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Tech Article: Running Power Wire


Determining the length of your power wire can get tricky but if you have the right wire size and battery placement you’ll get your marine stereo properly wired. Power wires run your amp and battery, so it’s important that you have the right sized power wire to effectively power your battery/amp to give your marine sound system the perfect amount of power that it needs. The average amp power wires are between 3-7 gauge sizes. Typically 7-gauge power wires are designed to fit for amplifiers that are powered at 800 watts or more and 3-gauge power wires can power amps that range from 500-2000 watts of power. Whatever you do, don’t try to run your marine speaker wire as a substitute for the power wire to your amplifier or battery because that can cause a huge fire hazard or even an explosion!

When you get your power wire setup it is important to keep amplifier or battery placement in mind. Make sure your wires are not placed near the bilge part of your boat or near the engine spaces because those two areas are unsupported and near water or oil. If your wires are not water/oil-resistant it could cause a hazard aboard your boat. Take some rope or string, and determine the shortest path to run, without exposing the wire. You want to keep that wire enclosed within the hull of the boat.

Similar to the wires, your marine batteries should be placed in a safe location away from areas that are not protected from water or oil leakage. Most boats have a battery compartment where you can safely secure your battery from being tossed around. The straps will also keep your battery secure as well but it’s better to place them in some type of compartment so that they are immovable while you’re out at sea. Make sure that your marine battery is attached with strong straps to keep them secure. Having them strapped up and kept away in a compartment is the safest step you can take for your battery safety. This goes without saying but make sure your battery is a MARINE battery, not a CAR battery. Some boat owners have made the mistake of using a car battery for their boat; but car batteries cannot withstand the heavy vibrations, and wave pounding that the marine environment will give you.