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Old 02-07-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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wire size/fuse size for your junk

this is started from this post/thread in the new product forum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavitron View Post
for the sake of argument, lets say I am using "an ideal" power conductor, since even OOOO isn't rated for more than 380A as chassis wiring... This ideal conductor runs from a car battery, to a circuit protector, then an "ideal" distance to an 8000 lb winch, then back to the battery. What should the circuit protector be rated at?

All I want is that if some hosebag uses my front-end as a deceleration device, and severs the winch power wires, that I don't start welding his frame until the battery/wires burst into flames. If the winch is rated at factory to draw ~430A at max load, why would I want a fuse rated for 250A?
https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21103

so lets begin I am not getting overkill on this topic as it varies a LOT but we will cover the basics.
First is figuring amps, you will need this to figure fusing unless the maker of the product has let you know before hand.
The conversion of Watts to Amps is: Amps = Watts divided by Volts

For example 120 watts/12 volts = 10 amp

This is at max efficiency so to protect a 120w item you should match or slightly less amp the fuse. in this case a 10 or 5 amp. But you need to run the right size wire or else the wire will be the "fuse" and this causes all sorts of issues unless you like re-wiring shit.
You want the fuse to go first, not the wiring.

wires are measured in gauge of the actual wire and as you get a higher number the diameter of the wire gets smaller. lower number=bigger=more amps.

so now you have to figure what wire size to run..but wait 12vdc has a little problem:
Voltage drop the longer you run wires.

now the total length is a "round trip", in other words from battery - to item - back to battery along ground/chassis ground.
so for any time you go over 10 feet total I would up a gauge for anything that is voltage sensitive like electronics or that can use the power like a winch.

ok that is covered, now for wire size choosing.
Each company has rating for its own wire and no one elses. For EXACT max rating of the wire you need to see the data sheet ON that wire. Boat/marine have stricter guidelines on wire than SAE/automotive so using their guidelines will cover your ass. but here is a chart for a rough go-by
(wait while I type new post)

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Old 02-07-2010, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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but you can ALWAYS go overkill on the wire, you can ALWAYS use larger than what you need or rated.
This allows you to correctly fuse your item.

But you need to know what the max amp of your wire and the max amp of your item is before you can fuse it. so to answer the question:
Quote:
for the sake of argument, lets say I am using "an ideal" power conductor, since even OOOO isn't rated for more than 380A as chassis wiring... This ideal conductor runs from a car battery, to a circuit protector, then an "ideal" distance to an 8000 lb winch, then back to the battery. What should the circuit protector be rated at?

All I want is that if some hosebag uses my front-end as a deceleration device, and severs the winch power wires, that I don't start welding his frame until the battery/wires burst into flames. If the winch is rated at factory to draw ~430A at max load, why would I want a fuse rated for 250A?
first, there is no "ideal" conductor. even in a hypothetical question. every wire has a max rating. but that max rating is CONTINUOUS load not MAX load.

So you need to fuse for your WIRE not the item you are fusing. Who cares what the "max amp draw" is of a winch? if you are only running 8ga wire @ 10' to it then you need to fuse that WIRE at 150a or less (I would highly recommend a little less)

What would you rather happen, the wire catch fire or a fuse blow?
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:31 PM
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Not sure what the semi-rant is about?

Yes you are fusing the wiring, correct. I don't think I have any wire hanging around that'll handle 570a if i shorted it to ground.

Whats this thread about, just general information on fusing things? You are correct in thinking most don't fuse their circuits thinking in that manner, that is true. More times than not the wire is the size needed to handle the load, so it is fused for the load....and life is good.

As far as the winches go, without a doubt the fuse should have nothing to do with the winch. 2000lb, 10,000lb, etc. It should be fuse as close to the battery and as high as that wire will want to handle. Get in an accident and that 8ga wire can get hot REAL fast. (i prefer circuit breakers though, if i were to overload the breaker...at least it would reset itself and i wasn't scrambling for a fuse)

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Old 02-07-2010, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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This post did not move right:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot Wright View Post
you need to size to the capacity of the wire. If the winch is using 2ga wire. The listed ampacity is 180A. Then your fuse should be 125% of this or 225A
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
Not sure what the semi-rant is about?

Yes you are fusing the wiring, correct. I don't think I have any wire hanging around that'll handle 570a if i shorted it to ground.

Whats this thread about, just general information on fusing things? You are correct in thinking most don't fuse their circuits thinking in that manner, that is true. More times than not the wire is the size needed to handle the load, so it is fused for the load....and life is good.
rant ? lost me there.

Yes this thread is a spinoff OUT of the product forum on fusing stuff right. The vendor is offering it with a 500A fuse and well... sorry but the wiring will catch fire before that fuse trips.

Its to list information and answer questions for people on wiring/fusing.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:59 PM
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gotcha, just needed some clarification on what this thread was aimed towards. I agree, 500a is useless. wire will be cherry red before it hits that high if it got pinched.

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
gotcha, just needed some clarification on what this thread was aimed towards. I agree, 500a is useless. wire will be cherry red before it hits that high if it got pinched.
Fair enough, but here's why I stirred up the hornet's nest in the first place;

My winch claims to draw 435A at maximum Line pull. (ref) Warn provides a 2ga battery run, which according to this chart is good for ~180A continuous draw. Maybe they are considering duty cycle as part of this, I don't know.

Now if I put a resettable circuit breaker or fuse between the battery and this winch, I need to rate the fuse/CB to the WIRE. So I buy a 225A fuse, and install it. Good to go, according to you and doc.

The problem I see is, the winch claims to draw 280A at half-capacity. So I get stuck, start winching, and I pop the fuse before I hit the third layer? so much for that 8000lb winch, now it's an overpriced 3000lb. And if I used a fuse instead of a breaker, I'd better hope I brought spares.

Does this explain my question a bit better? Maybe I'm thick, but I don't see the answer here yet.

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavitron View Post
Fair enough, but here's why I stirred up the hornet's nest in the first place;

My winch claims to draw 435A at maximum Line pull. (ref) Warn provides a 2ga battery run, which according to this chart is good for ~180A continuous draw. Maybe they are considering duty cycle as part of this, I don't know.

Now if I put a resettable circuit breaker or fuse between the battery and this winch, I need to rate the fuse/CB to the WIRE. So I buy a 225A fuse, and install it. Good to go, according to you and doc.

The problem I see is, the winch claims to draw 280A at half-capacity. So I get stuck, start winching, and I pop the fuse before I hit the third layer? so much for that 8000lb winch, now it's an overpriced 3000lb. And if I used a fuse instead of a breaker, I'd better hope I brought spares.

Does this explain my question a bit better? Maybe I'm thick, but I don't see the answer here yet.
then the answer is larger gauge wire to power the winch. You have to protect the wire. It has proven time and time again to be the failure point.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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this chart did not post so here it is again
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knot Wright View Post
then the answer is larger gauge wire to power the winch. You have to protect the wire. It has proven time and time again to be the failure point.
yup, that and WHOSE wire is it?
Luckily all of mine is either welding lead or marine cable so it is very easy for me to get the exact max load.

The "other" option is a fusable link, but I have no clue on how to set those up or run them so I will stick with regular fuses
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavitron View Post

My winch claims to draw 435A at maximum Line pull. (ref) Warn provides a 2ga battery run, which according to this chart is good for ~180A continuous draw. Maybe they are considering duty cycle as part of this, I don't know.
Yes, they do consider duty cycle. Current carrying capacity for a wire is based on how much the wire will heat up at a given current. Or, more specifically, how much heat a wire can dissipate. The goal is to prevent thermal runaway on the conductor which means the conductor is generating more heat than it can dissipate.

At 180 amps, a 2 gauge wire generates around 5 watts per foot. It will get warm, but it will reach a point of equalibrium there the temperature will stabilize and the wire will dissipate as much heat as is generated.

At 500 amps, that same wire generates 39 watts of heat per foot. The wire can easily pass this current = for a while. But, it will eventually heat up to where it burns up the insulation, then maybe, even the copper itself.

Here's where duty cycle comes into play. Warn doesn't list duty cycle for truck winches, but they do for the industrial winches. I picked a 12VDC 12000 lb winch for an example.The duty cycle at no load was 3.1 minutes out of every 10 minutes, or 31%. At that load, it is rated at 107 amps.

What we're going to do now is to calculate the ECTC or Equalivalent Continuous Thermal Current. Take that 107 amps and multiply it by the 31% duty cycle to get an ECTC of about 33 amps. That is saying if you free spool this winch for 3.1 minutes out of every 10 minutes, it will have the average heating effect on the power leads the same as running 33 amps through them continuously. At 33 amps ECTC, this will generate about 0.2 watts per foot of wire average.

At maximum load, this winch draws 481 amps with a duty cycle of 5%.(one half minute operation out of every 10 minutes). 481 x 0.05 = for an ECTC of about 24 amps.

Now it seems like we should be able to have a higher duty cycle than that because the ECTC values are so low. You have to remember, these values are averaged over 10 minutes. In the latter case, that is 30 seconds of heating and 570 seconds of cooling, so the temperature will rise faster in the second example than it would in the first example because of higher peak currents.so the ECTC is derated to allow for that. It isn't just the cables heating up, it's also the winch motor.

Fuses also operate under the same ECTC theory as motors and wire. However, since they have less thermal mass, and are designed to control overcurret situations, their allowable duty cycle time periods are much shorter. It also varies by fuse type and purpose. Some fuses blow as soon as they see hardly any overcurrent at all, and some will allow overcurrent for a longer period. The fuse manufacturers publish charts of each fuse's current vs. time rating.

In a nutshell, that's why fuses can be rated lower than the peak ratings on a load device, in this case, a winch.

The above caculations have some bearing in the real world, but are very simplistic. Because winch load is often prolonged and widely varied in respect to load current, the best test is to see if things are overheating.

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:33 AM
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I'll just chime in with a few thoughts here...

Generally it seems all winch manufacturers are using #2 wire. Sure, the wire is woefully undersized for continuous use at 400A, but I think manufacturers are counting on the fact that it won't be used for more than a few minutes at a time. In fact, don't they also warn about overheating the winch? When you're pulling 400A, you can expect the winch motor, solenoids, AND wire to get very hot (not to mention the battery may not last very long anyway). You could probably upgrade the wire, but that'll still leave the solenoids and motor as limitations to prolonged use.

The idea of fusing the winch is in case of a short on that #2 wire. You want the fuse to blow before the #2 wire catches fire. You also want the fuse to last long enough for a long pull.

So perhaps the way to look at this should be:

- How many amps will the battery supply in case of a short on a #2 wire?

- How long can that (potentially damaged) #2 wire hold out with that current before catching fire?

- What size fuse would blow before the #2 wire catches fire?

Then as a second exercise, you could look at it from the other side:

- How many amps will you winch draw when almost stalled?

- How long can you run the winch before it gets too hot?

- What size fuse would you need to hold out longer than the winch at the determined current?

These two fuse limits would be your high and low watermarks -- pick a fuse rating between these two. :-)

Personally, I've been running a 250A fuse on my Warn 9.5si winch for a while now, and have winched some long and difficult runs. I've never blown a fuse yet, but I also have a spare, just in case. And lets not forget, you can always bypass that fuse easily by mounting both wires onto the same stud.

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Old 02-08-2010, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmoriss View Post
And lets not forget, you can always bypass that fuse easily by mounting both wires onto the same stud.

js.
exactly. I carry a 500A ANL fuse as a "emergency backup" as well.

I am running 2/0 welding lead from the rear batteries to the front. My main concern is these becoming shorted as that is a BIG fucking wire. I am running a 350a ANL fuse because this is just below the thermal failure of the 2/0 wire.
It will easily handle any max load but will blow if something goes horribly bad.

Now here is a different example of over current/fusing for products:
I have a 1800W power inverter, it should max draw 150A in a perfect world. So I fused it with a 150A "car stereo MAXI fuse" as I had some laying around. it was ran with 2ga wire.
It would blow the 150A fuse all day long and when under any heavy load (microwave) it would blow a 200A fuse just as quick.
These cheap fuses could not handle any surge of amps even though fuses can handle HIGHER than what the rating is (more on this in a bit)
But as soon as I put a quality bussmann 135A circuit breaker it had no problems handling the amp surge.

Now as mentioned before what TYPE and brand of fuse will dictate when it blows. The amperage at which fuses actually blow, and circuit breakers actually trip, is considerably higher than their nominal ratings. SEA, Maxi, ATO and AGC fuses, and most circuit breakers, blow or trip at about 130% of their rating. ANL fuses blow from 140% to as high as 266% of their rating.

You NEED to take this into account when fusing a high amp system.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:57 AM
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See initially, I thought I could find something like this and use it to both protect from a dead short, as well as a master-kill switch for the winch. The whole discussion of fuse ratings was an attempt to determine what rating of circuit breaker to get, that I wouldn't be resetting it every time I winch.

After this discussion, I think I will wind up just using a 500A battery disconnect switch instead. The version of the linked breakers that I have access to are of the cheap import variety, and probably will behave like those cheap fuses you tried on your inverter. The battery disco would be of the same provenance, but at least it'll stay on when I need it to.

for the patience everyone.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavitron View Post
After this discussion, I think I will wind up just using a 500A battery disconnect switch instead. The version of the linked breakers that I have access to are of the cheap import variety, and probably will behave like those cheap fuses you tried on your inverter. The battery disco would be of the same provenance, but at least it'll stay on when I need it to.

for the patience everyone.
go bigger/better trust me, you will HATE that disconnect. Look on ebay or your local boat shop for a marine disconnect switch. You will never kill them and they don't corrode/suck
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:00 PM
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Buy a spare contactor or 2 for your winch and use that as a disconnect relay. It is made to handle the current and you'll have a spare if the one in your winch goes bad. They're relatively cheap too.

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Old 02-08-2010, 03:35 PM
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that Hella keyed battery switch sux

find one on www.bluesea.com
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:04 PM
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go bigger/better trust me, you will HATE that disconnect. Look on ebay or your local boat shop for a marine disconnect switch. You will never kill them and they don't corrode/suck
I figured there was so much plastic on that one, the only thing that could corrode is the terminals! Not like the defalt cole hersee:


what is a "good" one? This kind?
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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what is a "good" one? This kind?
yes, those are good and small. Most any marine switch will work good and you can get stupid high on the amp ratings
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:34 AM
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I think you guys are way over thinking this project. Voltage drop? Just how far are you planning to run this wire. Wire overheating? Thiss all sounds like silly nonsense!. The fuse will protect that. I have never hooked up a winch. But every piece of eq I have came with a load rating. And that is all you need to find your wire and fuse size. After that you are protected from any and all faults.

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Old 02-09-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I think you guys are way over thinking this project. Voltage drop? Just how far are you planning to run this wire. Wire overheating? Thiss all sounds like silly nonsense!. The fuse will protect that. I have never hooked up a winch. But every piece of eq I have came with a load rating. And that is all you need to find your wire and fuse size. After that you are protected from any and all faults.
umm no you are UNDER thinking the safety of your vehicle and the electronics you have attached to it.

Voltage drop:
Do you personally know what the voltage of your vehicle is when running?
12v? Most people would assume that, right? What about when not running? 12v again?

wrong

Try around 14V running and from above 12v and dropping when not.

So lets take a COMMON voltage sensitive item a good chunk of people will install on their JK. A DC to 110 AC inverter
Where you going to mount it? In the back right? Thats 20 feet round trip for circuit. (the circuit is measure From the battery to the item and BACK to the battery including any switching/relays) so if you are using the stated required wire that the inverter says you will be losing 3-10% for every 10 feet of circuit DC, so 6-20% for a rear mounted inverter. so .72 to 2.4 volts lost. (someone correct me if i am wrong)
most inverters SHUT OFF at a low volt of 10-11 so your inverter has already been pretty much shut down by doing nothing but turning it on, maybe even with the engine running.

Audio amps, same deal.

High end CB and HAM radios, same deal.

"real" GPS systems, same deal.

This is why I hate buying used vehicles, because someone who "good enough"s it with lamp cord, crimp taps and wrong fuses.
That is also why boat/marine wiring guides list correct gauge change for voltage sensitive gear and what gauge to go up to by how many feet.

Rate the wire to the needs of the item, rate the fuse to the needs of the wire.

And yes, wire over heats. Its a resistor (hence the voltage drop) and depending on the quality of insulation dictates how hot it can safely get. Then you add engine heat on top of that and you are assisting a thermal failure.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK-Ford View Post
I think you guys are way over thinking this project. Voltage drop? Just how far are you planning to run this wire. Wire overheating? Thiss all sounds like silly nonsense!. The fuse will protect that. I have never hooked up a winch. But every piece of eq I have came with a load rating. And that is all you need to find your wire and fuse size. After that you are protected from any and all faults.
wow

are chafe faults protected?
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by usmcdoc14 View Post
yes, those are good and small. Most any marine switch will work good and you can get stupid high on the amp ratings
Just to play devil's advocate, the "bad" one I linked is also sold through marine shops.
http://www.moellermarine.com/afterma...t/accessories/ and http://www.inlinefilters.co.uk/index...ducts_id=14489

The second is rated 200A continuous, 1000A surge @ 12v...


Edit: I really like this one though:

Info

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Old 02-09-2010, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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and that one would also be retardedly simple to run a pull/kill cable to as well.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
umm no you are UNDER thinking the safety of your vehicle and the electronics you have attached to it.
Umm no. I did say to yous the proper wire and fuse size according to the manufactures specifications.

Quote:
Voltage drop:
Do you personally know what the voltage of your vehicle is when running?
12v? Most people would assume that, right? What about when not running? 12v again?

wrong

Try around 14V running and from above 12v and dropping when not.
Yes I DO. And no I do not take it personal.
And umm, do you know that as voltage goes up, amperage goes down. Witch further negates voltage drop due to wire resistance and wire overheating.

Quote:
This is why I hate buying used vehicles, because someone who "good enough"s it with lamp cord, crimp taps and wrong fuses.
That is also why boat/marine wiring guides list correct gauge change for voltage sensitive gear and what gauge to go up to by how many feet.

Rate the wire to the needs of the item, rate the fuse to the needs of the wire.
Quote:
wrong


Rate the fuse to the demands of the equipment ( this protects your eq. ). Rate the wire so that it does not become the fuse ( this protects your jeep ). These are the recomendations of a MASTER electrician w/25yrs experience and the National Electrical Code.

Quote:
wow

are chafe faults protected?
Yes. As previously stated. Proper wire and fuse size protects you from any and all faults

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