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Can 10 Gauge Wire Handle 35 Amps Circuit Breaker?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can 10 gauge wire handle 35 amps

Identifying the proper wire size for different breaker amp ratings is essential to prevent future electrical problems. Specifically, it can prevent the overheating of wires and reduce the risk of fire hazards.

If the 10 gauge wire fits perfectly in a 30 amps circuit breaker, how about a 35 amps circuit breaker? Can 10 gauge wire handle 35 amps circuit breaker? Yes, in some cases. How? Continue reading to figure it out!

3 Factors to Consider to Use a 10 Gauge Wire Size for 35 Amp Breaker?


Practically speaking, a 10 gauge wire for 30 amp circuit breaker is the most advisable setup. Anything more than this amperage requires consideration. You are allowed to use a 10-gauge wire for a 35-amp circuit if the following conditions are met.

1. Type of Conductor

Currently, there are two types of metal conductors used for electrical wires. They are aluminum or copper wires with different heat resistance.

Each type of conductor has an operated temperature rating of 60, 75, and 90 degrees Celsius.

If you look at an AWG chart amp, you can see that a 10 gauge copper wire can carry 35 amps with an operating temperature of 75 degrees Celsius.

At the same time, an aluminum conductor for a 35-amp circuit can handle a higher temperature. It can tolerate up to 90 degrees Celsius for a 35-amp circuit breaker.

You may also notice on the amperage gauge chart that the aluminum conductor is much thicker than the copper wire if both handle the same level of electricity. It is because aluminum wires have an oxide layer, limiting their capacity rating.

In this case, you can use a 10 gauge copper wire that is rated for 75 degrees Celsius. However, if you are planning to use a 10 gauge aluminum wire in your application, you should look for the wire rated for 90 degrees Celsius.

2. 80% Rule

Another thing to consider is the 80% rule when installing a circuit. The 80% rule refers to the allowable operating current a wire needs to run safely.

A 35 amp wire ideally should carry 80% of its ampacity for usage only. As a result, only 28 amps should be used for a 35 amp wire to prevent electrical problems.

This 28 amp rating for 10 AWG wire amps rated 75 degrees Celsius still passes the circuit installation standards. However, there is another thing that can limit wire usage, and it is the wire length.

3. Wire Length

Due to resistance increase, the wire length is also another factor to consider if you want to use a 10 gauge wire in a circuit. A possibility of voltage drop is the issue when using a longer wire in a circuit installation.

In simple words, the ampacity of 10 gauge wire decreases as the wire length increases.

Therefore, using a 35 amp wire size of 10 gauge is ideal if it only needs to run a short distance (under 50 feet) while considering the 80% rule.

It would be helpful to watch this video by The Organic Chemistry Tutor to learn more about the sizing of wire in a circuit.

Pro tip: Though aluminum conductors are now commonly used in most electrical applications, copper wire conductors are still recommended.

Compared to aluminum wires, copper wires provide a better flow of electricity. Aluminum wires are only appropriate for extensive electrical applications since they are less expensive than copper.


Can 10 gauge wire handle 35 amps? Considering some factors that affect electrical resistance as well as applying some rules in NEC guidelines will help you answer this question. Additionally, checking a wire sizing chart can help you decide which wire size is safer to use.

After knowing that you can use a 10 gauge wire in a 35 amp circuit, feel free to share if you plan to use this setup. Also, if you find this article helpful, please share it with others as well.

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