Generator wire size question


Old 07-29-05, 03:58 PM
Jason R's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Question Generator wire size question

Hi all, I've had a 3500 watt 120 volt backup generator for about a year and Iíve always wondered about this.....

I looked at the wires that run the single outlet on my generator. If my calculations are correct, I have about a 32 amp generator. It looks like I have about 16 AWG wires running my outlet... hmmmmmm

I have used a volt meter to determine that I have about 55 volts on both legs of the hots (so I guess it's a 110 generator with about 31.8 amps).

How can these wires hold up under a 3500 watt constant load (3800 peak)? It does seem to hold up well with over 3000 watts being pulled from it.
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Old 07-29-05, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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3500/120 = 29.

"Looks like" 16 gauge, or "is" 16 gauge?
Old 07-30-05, 12:47 PM
Jason R's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Thanks for the mathematical correction.

The only thing I can say for sure at this point is I'm sure they're not 10 AWG. They seem even small for 14....

I'll take a closer look, I was just wondering if there was some reason smaller AWG is acceptable for generators because it's 110 volts split-phase. (I think)

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