How Many Watts Can 8 Gauge Wire Handle? 8 AWG Max. Wattage

8 gauge is quite a common wire size. Obviously, it’s quite useful to know how many watts can an 8 AWG wire handle. We are talking max. wattage here. Let’s break this down quickly:

8 AWG wire can handle anywhere from 192 watts to 24,000 watts (this is for 8 AWG aluminum wire at 6V and 8 AWG copper wire at 480V, respectively).

Now, why is this range so big? Here’s the reason:

Max. wattage of 8 AWG wire depends only on 2 factors:

  1. How many amps can an 8 AWG handle. To get this info we need to check this copper wire ampacity chart (for 8 AWG copper wires) and this aluminum wire ampacity chart (for aluminum wires).
  2. Voltage. The higher the voltage, the more watts the 8 AWG wire carries. Most common voltages are 12V, 110V, 120V, 220V, and 240V.

When we get both amps and volts, we can calculate the maximum wattage an 8 AWG wire can handle using this basic electric power equation:

Power (Watts) = Current (Amps) × Voltage (Volts)

From the 2 ampacity charts cited above (based on NEC 210.16 tables), we can see that:

  • 8 AWG copper wire can handle 50 amps.
  • 8 AWG aluminum wire can handle 32 amps.

Now that we have the amps, you need to know the voltage we apply to the 8 gauge wire.

Quick Example: How many watts can an 8 AWG copper wire handle at 120V voltage?

We know that 8 AWG wire can handle 35 amps, and that the voltage is 120V. Let’s just put both of these numbers in the equation above like this (with the result):

Max. Wattage (8 AWG copper, 120V) = 35 Amps × 120V = 4200 Watts

We can see that 8 AWG copper wire at 120V handles a maximum of 4200 watts.

These calculations can be a bit tedious. That’s why we created a calculator that determines the max. wattage of 8 AWG wires, based on the wire material (copper vs aluminum), and voltage.

On top of that, we also calculated max. wattages of 8 gauge wire at voltages ranging from 6V to 480V, and summarized the resulting maximum wattages in 2 charts (1st chart for copper, and 2nd chart for aluminum wires).

Here is the 8 AWG wattage calculator, followed by both max. wattage charts:

 

Alright, let’s look at 1 example just to illustrate how this calculator works:

How many watts can an 8 AWG copper wire handle at 240V? We just pick ‘Copper 8 AWG Wire’, input ‘240V’ in the voltage input field, and we get this result (screenshot):

8 awg wire wattage

We immediately see that 8 AWG copper wire on 240V handles up to 12000 watts.

Now, this is just one example. We calculated maximum watts 8 AWG wire can handle at 6V, 12V, 24V, 48V, 110V, 115V, 120V, 130V, 208V, 220V, 230V, 240V, and 480V, and summarized the results in 2 charts (1st for copper wires, 2nd for aluminum wires).

Here is the 1st 8 AWG copper wire max. wattage chart, followed by the 2nd 8 AWG aluminum wire max. wattage chart:

8 AWG Copper Wire Maximum Wattage Chart

Voltage (Volts): 8 AWG Max. Wattage (Copper)
6 Volts 300 Watts
12 Volts 600 Watts
24 Volts 1200 Watts
48 Volts 2400 Watts
110 Volts 5500 Watts
115 Volts 5750 Watts
120 Volts 6000 Watts
130 Volts 6500 Watts
208 Volts 10,400 Watts (10.4 kW)
220 Volts 11,000 Watts (11 kW)
230 Volts 11,500 Watts (11.5 kW)
240 Volts 12,000 Watts (12 kW)
480 Volts 24,000 Watts (24 kW)

Here we can see that 8 AWG copper wire on:

  • 6V, 12V, 24V, and 48V voltages (these are usually batteries) can handle from 300 watts to 2400 watts. Since most batteries have 12V voltages, the most important part here that 8 AWG copper 12V wire can handle 1200 watts.
  • Standard voltages(110V, 115V, 120V, 130V) handles anywhere from 5500 watts to 6500 watts.
  • Upgraded voltages (208V, 220V, 230V, and 240V) handles anywhere between 10,400 watts to 12,000 watts.
  • Huge 480V voltage can handle 24,000 watts. This is the absolute maximum wattage an 8 AWG copper wire can handle for residential uses.

Let’s have a look at 8 AWG aluminum wire (that can handle only 32 amps vs. 50 amps 8 AWG copper wire can handle):

8 AWG Aluminum Wire Maximum Wattage Chart

Voltage (Volts): 8 AWG Max. Wattage (Aluminum)
6 Volts 192 Watts
12 Volts 384 Watts
24 Volts 768 Watts
48 Volts 1536 Watts
110 Volts 3520 Watts
115 Volts 3680 Watts
120 Volts 3840 Watts
130 Volts 4160 Watts
208 Volts 6656 Watts
220 Volts 7040 Watts
230 Volts 7360 Watts
240 Volts 7680 Watts
480 Volts 15,360 Watts (15.36 kW)

Here we see that 8 AWG aluminum wire can handle anywhere between 192 watts to 15,360 watts, depending on the voltage.

You can also check how 8 AWG wire compares to 6 AWG wire here.

We hope that the 8 AWG maximum wattage is clear now. If you have any questions, you can use the comment section below, give us a few numbers, and we can help you out.

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