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Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

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  • Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

    I'm sure most of us have seen charts showing what wire gauge extension cord we need to used based on load and length for the extension cord. What they normally don't take into account is the distance and wire used from the source of power (load center) to the receptacle that the extension cord is plugged into. They also assume 120 VAC at the receptacle.

    Have any of you ever had problems where under load the Voltage at the receptacle is below 110 Volts and at the connector end of your extension cord is so low that a motor won't start or is sluggish?

    How about this one? You are running en engine-generator to make power and it's setup wrong. At the receptacle you either have too high (say 130 plus Volts) or too low (under 110 Volts) when you want around 120.

    My point is not to assume things are right. Having a good 0-150 AC Volt meter around is a great investment. At the source it's good to have either two of them with one collected to L1 & N and the other to L2 & N or maybe just one connected to L1 & L2 but be sure to use a 0-300 AC Volt meter in that case.

    Please tell about your Voltage problems that you've had to deal with one way or another.

  • #2
    Re: Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

    Here is a good site to give you an idea of what the voltage drop will be on a givin wire or help you determine what wire size you need if you know the length and current draw. It uses stranded wire but has the formula to us with solid if you look up the circular mils

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    • #3
      Re: Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

      Wayne

      Thanks for the link. Useful info there.

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      • #4
        Re: Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

        What about the rest of you? Hasen't anyone ever had a problem with Voltage drop because of long wire runs? You must figure in ALL of the wire and not just the extension cord(s). Check the Voltage under load at the load. Also check it at the source.

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        • #5
          Re: Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

          No, I always use a heavier cord than necessary to be on the safe side...

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          • #6
            Re: Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

            Good idea Newman. I was trying to get people to wake up to the problem of long wiring runs to a receptacle.

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            • #7
              Re: Voltage Drop - Extension Cords - More

              Originally posted by Newman View Post
              No, I always use a heavier cord than necessary to be on the safe side...

              Isn't the same true for using too heavy of a wire???

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