# Aluminium Cable Current Carrying Capacity Calculator

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## FAQs

**Q1: How do you calculate the current carrying capacity of an aluminum cable?** **A:** The current carrying capacity of an aluminum cable is calculated based on factors such as the cable size (cross-sectional area), material properties, insulation type, ambient temperature, and installation conditions. Standards and formulas like those provided by the National Electrical Code (NEC) are used to determine the safe current capacity.

**Q2: What is the carrying capacity of aluminum wire?** **A:** The carrying capacity of aluminum wire depends on various factors, including the cable size, temperature, and insulation type. The capacity is typically determined by electrical codes and standards, and it’s important to consult these references for accurate values.

**Q3: What is the load capacity of 2 core Aluminium cable?** **A:** The load capacity of a 2-core aluminum cable depends on factors such as the cable size, conductor material, insulation type, and installation conditions. Electrical codes and standards provide guidelines for determining load capacity.

**Q4: What is the thumb rule for current carrying capacity of cable?** **A:** Thumb rules are not recommended for accurate electrical calculations. Instead, adhere to standards and codes that provide specific guidelines for calculating the current carrying capacity of cables based on various factors.

**Q5: How do you calculate full load current of a cable?** **A:** Full load current of a cable can be calculated using the formula: Full Load Current (FLC) = Load in Watts / (Voltage x Power Factor). This helps determine the current the cable will carry when the connected load is at its maximum.

**Q6: How much bigger does an aluminum wire have to be to carry the same current as a copper wire?** **A:** Aluminum wire typically needs to be larger in cross-sectional area compared to copper wire to carry the same current due to aluminum’s higher resistivity. The size difference varies based on the specific properties and standards used.

**Q7: How many amps will 2/0 aluminum wire carry?** **A:** The current-carrying capacity of 2/0 (00 AWG) aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can carry around 150 to 200 amps.

**Q8: How much weight can 18 gauge aluminum wire hold?** **A:** The weight that 18-gauge aluminum wire can hold depends on various factors like the specific alloy and temper of the aluminum, the configuration of the wire, and the application. Consult engineering references for load-carrying capabilities.

**Q9: How do you calculate cable load size?** **A:** Cable load size is determined by the connected electrical load, which is typically given in watts. Divide the load in watts by the voltage to calculate the current. Choose a cable that can handle the calculated current while considering derating factors and safety margins.

**Q10: What is the ampacity of 2-2-2 aluminum wire?** **A:** The ampacity of a 2-2-2 aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, a 2-2-2 aluminum wire can handle around 90 to 100 amps.

**Q11: How many amps is a 2-2-2 aluminum wire?** **A:** A 2-2-2 aluminum wire is generally rated to carry around 90 to 100 amps, but this may vary based on factors like the specific application and local electrical codes.

**Q12: What is the rating of 2-2-2 aluminum wire?** **A:** The rating of a 2-2-2 aluminum wire is typically around 90 to 100 amps, but this can vary based on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions.

**Q13: Does length of cable affect current carrying capacity?** **A:** Yes, the length of a cable affects its current carrying capacity due to the voltage drop that occurs over distance. Longer cables can experience higher voltage drop, which can lead to reduced effective capacity at the load.

**Q14: What is the maximum current for wire size?** **A:** The maximum current for a wire size depends on factors like the conductor material, insulation type, and installation conditions. Refer to electrical codes and standards for specific maximum current ratings.

**Q15: What is the hand rule for current carrying wire?** **A:** The “right-hand rule” can be used to determine the direction of the magnetic field around a current-carrying wire. Point the thumb of your right hand in the direction of the current, and your fingers will curl in the direction of the magnetic field.

**Q16: How do I choose cable size based on amps?** **A:** To choose cable size based on amps, calculate the current required by the load. Then, consider factors like derating, voltage drop, and safety margins. Choose a cable size that can handle the calculated current while complying with codes and standards.

**Q17: What is the difference between full load current and full load amps?** **A:** There is no practical difference between “full load current” and “full load amps.” Both terms refer to the amount of current a motor or load draws when operating at its maximum designed capacity.

**Q18: What is the formula for current load?** **A:** The formula to calculate current load is: Current Load (A) = Power (W) / Voltage (V).

**Q19: Why don’t we use aluminum wire instead of copper?** **A:** Aluminum wire has higher resistivity and can be prone to issues like oxidation and thermal expansion. While it’s used in certain applications, copper wire is preferred for its better conductivity and lower voltage drop.

**Q20: Why is aluminum not used in electrical wiring?** **A:** Aluminum was used in electrical wiring in the past, but issues such as increased resistivity, oxidation, and thermal expansion led to safety concerns. Copper wiring became the preferred choice due to its superior conductivity and other properties.

**Q21: Will number 2 aluminum wire fit in a 100 amp breaker?** **A:** Yes, a number 2 aluminum wire (2 AWG) is generally suitable for a 100 amp breaker, assuming it meets relevant standards and installation requirements.

**Q22: Can I use 2 AWG aluminum wire for 200 amp service?** **A:** No, a 2 AWG aluminum wire is typically not suitable for a 200 amp service. Larger wire sizes are needed to safely carry the higher current of a 200 amp service.

**Q23: What is the rating of 2-2-4 aluminum wire?** **A:** The rating of a 2-2-4 aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, a 2-2-4 aluminum wire can handle around 90 to 100 amps.

**Q24: What is the difference between 2 AWG and 2/0 aluminum wire?** **A:** The difference between 2 AWG and 2/0 aluminum wire lies in their cross-sectional areas. 2 AWG is smaller than 2/0 AWG. Larger wire sizes can carry more current.

**Q25: What is the difference between 18 gauge and 20-gauge aluminum?** **A:** The difference between 18-gauge and 20-gauge aluminum wire is in their diameters. 18-gauge wire is larger in diameter and can generally carry more current than 20-gauge wire.

**Q26: How strong is 17 gauge aluminum wire?** **A:** The strength of 17-gauge aluminum wire depends on factors like the specific alloy and temper of the aluminum. For load-bearing applications, consult engineering data and recommendations.

**Q27: How far can you run 18 gauge wire?** **A:** The distance you can run 18-gauge wire while maintaining acceptable voltage drop depends on the load, conductor material, and other factors. Consult voltage drop tables or calculators for specific distances.

**Q28: What size wire is needed for 50 amps?** **A:** The wire size needed for 50 amps depends on factors like the conductor material, insulation type, and installation conditions. Generally, a wire size of around 6 AWG might be suitable.

**Q29: What are simple calculations for cable pulling?** **A:** Simple calculations for cable pulling involve determining the cable length, weight, and frictional forces. These calculations help ensure safe and efficient cable installation.

**Q30: How do you calculate cable sizing NEC?** **A:** Cable sizing according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) involves considering factors like current-carrying capacity, temperature, and installation conditions. NEC provides tables and methods to determine appropriate wire sizes for various applications.

**Q31: How many amps can 2-2-2-4 aluminum wire handle?** **A:** The ampacity of a 2-2-2-4 aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 90 to 100 amps.

**Q32: Can I use 2-2-2-4 aluminum wire for 100 amp sub panel?** **A:** A 2-2-2-4 aluminum wire is typically not suitable for a 100 amp sub panel. You would need a larger wire size to safely carry the current for a 100 amp sub panel.

**Q33: What is 2 AWG aluminum wire used for?** **A:** 2 AWG aluminum wire is commonly used for applications requiring a moderately high current-carrying capacity, such as feeder circuits, service entrance conductors, and larger branch circuits.

**Q34: What is the max amperage on an aluminum #2?** **A:** The maximum amperage that an aluminum #2 wire can carry depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 100 amps.

**Q35: Will #2 wire carry 100 amps?** **A:** Yes, a #2 aluminum wire can typically carry around 100 amps, assuming it meets relevant standards and installation requirements.

**Q36: How many amps can #4 aluminum wire carry?** **A:** The ampacity of a #4 aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 85 to 95 amps.

**Q37: What is 2-2-4-6 aluminum wire used for?** **A:** 2-2-4-6 aluminum wire is often used for service entrance applications, feeders, and larger branch circuits where higher current-carrying capacity is required.

**Q38: How many amps can 3/0 aluminum wire carry?** **A:** The ampacity of 3/0 (000 AWG) aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 200 to 225 amps.

**Q39: Can I use aluminum wire to feed a subpanel?** **A:** Yes, aluminum wire can be used to feed a subpanel, but proper considerations must be made for wire size, connections, terminations, and potential corrosion issues associated with aluminum wiring.

**Q40: How can you increase the current carrying capacity of a cable?** **A:** To increase the current carrying capacity of a cable, you can choose a larger wire size with a higher ampacity rating, improve cooling and ventilation around the cable, or use materials with lower resistance.

**Q41: What can happen if too much power is being carried by a cable?** **A:** Carrying too much power through a cable can result in overheating, excessive voltage drop, cable insulation degradation, increased resistance, and potential hazards like fires.

**Q42: Does thickness of wire affect current?** **A:** Yes, the thickness of a wire, indicated by its gauge or cross-sectional area, directly affects its current-carrying capacity. Thicker wires can carry more current due to their lower resistance.

**Q43: Can 4 AWG handle 100 amps?** **A:** A 4 AWG aluminum wire can generally handle around 85 to 95 amps, assuming it meets relevant standards and installation requirements. It may not be suitable for a continuous 100 amp load.

**Q44: What gauge wire for 30 amps?** **A:** The wire gauge needed for 30 amps depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, a wire size of around 10 AWG might be suitable.

**Q45: What size wire for 60 amps?** **A:** The wire size needed for 60 amps depends on factors like conductor material, insulation type, and installation conditions. Generally, a wire size of around 6 AWG might be suitable.

**Q46: What is the 3 finger rule in physics?** **A:** The three-finger rule in physics is a visualization technique used to determine the direction of three mutually perpendicular vectors, such as electric current, magnetic field, and force.

**Q47: What is the third hand rule?** **A:** The third-hand rule is not a commonly recognized term in physics or electrical engineering. It might refer to a concept related to visualization techniques for understanding vectors or magnetic fields.

**Q48: What is the first right-hand rule?** **A:** The first right-hand rule is used to determine the direction of the magnetic field around a current-carrying wire. Point the thumb of your right hand in the direction of the current, and your fingers will curl in the direction of the magnetic field.

**Q49: Does bigger wire mean more amps?** **A:** Yes, generally, bigger wire (larger cross-sectional area) can carry more amps due to its lower resistance and higher current-carrying capacity.

**Q50: Does a larger or smaller wire carry the most amperage?** **A:** A larger wire (with a larger cross-sectional area) can carry more amperage due to its lower resistance and greater current-carrying capacity.

**Q51: How do I calculate what size wire I need?** **A:** To calculate the size of wire needed, determine the load’s current, choose an appropriate wire size based on current-carrying capacity and voltage drop considerations, and follow relevant codes and standards.

**Q52: Is full load current the same as Fla?** **A:** Yes, “full load current” is often abbreviated as “FLA.” Both terms refer to the current drawn by a motor or load when operating at its maximum designed capacity.

**Q53: What is maximum load current?** **A:** Maximum load current refers to the highest current that a circuit or device can carry safely without exceeding its designed capacity or causing damage.

**Q54: Is full load current the same as starting current?** **A:** No, full load current (FLC) refers to the current drawn by a motor or load at its maximum designed capacity during normal operation. Starting current, on the other hand, is the higher current drawn momentarily when a motor starts.

**Q55: How do you calculate full load amperage?** **A:** Full load amperage can be calculated using the formula: Full Load Amperage = Power (W) / (Voltage (V) x Power Factor).

**Q56: What is full load amps?** **A:** Full load amps (FLA) is the current drawn by a motor or load when operating at its maximum designed capacity during normal operation.

**Q57: Is it OK to mix copper and aluminum wiring?** **A:** Mixing copper and aluminum wiring is generally not recommended due to the risk of galvanic corrosion and differing thermal expansion rates. Proper connectors and techniques must be used if combining the two metals.

**Q58: What is the disadvantage of aluminum wire?** **A:** Aluminum wire has higher resistivity compared to copper, which can lead to increased resistance and potential heating. It is also more prone to oxidation and can have compatibility issues with some connectors.

**Q59: What is the major problem with aluminum wire?** **A:** The major problems with aluminum wire include its higher resistivity, susceptibility to oxidation, and differences in thermal expansion when compared to copper wire.

**Q60: When was aluminum wiring outlawed?** **A:** Aluminum wiring was not outright outlawed, but its use for certain applications was significantly restricted in the 1970s due to safety concerns. It is still used in specific applications where it is deemed safe.

**Q61: What size of aluminum wire for 100 amp service?** **A:** For a 100 amp service, a larger aluminum wire size like 2/0 AWG might be suitable, but it’s important to consider relevant codes, standards, and voltage drop calculations.

**Q62: What size breaker do I need for 2 AWG aluminum wire?** **A:** The breaker size for 2 AWG aluminum wire depends on the application and the equipment being protected. For example, a 2 AWG wire might be protected by a 90 or 100 amp breaker in certain cases.

**Q63: What size aluminum wire do I need for 200 amp service?** **A:** For a 200 amp service, a larger aluminum wire size like 4/0 AWG might be suitable, but proper calculations and adherence to codes are essential.

**Q64: What is 4 AWG aluminum wire used for?** **A:** 4 AWG aluminum wire is commonly used for larger branch circuits, service entrance conductors, and feeders where a moderate current-carrying capacity is required.

**Q65: Can you use 4/0-4/0-2/0 aluminum wire?** **A:** Yes, 4/0-4/0-2/0 aluminum wire can be used for applications that require a larger current-carrying capacity, such as service entrance conductors and feeders.

**Q66: What is the rating of 2-2-4 aluminum wire?** **A:** The rating of a 2-2-4 aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, a 2-2-4 aluminum wire can handle around 90 to 100 amps.

**Q67: How much weight can 18 gauge aluminum wire hold?** **A:** The weight that 18-gauge aluminum wire can hold depends on various factors like the specific alloy and temper of the aluminum, the configuration of the wire, and the application. Consult engineering references for load-carrying capabilities.

**Q68: What is 18 gauge aluminum wire used for?** **A:** 18-gauge aluminum wire is often used for light-duty applications such as craft projects, jewelry making, and low-voltage lighting installations.

**Q69: What gauge aluminum is the strongest?** **A:** The strength of aluminum wire depends on factors like the alloy and temper. Generally, larger gauges have greater strength due to their larger cross-sectional area.

**Q70: How much weight will 17 gauge wire hold?** **A:** The weight that 17-gauge wire can hold depends on various factors like the specific alloy and temper of the wire, the configuration, and the application. Consult engineering references for load-carrying capabilities.

**Q71: What is the amp rating of 14 gauge aluminum wire?** **A:** The amp rating of 14-gauge aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 15 to 20 amps.

**Q72: How many amps can 16 AWG handle?** **A:** The ampacity of 16-gauge aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 20 to 25 amps.

**Q73: How much current can a 20 AWG wire carry?** **A:** The current-carrying capacity of a 20-gauge aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 5 to 10 amps.

**Q74: How many amps can a 16-gauge wire handle?** **A:** The ampacity of a 16-gauge aluminum wire depends on factors like insulation type, temperature, and installation conditions. Generally, it can handle around 20 to 25 amps.

**Q75: What size aluminum wire is good for 50 amps?** **A:** The size of aluminum wire needed for 50 amps depends on factors like the conductor material, insulation type, and installation conditions. Generally, a wire size of around 6 AWG might be suitable.

**Q76: What wire size do I need to go 100 feet for a 50 amp service to a workshop?** **A:** To determine the appropriate wire size for a 50 amp service running 100 feet to a workshop, you need to consider voltage drop, temperature, and other factors. Generally, a wire size of around 6 AWG might be suitable.

**Q77: Can I run 8-gauge wire to handle 50 amps?** **A:** An 8-gauge aluminum wire might be suitable to carry 50 amps, but it’s essential to consider voltage drop, temperature, and other factors. Consult electrical codes and standards for guidance.

**Q78: What is the formula for cable pull?** **A:** The formula for cable pull force can be complex, involving parameters like cable weight, coefficient of friction, bend radius, and conduit fill. Specialized cable pulling software or tables are often used to calculate cable pull force.

**Q79: How much weight do you need for cable pull through?** **A:** The weight needed for cable pulling depends on factors like cable length, friction, and bend radius. Cable pulling calculators or engineering references provide guidance on determining the appropriate weight.

**Q80: What is the jam ratio for cable pulling?** **A:** The jam ratio is a parameter used in cable pulling to determine the relative difficulty of pulling a cable through a conduit. It’s calculated by dividing the cable’s outside diameter by the conduit’s inside diameter.

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