AN-2 Wire Length Tables For 12 and 24 Volts AC or DC

Quick Overview

As electric current flows through wire, there is a loss in voltage.  This loss is referred to as IR voltage drop. Voltage (Drop) = Wire Resistance X Amps of current (E=IR)

Note: We have an interactive excel wire loss Calculator, click here.

Calculating the voltage loss for a pair of wires gets a little complicated, so we have constructed a quick look up table for what size wire you will need for your application.  The table below is for 12-volt ac or dc devices only.  You just need to know the power in Watts (VA), or Amps and the table will show how far you can go in feet for any size wire pair listed.  The table is based on a 10% loss of voltage on a pair of wires.  This should work for most 12-volt devices.  Checking the manufacturer’s specifications, use the maximum watts or current and be sure the minimum operational voltage is 10v or below.  The footage in the table is linear, a 20% loss would double the distance, or 5% would cut it in half.
The table calculations are based on the ohms of the wire at 70oF.  If the wire temperature is raised to 130oF the voltage drop would increase by about 3%.  The voltage drop calculations are also based on a conventional load.  If the manufacturer makes recommendations for wire sizes, use them instead of this table.

Below are the Wire Length Tables for 12 and 24 Volts AC or DC

See our online Wire Loss Calculator to figure your custom application.

The recommended maximum distances for AC or DC are listed in the cell below the wire size.

12V TABLE
POWER WIRE GAUGE
W(VA)/Amps 8awg 10awg 12awg 14awg 16awg 18awg 20awg 22awg 24awg 26awg
3W/.25A 3,733 2,396 1,508 947 595 376 234 146 93 59
4W/.33A 2,828 1,815 1,142 717 451 285 177 111 70 44
5W/.42A 2,222 1,426 898 564 354 224 139 87 55 35
10W/.83A 1,124 722 454 285 179 113 71 44 28 18
20W/1.67A 559 359 226 142 89 56 35 22 14 9
30W/2.50A 373 240 151 95 60 38 23 15 N/A N/A
40W/3.33A 280 180 113 71 45 28 18 11 N/A N/A
50W/4.17A 224 144 90 57 36 23 14 N/A N/A N/A
60W/5.00A 187 120 75 47 30 19 12 N/A N/A N/A
70W/5.83A 160 103 65 41 26 16 10 N/A N/A N/A
80W/6.67A 140 90 57 35 22 14 N/A N/A N/A N/A
90W/7.50A 124 80 50 32 20 13 N/A N/A N/A N/A
100W/8.33A 112 72 45 28 18 11 N/A N/A N/A N/A
110W/9.17A 102 65 41 26 16 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A
120W/10.00A 93 60 38 24 15 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A


24V TABLE
POWER WIRE GAUGE
W(VA)/Amps 8awg 10awg 12awg 14awg 16awg 18awg 20awg 22awg 24awg 26awg
3W/.13A 14,417 9,253 5,823 3,656 2,299 1,451 905 565 358 226
4W/.17A 11,025 7,076 4,453 2,796 1,758 1,110 692 432 274 173
5W/.21A 8,925 5,728 3,605 2,263 1,423 898 560 350 222 140
10W/.42A 4,463 2,864 1,803 1,132 712 449 280 175 111 70
20W/.83A 2,258 1.449 912 573 360 227 142 89 56 35
30W/1.25A 1,499 962 606 380 239 151 94 59 37 24
40W/1.67A 1,122 720 453 285 179 113 70 44 28 18
50W/2.08A 901 578 364 229 144 91 57 35 22 14
60W/2.50A 750 481 303 190 120 75 47 29 19 12
70W/2.92A 642 412 259 163 102 65 40 25 16 10
80W/3.33A 563 361 227 143 90 57 35 22 14 9
90W/3.75A 500 321 202 127 80 50 31 20 12 8
100W/4.17A 449 288 182 114 72 45 28 18 11 7
110W/4.58A 409 263 165 104 65 41 26 16 10 6
120W/5.00A 375 241 151 95 60 38 24 15 9 6
130W/5.42A 346 222 140 88 55 35 22 14 9 5
140W/5.83A 321 206 130 82 51 32 20 13 8 5
150W/6.25A 300 192 121 76 48 30 19 12 7 5
160W/6.67A 281 180 114 71 45 28 18 11 7 4
170W/7.08A 265 170 107 67 42 27 17 10 7 4
180W/7.50A 250 160 101 63 40 25 16 10 6 4
190W/7.92A 237 152 96 60 38 24 15 9 6 4
200W/8.33A 225 144 91 57 36 23 14 9 6 4