The Importance of Choosing the Right 35 Amp Breaker Wire Size

35 amp breakers

Electrical wiring is an essential part of any construction project, big or small. Getting it right is essential to ensure safety, efficiency, and reliability. When it comes to breaker wire size, it's important to choose the correct wire size and breaker to match your electrical requirements. In this article, I'll be exploring everything you need to know about 35 amp breaker wire size, including wire selection, breaker selection, and installation.

Wire Size for a 35 Amp Breaker

Wire size is a critical factor when it comes to electrical wiring. Choosing the wrong wire size can result in dangerous electrical conditions and can cause the breaker to trip. When selecting wire size for a 35 amp breaker, the National Electric Code (NEC) requires a minimum wire size of #8 AWG (American Wire Gauge) copper wire.

A very popular 8 gauge wire on amazon is the InstallGear 8 Gauge Wire (50ft) Copper Clad Aluminum CAA - Primary Automotive Wire.

Circuit Breaker Selection

Circuit breakers are an essential component of electrical safety, serving to protect against overloading and short-circuits. When selecting a breaker for your 35 amp circuit, it's important to choose a breaker with a rating equal to or greater than the ampacity of the wire. A 35 amp breaker is the appropriate size for a 35 amp circuit, and a 40 amp breaker is the appropriate size for a 40 amp circuit.

Recommended Breaker Types

When it comes to breaker selection, there are several types to choose from, including standard circuit breakers, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) breakers, and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breakers. Standard circuit breakers are suitable for most residential and light commercial applications. GFCI breakers provide additional protection against ground faults and are required in wet locations such as bathrooms and kitchens. AFCI breakers provide protection against arc faults and are required in all new construction projects.

Installation of 35 Amp Breaker

Installing a 35 amp breaker requires a basic understanding of electrical wiring and the tools and materials needed for the job. Before beginning, it's important to shut off power to the circuit and verify that it is off with a voltage tester. The following steps outline the installation process:

  1. Remove the cover plate from the breaker panel.
  2. Locate the vacant breaker space in the panel.
  3. Install the breaker into the vacant space, ensuring that the breaker's electrical connections are properly tightened.
  4. Attach the circuit wires to the breaker, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Replace the cover plate and restore power to the circuit.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before beginning the installation of your 35 amp breaker, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. These include:

Safety Considerations

When working with electrical wiring, safety is of the utmost importance. Before beginning any electrical project, it's important to familiarize yourself with the safety precautions and requirements. The following are some important safety considerations to keep in mind:

  • Always turn off power to the circuit before beginning work.
  • Use a voltage tester to verify that power has been shut off.
  • Wear protective gear such as rubber gloves and safety glasses.
  • Follow all manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.
  • Never touch electrical wiring with wet hands.
  • Call a licensed electrician if you're not comfortable with the installation process.

What to Avoid When Installing a 35 Amp Breaker

To ensure a successful installation and to prevent any electrical hazards, it's important to avoid certain mistakes when installing a 35 amp breaker. Some of the most common mistakes to avoid include:

  • Using a wire size that is too small for the breaker.
  • Installing a breaker with a lower rating than the wire size.
  • Not verifying that power has been shut off before beginning work.
  • Not following the manufacturer's instructions for wiring connections.
  • Not tightening electrical connections properly.
  • Not wearing protective gear when working with electrical wiring.

Factors to Consider When Using a 8 Gauge Wire Size for a 35 Amp Breaker

When installing an electrical circuit with a 35 amp breaker, choosing the appropriate wire size is critical. A 8 gauge wire is a common choice for a 35 amp breaker, but there are several factors to consider before making your decision. These factors include:

Circuit Length

The length of the circuit is a critical factor to consider when determining the appropriate wire size. The longer the circuit, the more voltage drop will occur, which can reduce the efficiency of the circuit. A 8 gauge wire is suitable for a 35 amp breaker up to a maximum of 50 feet.

Load on the Circuit

The load on the circuit is another important factor to consider when choosing a wire size. The total load on the circuit is determined by the sum of the power requirements of all the electrical devices connected to it. The wire size must be adequate to handle the total load of the circuit. A 8 gauge wire can handle a maximum load of 40 amps, which makes it suitable for a 35 amp breaker.

Voltage Drop

Voltage drop refers to the reduction in voltage that occurs as electrical current travels through a wire. This can impact the performance of electrical devices connected to the circuit. A 8 gauge wire has a voltage drop of 3% at 35 amps, which is considered to be an acceptable level for most electrical devices.

Ambient Temperature

The ambient temperature, or the temperature of the environment surrounding the circuit, can also impact the appropriate wire size. In high-temperature environments, a larger wire size may be necessary to ensure that the wire does not overheat and cause a fire hazard.

Future Upgrades

It's also important to consider any future upgrades that may be made to the circuit. Will additional electrical devices be added to the circuit? Will the load on the circuit increase? If so, it's recommended to choose a wire size that can accommodate these future upgrades.


Stay updated with our newsletter


Choosing the correct wire size and breaker is essential for a safe and efficient electrical system. A 35 amp breaker requires a minimum wire size of #8 AWG copper wire and a breaker with a rating equal to or greater than the ampacity of the wire. It's important to follow manufacturer's instructions, use the appropriate tools and materials, and be aware of safety precautions when installing a 35 amp breaker. If you're not comfortable with the installation process, always call a licensed electrician. Get started on your electrical project today and make sure your 35 amp breaker wire size is up to code!

About Author:

image of Kevin Pommells

Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

Follow Me @ Twitter | Facebook |

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.