Answer: Which cables you need are based on – How long the cable needs to be and how many watts you’ll be running.
Cable Length: What is the Round-trip distance?
You’ll need to know what the distance is from the inverter to the battery and back again. If the cable from the inverter to the battery is 5 feet, then the round-trip distance is 10 feet (5 feet to the battery plus 5 feet back to the inverter).
How many watts are you running?
This is the BIG question! You may have a 10,000W Inverter, but only plan on using 8,000W max. If you never plan on using the 10,000W, you should size your cables for 8,000W.
How to Calculate the Cable Gauge
Take your round-trip cable length and find it on the left side of the chart. Next, locate the wattage you’ll be using on the top of the chart and find the point at which both lines intersect; that is the cable that you need for your application. (Click Chart to enlarge)
How to read the number
Now that you’ve located your cable number, what does it mean? If it is just a number by itself (6, 4, 2, 0, 00, 000, 0000, etc.), then it represents an American Wire Gauge (AWG) size. This is a standard electrical wire number read as “6 AWG”, "4 AWG", or “00 AWG” and is universally understood.
If the number ends with a “k” designation, it is short for “kcmil”. kcmil and MCM cable sizes are interchangeable numbers for large diameter wire/cables. MCM numbers are read as “350 MCM” or “500 MCM”.
Don't forget the fuse!
Take note: At the bottom of the chart is the recommended fuse for your inverter size. The fuse should be placed inline on the positive battery cable (+ or red colored cable) and within 1 foot (12 inches) from the battery.
We’re here to help!
For Live help, Call us M-F 9a-5p (PST) at 1.800.231.5806.
You can email us at Customerservice@wagan.com
Download a .pdf version of the chart: click here