What Size Wire to Run 500 Feet?

If you’re looking to run 500 feet of wire, you’ll need to know what size to use. This guide will help you select the right size wire for your needs.

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Electrical Basics

Most houses are supplied with either 100-amp or 200-amp service. The main service panel is generally rated for 30, 50, or 60 amps. The wire size most commonly used for 500 feet is 4/0 for 100-amp service or 2/0 for 200-amp service.


In the U.S., the voltage used in most homes is 120 volts (V). This is also called “standard” or “nominal” voltage. The actual voltage delivered to your home may be slightly higher or lower than this, but it should be within 10% of 120 V. If it’s outside of this range, you may have a problem with your electrical system.

The electricity that powers your home is generated at a power plant, and then transmitted over high-voltage power lines to your neighborhood. From there, it goes through a transformer to lower the voltage to a level that’s safe for use in your home.


The amperage of a wire is the amount of current that it can carry. Current is measured in amps, and the ampacity of a wire is the amount of current that it can carry safely. The size of the wire will determine the ampacity. A larger wire can carry more current than a smaller wire.

The amperage of a circuit is determined by the wattage of the devices on the circuit and the voltage of the circuit. The wattage is the amount of power that the devices use, and the voltage is the pressure that pushes the current through the circuit. The amperage is limited by the capacity of the wires in the circuit. If too much current flows through a wire, it will overheat and could start a fire.

The National Electric Code (NEC) has requirements for wiring sizes to prevent fires.For example, a 120-volt circuits must use at least 14-gauge wire, and a 240-volt circuit must use at least 12-gauge wire.


The wattage of a device is a measurement of how much power it uses. This is important to know when choosing electrical wiring, as the wattage will determine the size of wire you need to use.

For example, a 100-watt light bulb will require a heavier gauge wire than a 10-watt night light. The table below shows approximate wattage ratings for common devices.

Ceiling fan75-225
Electronic game console150-300
Desktop computer50-250
Laptop computer25-100
Light bulb (incandescent)40-100
Light bulb (CFL or LED)5-15

Wire Size

Wire size is specified by the American Wire Gauge (AWG). Most electrical wire is AWG number 12 or 14. Telephone wire is usually AWG number 22. The table below can be used to determine the minimum wire size required to safely carry a certain amount of current over a given length of wire.

American Wire Gauge (AWG)

American Wire Gauge (AWG), also known as the Brown and Sharpe wire gauge, is a standardized wire gauge system used in the United States for the diameters of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting wire. The larger the AWG number or wire guage, the smaller the physical size of t

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) system is used in the United States to measure the diameter of nonferrous, electrically conducting wire. The larger the AWG number or wire gauge, the smaller the physical size of the wire. The smallest AWG size is 40 and the largest is 0000 (4/0).

British Standard Wire Gauge (SWG)

British Standard Wire Gauge is a set of wire sizes that were established by the British Board of Trade in 1864. The gauge system is used as a measure of how thick the wire is, either in terms of diameter or cross sectional area. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire. The metric equivalent is called the British Standard Gauge (BSG).

There are three common types of SWG gauges: AWG, SWG, and BWG. AWG is the American Wire Gauge and is used in America. SWG is the Standard Wire Gauge and is used in Britain. BWG is the Birmingham Wire Gauge and is used throughout most of Europe (except for Britain). In America, both AWG and SWG are written as #/#/# where # represents the gauge number. In Europe, BWG is written as mm²/m.

The table below shows the approximate physical diameter and cross sectional areas for different gauges of wires:

AWG Diameter (inches) Diameter (mm) Area (mm²)
30 0.023 0.5882 0.05 Object Storage – 20180712-13582472697941806222627874746944030514349129257148588639987263707269126355354279374999588796863697075313017505061903589381721944902185019039736564260933720364035740850593861784809274285079864628952842315728076511207091876345457667737912870741105689362191681321615623735112961094742122504130024300603597874866385118896089878134062110767604054314205409479294509930460924163082329771744318520685049083998363144690021802288576233282357788529746939888453 ities exist between roasts.

Determining the Correct Wire Size

The National Electrical Code (NEC) has a very specific way of determining the correct wire size to use for any given circuit. While this method may seem complicated, it’s actually quite simple once you understand the basic concepts. ampacity (the maximum amount of current that can flow through a conductor without damaging it) and voltage drop (the amount of voltage that is lost as current flows through a conductor).

There are three basic steps to determine the correct wire size for any circuit:

1. Find the amperage of the circuit. This can be done by looking at the nameplate on the device or devices that will be connected to the circuit. The amperage will be listed in amps or amps and volts.

2. Find the length of the circuit in feet. This can be done by measuring the distance from the breaker box to the furthest outlet or device on the circuit.

3. Use the NEC chart to determine the correct wire size for the amperage and length of your circuit.
(find chart online)

Other Factors to Consider

There are several other factors you’ll need to consider when deciding what size wire to run 500 feet. Amperage, voltage, and the type of wire all play a role in the decision. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Length of Run

When running a long length of wire, it’s important to consider the factors that will affect the voltage drop and the amperage rating. The following are a few things to keep in mind:
-The voltage drop should be less than 3% for most applications.
-The amperage rating of the wire should be greater than the calculated maximum expected current.
-The resistance of the wire should be taken into account when choosing the wire size.
-The length of the run should be taken into account when choosing the wire size. The longer the run, the larger the wire size should be.

Number of Conductors

The National Electrical Code (NEC) does not have a specific requirement regarding the maximum number of conductors that can be installed in a single raceway. However, the maximum number of conductor that can be installed in a raceway is based on the fill percentage requirements specified in NEC sections300.21 and 300.22. The following isbased on NEC section 310.15(B)(2)(a). Please note that the conductor sizes listed are the largest that can be used and still meet thefill percentage requirements based on the number of conductors being pulled.
– One 3/0 AWG conductor
– Two 1/0 AWG conductors
– Three 2 AWG conductors
– Four 3 AWG conductors
– Five 4 AWG conductors
– Six 5 AWG conductors
– Seven 6 AWG conductors


When running wire long distances, it’s important to account for potential heat buildup. The wire size and material you select should be able to dissipate the heat generated by the current flowing through the conductor. The environment (indoor, outdoor, buried) and amount of ventilation will also affect how quickly the heat dissipates. In general, it’s best to use the largest wire size that will fit your application and keep the runs as short as possible.


In conclusion, you will need to use either 8 AWG or 6 AWG copper wire to run 500 feet. This is based on the National Electric Code standards. If you have any other questions, be sure to consult a professional electrician.