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Author Topic:   Battery Cable
djreichenbach posted 06-20-2007 06:41 PM ET (US)   Profile for djreichenbach   Send Email to djreichenbach  
I am wiring a single 12 volt battery to my console. When connecting the battery terminals to the main circuit breaker and then on to the fuse block, do you use "battery cable", or can you simply use 6 or 8 ga. ANCOR duplex wire? What is the difference besides the huge difference in price?


jimh posted 06-29-2007 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Electrical conductors are classified primarily on the size of the conductors which in turn provides a rating for current carrying capacity. The term "battery cable" is a general term for a rubber coated conductor with many strands and high flexibility which can handle high current. The American Wire Gauge standard is a rating of cable according to size and current carrying capacity.

In wiring an electrical distribution there are two factors to consider:

--the current carrying capacity

--the maximum voltage drop

In some cases a wire will be over-sized for the current in order to provide low voltage drop.

Electrical cables generally cost more as they increase in size. There is no particular advantage to using cables which are much larger in size than needed for the current being carried, unless there is a very long run and low voltage drop is required.

To carry the secondary battery distribution from the battery to the helm, in most cases a conductor of 8-AWG is adequate in terms of both current carrying capacity and low voltage drop.

dino54904 posted 07-02-2007 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for dino54904  Send Email to dino54904     
Hi Dan,

I just rewired my 19' Outrage. I used 2 ga. battery cable to go from the battery to the 30 amp main breaker. I also used 2 ga. cable from the breaker to a buss bar. From the buss bar to the fuse box I used 6 ga. wire. I did this upon the suggestion of the electrical engineer where I work.


jimh posted 07-02-2007 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There is no need to use 2-AWG cable for the secondary distribution. Cable of 8-AWG is plenty. The larger cable just costs more, but really does not pay any dividend in your electrical system.

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