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Old August 14, 2010, 11:12 AM
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Default Extension cable power requirements: What is safe?

My folding rigs keep tripping a breaker and I have found an outlet that I can use to break up the power draw. **Braineater was helping me (thanks!) but he had to leave for a wedding before all my questions could be answered.

Here are my requirements:

- 50ft seems ideal. 25ft is def not long enough.
- Two folding rigs on the one cable (possibly). Each one draws ~450-500w while folding. So this would be fairly continuous use at ~1000w. I don't plan on putting both rigs right away, but I may have to.
- 15amp, 120v service.

I was looking at a 12ga, 'contractor' cord like this one:
Contractor Grade Power Block Cord 12/3 | Canadian Tire

But $75 is expensive for a cable. Would 14ga be enough for what I want to do?
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:19 AM
shaw
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You are using ~8.5A on that circuit (1000W / 120V). Household wiring for a 15A circuit is minimum 14AWG.
You could go smaller, but with the 50' run, I'd stick to 12AWG.

Last edited by shaw; August 14, 2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:21 AM
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OK thanks. Brains said it was enough, but I did not get to mention to him the wattage I was going to use or length, and my physics is no good.
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:27 AM
shaw
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Better check out my reply, I made a typo... I'd stick to 12AWG.

Much cheaper here: For only $22.60 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 12AWG Power Extension Cord Cable - SJTW 12/3C NEMA 5-15P TO NEMA 5-15R (15A/125V) AP305+SP506 - 50FT | Power Extensions
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Old August 14, 2010, 11:52 AM
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You can also go buy it by the foot at alot of places and just buy ends. That way you have the right length.
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Old August 14, 2010, 12:05 PM
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14AWG cables can carry up to 15A of current, so that will be fine for your needs.
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Old August 14, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero82z View Post
14AWG cables can carry up to 15A of current, so that will be fine for your needs.
Zero is correct, there is no need to go to 12awg. 12awg is for 20A loads. Length doesnt matter except for voltage drop, but on the distance you're running, you dont need to worry about a voltage drop. Just be careful, most of the cheap extension cords use 16AWG or in some cases 18awg.
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Old August 14, 2010, 01:09 PM
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I picked up the 14ga cable. Cost me $50 at Princess Auto. I have never seen such wide-spread poor parking in one lot in my life.

Right now I am trying just one rig (600w) on the cord to see if that will do. Sending 1000w+ continuously does not sound ideal to me. The cable I bought says it is rated for 15amp, and 1850w. Looks like I have approx 10ft of extra cable to play with.
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Old August 14, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Bah, you'll know if you're pushing a cord because it'll get warm. The cord you got will be fine for running both machines with absolutely no worries.
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Old August 14, 2010, 01:42 PM
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Ugh. Missus absolutely hates the power cord running along the hallway, and it only solves the problem partially. I'll have to think of something else maybe.
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