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Old 10-17-2018, 07:54 AM   #1
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Understanding DC Circuits

So, Iím nearly done with the ceiling and want to know if I need to run more 12v wires!

I ran 14/2 wire for specific devices back to the fuse panel. These devices include usb charging stations for bed locations, personal fans for bed locations, personal lights for each bed location, as well as a couple lights for the bathroom and hallway. IMG_5062.PNG

My question is, can a single 14/2 run that is for a single LED light something I can split to another lighting zone? It seems that these led lights are incredibly low power. Each 12v circuit is rated for 30 amps. If I wanted to take a 14/2 that is currently going to a single light, could another 14/2 be spliced in and ran to a switch for several puck lights in a hallway? If so, Iím ready to close things up. If not, more wires to run
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:59 AM   #2
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I used this chart to figure out wire gauge for my 12 volt system. I tried to run with only a 3% drop. I used stranded wire for my 12 volt system so I could tap off the wire at any given point.DC_wire_selection_chartlg.jpeg
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:00 AM   #3
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But to answer your question, just look at the wattage of your led, converter it to amps, and look at the chart. That will tell you if your wire is thick enough
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:40 AM   #4
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The chart that Ninjakitty posted is helpful. I found this site to be even more helpful, as it basically figures it all out for you: Circuit Wizard - Blue Sea Systems

Just input the voltage (12v, 24v, etc - whatever you're using), the load in amps (max that you want able to go down the wire), length (to and from the load, so - total circuit). The allowable voltage drop should be 3% for critical loads (inverter, etc) and 10% for non-critical loads (lighting, fans, etc). Punch in the duration of time you expect to use it in one go (for example, lights might be on for 4 hours, a fan might be on for 8 hours, etc). Then click Calculate.

It'll tell you what gauge wire to use and the maximum capacity of the wire. As long as you stay within this guideline, you can run whatever you want. And, remember - you can always go with bigger wire, but you never want to go smaller.

Hope that helps! I learned most of that from this site, which may or may not be helpful: faroutride.com/electrical-system
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:21 PM   #5
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Don't connect 14/2 to a 30 amp rated breaker. Replace for a 15 amp breaker.
Or if you wish, 10/2 for your dc circuit from that 30 amp breaker and reduce where necessary.

How will you make the joints for the different areas? Find somebody good at that part if you are not.
When using back and white as in 14/2 white is the ground, and not connected in anyway to the neutral bar in the panel.
You may know this so disregard if not of help in your situation.


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Old 10-17-2018, 01:55 PM   #6
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Did you use Romex for your 12 volt wires?
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:31 PM   #7
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Blue Sea Circuit Wizard app
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:17 AM   #8
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That last link looks to be a great resource! Thx!!

From calculating the loads on that site, it says 18awg would have been sufficient for LED lighting so the 14 I ran will be more than enough.

I used 14/2 and 14/4 stranded speaker site for the really low voltage devices and the more expensive marine Romex for the AC and larger DC loads.
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