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Old 03-23-2017, 11:44 AM   #1
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Wire size for 30amp at home.

I want to install a 30 amp outlet at home and it will be 130 ft from the main service entrance which has room for a 30 amp breaker. I looked up a wire calculator and it looks like #6 copper for 3% loss and #8 for 5%. Does this look OK? Go for the 3% loss?

Graham
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:06 PM   #2
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I want to install a 30 amp outlet at home and it will be 130 ft from the main service entrance which has room for a 30 amp breaker. I looked up a wire calculator and it looks like #6 copper for 3% loss and #8 for 5%. Does this look OK? Go for the 3% loss?

Graham
#6 is very stiff and difficult to work. #8 is somewhat less stiff as well as less expensive. It is doubtful you will ever try to pull a full 30 amps. If it were me, I would go with #8. But you have to what makes you comfortable.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:17 PM   #3
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Wire size

When my brother wired our storage building we put in a 30 amp service and RV receptacle like you find at the campground. The run from panel breaker to receptacle is 35 feet. We used number 6 wire. My brother was a licensed electrician before he retired and keeps up on the code. He said #6 was the way to go. The only thing that bothers me when he helps me out is hearing him mumble " Man, I love spending your money."
Last week we were doing some work at my sons home. We needed a 1/2 inch spade bit. He bought a set of 6. " He's young, he will need these in his life and can't wait for you to die." Kind of hurt my feelings.
I'm the lackey on these jobs.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:20 PM   #4
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#10 AWG wire stranded or solid can be used in a raceway
#8 AWG or larger wire must be stranded If installed in a raceway.
8/2 or 6/2 NM contains stranded conductors and neither one is difficult to install or bend.
#4 AWG wire is allowed for a 100 amp residential service.
Larger wire is bent using a wire hickey or an hydraulic wire bender.
There is a minimum bending radius for different size and voltage ratings of wire.
If you plan on this circuit carrying 30 amps continually ( 3 hours or more per NEC) , then I would install #6 wire . Since this is an unlikely scenario #8 is more than sufficient.
If all you want to do is run your trailer's battery charger and the refrigerator then #10 wire is more than sufficient.
Even if you ran the A/C , battery charger and refrigerator , the total amp draw on the circuit would be around 15 amps.
Run 15 amps with #10 wire through your voltage drop table
Calculating in my head a #10 wire @ 120 VAC @ 15 amps load will give you a 4 to 5% voltage drop at 130 ft .
A 4% voltage drop would bring 120 V down to 115 V
which is well within the limits for voltage drop.

If one sized the electrical service for a home based on a 100 % duty cycle on every branch circuit we would be installing 400 or 600 or 800 Amp services in a home. In truth the load is no where near the rating of the service. Installing wire far larger than necessary harms nothing but it raises costs needlessly and does not improve performance or safety.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Steve
Should a 30 amp GFI breaker be use?
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:36 PM   #6
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When my brother wired our storage building we put in a 30 amp service and RV receptacle like you find at the campground. The run from panel breaker to receptacle is 35 feet. We used number 6 wire. My brother was a licensed electrician before he retired and keeps up on the code. He said #6 was the way to go. The only thing that bothers me when he helps me out is hearing him mumble " Man, I love spending your money."
Last week we were doing some work at my sons home. We needed a 1/2 inch spade bit. He bought a set of 6. " He's young, he will need these in his life and can't wait for you to die." Kind of hurt my feelings.
I'm the lackey on these jobs.
Dave
Hi: Iowa Dave... When doing the kitchen reno I had a new breaker panel put in and a 30 Amp RV receptacle put in the garage. All I know is the wire heading out there is orange. The wire to the kitchen receptacles is yellow, and all the rest of the wiring is white. That's as scientific as it gets. Alf
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:06 PM   #7
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Hi Alf
We only use red, white and blue here. And having a degree from a land grant university, I'm required to use green for ground. Hoarding alert, I did find a roll of #6 copper wire along the highway one day while picking up nickel deposit cans. Which I brought home. If the economy goes totally bad I'll join my less fortunate friends as we burn the insulation off under a bridge and use the scrap value for another bottle of Ripple. Gotta have a plan.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:13 PM   #8
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Hi: Iowa Dave... When doing the kitchen reno I had a new breaker panel put in and a 30 Amp RV receptacle put in the garage. All I know is the wire heading out there is orange. The wire to the kitchen receptacles is yellow, and all the rest of the wiring is white. That's as scientific as it gets. Alf
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The NEC requires that NM ( Romex ) cable be color coded according to the AWG size of the conductors .
The cable's outer jacket is color coded -- white , yellow , orange

White NM = #14 AWG -- 15 amp
Yellow NM = #12 AWG -- 20 amp
Orange NM = #10 AWG - 30 amp

Color coding helps insure that the proper size NM cable is installed and makes it easier for the inspector to be sure that the proper size wire was installed

#14 AWG Copper is used for general lighting and receptacles circuits in residential construction.
#12 AWG Copper is used for kitchen appliance , dining room , pantry , laundry , bath room receptacle and rec room circuits.
#10 AWG Copper or #8 AWG Alum is used for dryer , electric water heater , central A/C , cooktops and special purpose circuits
#8 AWG Copper or #6 AWG Alum is used for ranges and oven circuits
#6 AWG Copper is used for double ovens.

* Some appliances and equipment are not UL listed for use with aluminum conductors.*
**Aluminum Romex was used in residences and mobile homes back in the 70's and it created a huge amount of problems .
The receptacles were not rated for aluminum wire which led to terminations burning off and fires. The use of aluminum conductors has been limited by the NEC **
*** #14 AWG wire is normally used in residential construction for general branch circuit wiring.
#12 AWG is the standard in commercial and industrial construction for branch circuit wiring.***
**** #14 AWG Copper wire is the minimum size wire for building wiring except in the case of signal or control circuits ****
***** The size of the wire must be sufficient for the load being served . You can use a larger conductor than required by code .
IE , You could use #12 AWG wire for general lighting circuits in a residence instead of #14 but many inspectors would still require you to use a 15 amp overcurrent device to protect the circuit.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:53 PM   #9
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Hi: All... Due to the high cost of electric power and our time of use meters in Ontario, we switched our most power hungry appliances to natural gas. I got tired of waiting for off peak times to cook supper!!! That's my plan and I'm stuck to it.
All new lighting fixtures in the kitchen are LED's. 8 X 9 watt in the ceiling and 10 X 2 watt under cabinet. It costs money to save!!! Alf
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
#6 is very stiff and difficult to work. #8 is somewhat less stiff as well as less expensive. It is doubtful you will ever try to pull a full 30 amps. If it were me, I would go with #8. But you have to what makes you comfortable.
If it makes sense in your situation you can use #6 for the beginning of the run and #8 for the remaineder. At 50-50 your voltage loss is 4%, and you have saved a few $$.

As others have said below - your big 110V power hungry items are the air conditioner, the water heater, the fridge and the 12v converter/charger. And any appliances that use heat like hair drier, toaster, coffee pot, microwave, etc.

But you can run the fridge and water heater on propane. And your 12v converter only draws a lot of power when the batteries are needing a good charge. That leaves the air conditioner and the occasional appliance. This sounds like your average pull will be in the 20 amp range. Keep track of what is running and you should be fine.

I base this on my experience packing before a major trip. I used my 15 amp household circuit and did OK as long as I didn't run the space heater on high.

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