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HomeTips & Guides6 Gauge Battery Cable – Features, Specifications and Ampacity

6 Gauge Battery Cable – Features, Specifications and Ampacity

About 6 Gauge Battery Cable: A wire gauge is vital to any electrical connection since it determines the resistance. For example, smaller than normal gauges can cause your equipment to burn wire, while a large gauge is unnecessary. 

One of the most common gauges for commercial and residential use is the 6-gauge wire. In today’s piece, we discuss all the information about the 6-gauge battery cable, including its specifications, features, and ampacity.

6 Gauge Wire Features and Specifications

Before discussing the features and specifications of 6 gauge wire, let’s first understand what wire gauge is. 

America Wire Gauge measures how much current can pass through a wire without overheating. Generally, it is the diameter of the wire, and the thicker the diameter, the better the wire gauge. 

However, it is vital to note that lower value gauges usually mean thicker diameter and better amperage. 

For instance, a 1 AWG wire is better than a 6 AWG wire, while 6 AWG is better than 8 AWG. 

With that said, you should always use the correct gauge wires to prevent overheating, melting, and eventual fires or device destruction.

Now that you know the American wire gauge, let’s discuss the 6 wire gauge specifications and features. 

First, when discussing the 6-gauge wire, we consider the copper wire construction. Given this consideration, expect this 6-gauge wire to have a 4.11mm diameter and 13.30 sq M cross-section area. 

However, other materials make 6 gauge wire. When you consider these other materials, a 6 gauge wire tends to be thicker in diameter than the above measurements. Below are some examples

The Aluminum 6 gauge wire

Aluminum 6 gauge wire is thicker than copper but also lighter despite its size. Aluminum has a higher electrical resistance than copper, which explains its thicker size when gauging.

Aluminum high-capacity wires

The Aluminum high-capacity wires

Copper clad aluminum

Here, the presence of both aluminum and copper in one wire ensures low resistance, hence better conductivity than pure aluminum. 

It is also thicker than a 6-gauge wire and lightweight, but its conductivity is still not as good as that of copper.

Stranded 6 gauge wire

As the name suggests, these refer to several wire strands instead of one thick copper wire. 

Expect them to be bigger in diameter than solid copper but are easier to handle during installation. 

Note that instead of copper, you may also get tinned stranded wires that are thicker than solid copper. 

Such wires find usage in marine and lighting due to their corrosion-resistant nature.

Copper wire strands

Copper wire strands

The Ampacity of 6 Guage Wire

Again, when you consider copper and the NEC chart, the ampacity of a 6 gauge wire is 55 amps. However, you must consider some factors, which we will discuss below:

Material and temperature

As I said above, the material determines the resistance of the 6 gauge wire. For instance, copper wire has lower resistance and better amperage than aluminum wire of the same gauge. Another factor that affects the ampacity is temperature. 

An increase in temperature reduces resistance, hence increasing the ampacity of a wire. Considering material and temperature, we can have the ampacity table below a 6 gauge wire.

Temperature Aluminum ampacity (amps)Copper ampacity (amps)
60 degrees Celcius4055
75 degrees Celcius5065
90 degree Celcius5575

80% NEC Rule

Another vital factor that affects ampacity is the 80 NEC rule, which applies to all wire gauges. The rule calls for loading a wire with not more than 80% of its rated capacity. 

For example, you can only load a 65 amp rated wire with 52 amps to prevent potential damage. The extra 20% allowance allows for overloads to prevent shortcircuits and other accidents. 

Wire length

Like material, temperature, and the NEC rule, the cable length also determines your 6 gauge wire ampacity to a great deal. 

For example, if you increase the length by 50 feet, the ampacity reduces by 10%. Therefore, if your wire length is beyond 100 feet, it is always advisable to go to the next wire gauge.

Breaker Size for 6 Gauge Wire

As you may know, the main work of a breaker is to protect the wire and your devices from overloads. 

For instance, when your current exceeds the wire’s handle, the breaker trips. Remember we said the 6 gauge wire can handle 55 amps currency when it’s copper. 

The breaker can theoretically handle up to 55 amps without reacting. However, in some cases, especially high temperatures, the 6 gauge wire can work well with up to 75 amp breakers. 

As mentioned earlier, other factors, such as material and distance, can also affect the breaker size

In addition, also consider the 80% NEC rule and other local electrical codes when determining the breaker size.

Connecting a circuit breaker

Connecting a circuit breaker

Common Uses of 6 Gauge Wires

Generally, 6 gauge wires are thick enough to endure high current applications. For this reason, expect to find them in hot tubs, dryers, ovens, and washers. 

You may also find them as battery cables, starter cables, and other car systems requiring vast currency. These wires are also used in residential and commercial applications, e.g., commercial dryers and washers.

 However, they are very expensive and thick, hence hard to route. In that case, you can find many appliances using gauge 8, 10, and 12 wires instead of 6 gauge ones.

Important Considerations to Keep in Mind While Handling 6 Gauge Wires

Like any wire gauge or appliance, I recommend considering the following precautions when using 6 gauge wire.


As you know insulation is very vital to prevent electrical shocks and short circuits. Like the wire, the insulation should be well-rated, quality, and good enough. Note these wires carry huge currents. Hence, poor insulation may result in overheating, melting, and eventual fires. 

Wire length

Remember we said that resistance increases with wire length. In addition, using large wires can cause voltage drops which in turn reduces the efficiency of your systems. As I said, if the length exceeds 100ft, consider the next bigger gauge, 4.

Use it with its rating.

We already said that you must use any wire with its ampacity rating. If you exceed this you may end up melting the insulator, causing fire. In addition to the rating, follow the NEC 80% rule to ensure safety and efficiency.


You can use the 6 gauge wire appropriately and safely. However, before purchasing, consider your usage requirement and the local rules associated with its application.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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