desperately need high-current power, but the only option out there is 8 gauge.  How are you going to handle it?

To start with, you’ll need to determine what type of wiring is needed in these applications. When connecting small appliances or lights that do not draw much current, 2 – 4 AWG will suffice. 

You should go with 8 gauge, however, if you’re installing high-powered wiring in an office or home with multiple devices that will draw more than 50 amps each.

Is 8 AWG wire good for 50 amps?

In 50 amp applications, 8 AWG wire is a good choice, but it’s not the only choice. You may require higher amperes if 8 AWG is not sufficient. Some heavy-duty appliances and motors, for example, require heavy-gauge wire to handle the load. 

Find out why 8 AWG wire can handle 50 amps.

8 millimeter thickness:

8 AWG wire is the thinnest wire available. Because of its small size, it can carry more current without the insulation breaking down or the heat building up.

Higher ampacity:

Eight gauge wire has a higher amperage rating than other types – up to 50 amps per strand. Therefore, there is less risk of it burning out or breaking down when it is handling heavier loads. 

More available:

It is easier to find 8 AWG wire at a lower price point than other types of cable, so you will be able to find it in most hardware stores.

Easy to repair:

The 8 AWG wire is more durable than other types of wiring, making it easier to repair if anything goes wrong.

More flexible:

It is important to note that 8 AWG wires can be bent and shaped without breaking, unlike other types of wires. As a result, it makes it a good option for use in tight places or in areas where obstacles exist.

Compatible with many devices:

The 8 AWG wire is suitable for a wide range of appliances and devices – from small light fixtures to heavy-duty motors.

How many amps can 8 gauge wire handle?

The wire of this gauge can handle up to 50 amps per strand. The fact that it can carry a lot of power without burning out or breaking translates into the fact that it’s very durable. However, it may differ when you use copper or aluminum wire.

8 gauge Aluminum wire:

Aluminum does not have a traditional “higher capacity” range like copper. However, it is governed by the maximum current that can safely flow through the wire without causing any damage to it. 

The reason for this is that 8 AWG aluminum wire cannot handle as much amperage as 10 gauge or 12 gauge aluminum wire. Despite this, 8 gauge aluminum is still able to handle up to 25 amps per strand which are more than enough to handle most household chores. 

8 gauge copper wire:

Generally, copper can handle higher amperes than other types of wire because it has a higher ampacity range. Copper wire 8 AWG, however, cannot handle the same amount of current as copper wire 10 gauge or 12 gauge. 

8 gauge copper can still handle 70 amps per strand, making it an excellent choice for high-power applications. 

What is the appropriate wire size for a 50-amp circuit breaker?

Wires of 8 AWG are the appropriate size for 50-amp circuit breakers. This type of wire can handle up to 50 amps per strand, which is enough to protect the circuit from electrical damage.


The wire size for a 220v circuit breaker should be 10 gauge. Wire of this type can handle up to 100 amps per strand – which is enough to prevent electrical damage to the circuit. 

Circuit breakers have a maximum current that can be flowed through them without causing any damage. 

In the situation above, if you placed 100 110v AC appliances in your home using a 10 gauge wire and inserted it into a 20 amp breaker box, that would be a simple example. 

When that happens, the only thing that is protecting you from possible electrical damage is a thin piece of insulation paper. 

Consequently, complex equipment, including multiple pieces of machinery, can be canceled out one at a time by overloading even just single-str wires or 10 gauge copper wires. 


For 240v circuit breakers, copper wire with a diameter of 12 AWG should be used. To protect the circuit against electrical damage, this type of wire can handle up to 200 amps per strand – which is a lot of power. 

The amperage capacity of any circuit has a limit, which is dictated both by the location of the circuit and by the building codes/materials used in its construction (Siemens SA). 

How big is 8 gauge wire? 

A general rule of thumb is that 8 gauge wire is the equivalent of .032 inch wire. Also, it is important to note that the length of this wire is equal to the circumference (or diameter) of the part that you are wrapping around. 

If you wrap 8 gauge wire around a 1″ (2 British inch) object. A 10mm (*0.39in or *1/4in) diameter circle should form on its own. In this case, however, there will be no sharp ends and only about two long pieces (each measuring *16mm (*0.65in)).

How far can I run 8 gauge wire?

Wires of 8 gauge can be run up to 100 feet without any problems. Furthermore, it is not recommended to jumper or splice this type of wire – doing so could result in irreversible damage. Underground, you can expect to run your cable up to 200 feet. 

Wires should be protected from fraying and corrosion with conductor tape. 

How to choose the right wire gauge?

It is critical to choose the right gauge wire for a connection. Find out how to do it.

Calculating the size of wire you need:

Analyze how much current your circuit can handle, and determine which tools you will need.

Limitation of voltage:

Identify the conditions under which your tools will most likely (or not) be at risk, and again match it with a gauge equivalent on each side (if applicable). 1/4″ AC Voltage Limit Circuit breaker Coil as an example:

1/4″ AC Voltage Limit Circuit Breaker Coils use a smaller gauge of wire than say, an 8 Amp capacity circuit breaker.

– A 1/4″ AC Voltage Limit Circuit breaker Coil will use a different wire than say, an 8 Amp capacity circuit breaker.

Compare Wire Gauges:

It is easy to compare gauges once you know the size of wire you need. Just remember three measurements: “Core Number”, “Wrapping” and “Wire Size”. Here are some examples:

– A 12 ga wire has 12 cores per inch, making it a 24 AWG wire.

– An 18 ga wire has 6 cores per inch, making it a 36 AWG wire.

Choose the Right Wire Gauge:

Once you know the size of wire you need, it is time to choose the gauge. The gauge of 24 AWG (12 ga) would be too small for an 8 Amp circuit breaker, and the gauge of 36 AWG (18 ga) would not be strong enough.

Final Thoughts

In general, 8 gauge wire can handle 50 amps. Nevertheless, it is prudent to verify the sizes of the components you are purchasing and the local codes.  You should also be cautious when choosing the wire gauge for large appliances. 8 Gauge Wire can handle a variety of power levels.