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How Many Amps Can a 6/3 Wire Carry? – Expert’s Answer

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how many amps can a 6 3 wire carry

You’re modifying your home’s electrical connections specifically for some appliances and lighting fixtures. Now, you’re wondering how many amps can a 6/3 wire carry.

A 6 3 wire can carry approximately 55 amps. But this rating can change with the ambient temperature.

Continue reading to gain additional insight on using a 6 3 wire. For instance, you’ll learn about the possible applications of this type of cabling. Plus, you can find other relevant information like using a 6 3 wire with an underground conduit.

How Many Amps Will a 6/3 Wire Carry?

The 6 3 copper wire amp rating is typically 55 amps. But heat can also change the 6 3 wire amp rating, for there’s a relationship between temperature and the wire’s current carrying capacity.

For example, a 6 3 wire with ground might have a reduced amperage carrying capacity of 50 amps.

On the other hand, placing the wire in a 194-degree Fahrenheit environment may allow the cabling to carry up to 75 amps.

  6/3 AWG Copper Wire 6/3 AWG Aluminum Wire
60°C (140°F) 55 A 40 A
75°C (167°F) 65 A 50 A
90°C (194°F) 75 A 55 A

What Can You Use 6/3 Wire for?


A 6 3 wire is typically usable as a branch circuit. A general application of this particular wire would originate from the property’s electrical service panel, where power is spread to different connected devices in the area.

Some electricians may also use a 6 3 wire as an underground feeder. As it implies, the wire passes through a subterranean channel, allowing the electrical wiring of the property to remain as tidy as possible.

What Size Is the Ground in 6/3 Wire?

The ground wire for a 6 3 wire often has a 10 gauge rating.

Does a 6/3 Wire Need a Conduit Underground?

Check the rating of the 6 3 wire to see if it needs a subterranean conduit. If it has a direct burial rating, that cable should be okay without a conduit. Still, you need to check local codes to ensure that this setup doesn’t contradict regional laws. If you do choose to cover the cable, a 6/3 wire often fits a ¾ conduit.

Is a 60-amp Breaker Okay With a 6 3 Romex Amp Rating Wire?

Take note that a 6/3 Romex wire has an amperage rating of up to 55 amps. But you can still connect that wire to a 60-amp circuit breaker.

However, the 6/3 Romex cabling needs to have adequate protection surrounding it. Otherwise, it might contract damage, which may trip the breaker and bring harm to the surrounding electrical connections.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do Amps Carried In Wires Change With Distance?

The amperage rating shouldn’t change whether you’re using a long or short wire. However, it’s important to pay attention to the American Wire Gauge (AWG) rating and its cross area. Take note that a high cross-area or wire diameter often has a direct relationship with a wire’s capacity to carry electricity.

How Many Amps Is 6 AWG Wire Rated For?

According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), a wire with 6 AWG has a 65-amp rating. But you should also look at temperature readings within the area of application to calculate the correct amps for 6 gauge wire.

How Many Amps Can 6 Gauge Aluminum Wire Handle?

If the ambient temperature is at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, a 6-gauge aluminum wire can handle about 40 amps. Increasing the surrounding heat to about 167 degrees Fahrenheit also increases the amperage rating to approximately 50 amps.


Is Copper Or Aluminum Better For Wiring?

Keep in mind that cabling, such as 6/3 wires, can use aluminum or copper to help them handle currents. Copper is often a preferred choice among many electricians over aluminum.

Copper wiring often doesn’t expand much with heat. In theory, copper cabling should last longer than aluminum wires when exposed to high temperatures.

On the other hand, aluminum is usually a less expensive material than copper. Cabling manufacturers may choose to use aluminum in developing different wires to help them cut workmanship costs.


Now that you have reached the end of this post, you should know how many amps can a 6/3 wire carry. Remember, you can use a 60-amp breaker with this wire despite its 55-amp rating.

Still, you need to pay attention to other elements, such as the wire’s material and the ambient temperature. Taking these factors into account can help you verify the correct amperage rating of a 6 3 wire.

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