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Is 500 MCM Welding Cable The Biggest Gauge Size?

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Yes welding cable is manufactured in gauge sizes that range from 6 AWG to 500 MCM. Manufacturers might make something larger but it would have to be engineered and there would be a very large minimum order of at least 10,000 feet. Otherwise, in order to get a electric wire you will have to use a similar type of single conductor electrical cable.

USE-2 solar panel cable is very similar but with additional benefits. It will cost slightly more but there are more approvals and it can be used as an underground cable without the use of conduit. USE-2 cable is also UL, CSA and MSHA approved while standard welding cable is not. Solar panel cable has a standard size of 1000 MCM which is the largest size of standard electrical cable in general. Even THHN wire which is completely different than welding cable only reaches 1000 MCM in size.

One of the main specifications users look for in welding cable is the flexibility. It has thin copper strands manufactured for flexibility and a rubber EPDM jacket that is also engineered to be flexible. Solar wire is made with tinned copper strands that aren’t quite as flexible because welding cable is used on a daily basis and it’s beneficial to have a cable that can work its way around corners without a problem. It also gets coiled and uncoiled often similar to an extension cord used by home owners.

The options start to get slim as you’re looking for a cable this large because it’s not often that someone needs to constantly use a 1000 MCM cable in order to make one that’s flexible. Normally installations with an electrical cable of that size will have it in conduit, underground or running from the telephone pole to your homes electrical box. A 500 MCM copper cable weighs 2 pounds per foot or 200 pounds for 100 feet.

In cases where an application needs more power than a 500 MCM welding cable can handle an electrician would switch to a multi conductor control cable such as Type W portable power cord. Type W has similar flexibility and insulation with multiple wires inside the same jacket.

You will have to speak to an electrician about the calculation but it might be the best avenue for someone to take that needs more power. You wire and cable supplier can help make sure you have a cable with the environmental protection needed for the application it will be in.

WesBell Electronics is a distributor of welding cable, portable cord, electrical wire and hook up wire. Please let us know if you have any questions about your 500 MCM Welding Cable or any other type of wire and cable you’re installing. We offer Free Shipping on orders over $250 on our website and we cut most of our cables to any length you need.

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