Home Improvement

What does gauge mean on extension cords?

American wire gaugea standardized wire gauge system for measuring electrical wire. A lower AWG number indicates a thicker wire and a higher capacity. The lower the number, the higher the cord’s capacity to deliver power.

Which is better 12 or 14 gauge extension cord?

For 100 feet, the 14 gauge cord works for 11-13 Amps, while the 12 gauge cord is best suited for 14-15 amps. If your cord is 150 feet long, the 14 gauge is best suited for 1-7 Amps, whereas the 12 gauge will support 8-10 Amps. This shows that the extension cord’s length also plays a part in the power it helps safely.

Which is better 14 or 16 gauge extension cord?

Within 50 feet of your outlet, use a 16-gauge light-duty cord for blowers. For a higher Amp or a greater distance from the outlet, go with a 14-gauge medium-duty cord. Look for a “W” on the jacket if the cord is rated for outdoor use.

Which is better 10 gauge or 12 gauge extension cord?

Round down = 10 Gauge. Most devices will do fine with 12 gauge extension cords. Power hungry devices such as lawnmowers, heavy machines, require a lower gauge such as 10AWG. Keep in mind, the lower the gauge means the thicker the cord.

What is stronger 12 gauge extension cord or 16 gauge extension cord?

When using 100 feet extension cords, you’ll need a: 16 Gauge for 1-10 Amps. 14 Gauge for 11-13 Amps. 12 Gauge for 14-15 Amps.

How do I choose an extension cord gauge?

Larger numbers mean smaller wires, which in turn means it can carry less power. A cord measuring 14 AWG is the thinnest we recommend—and at lengths of only 25 feet or shorter—and the much thicker 10 AWG is likely the thickest gauge you’ll find in an extension cord.

What is a 16 gauge extension cord good for?

Sixteen-gauge cords are low wattage and are intended for use with small appliances such as portable fans, alarm clocks, table lamps, or floor lamps (note: an electronic device such as a TV or computer should be connected to a surge protector).

What is a 14 gauge extension cord used for?

A 14-gauge cord is for medium or frequent duty applications (lawnmowers, power drills, table saws, television sets, etc.). These cords are also great for things like power tools, electric chainsaws, leaf or snow blowers, etc. They can handle larger tools and equipment and heavier use.

What is considered a heavy-duty extension cord?

Heavy-duty extension cords are suitable for drawing 10 to 15 amps of power. These are always grounded extension cords that include a third wire and plug prong for grounding and have plugs with three slots for accepting grounded appliance cords.

What does 16 3 mean on an extension cord?

On the packaging of the extension cord, there should be some numbers. These are the gauge of the wire and number of conductors (wires) in the cord. So, a number like ’12 3′ means the cord has 12 gauge diameter wire and 3 wires. Here is the breakdown: 16 gauge=light duty.

What is the strongest extension cord?

Best overall: Coleman 14 Gauge 100 Ft. Extension Cord. Best with a power strip: Anker Power Strip Extension Cord. Best heavy-duty extension cord: Watt’s Wire 14-Gauge Extension Cord.

What is a good extension cord?

  • BEST OVERALL: Iron Forge Cable 100 Foot Outdoor Extension Cord.
  • RUNNER UP: US Wire and Cable 74050, 50ft, Yellow.
  • BEST BUDGET: GE, Black, 3-Outlet Power Strip, 6 ft Extension Cord.
  • BEST STANDARD INDOOR: FIRMERST 1875W Low Profile 1Ft Extension Cord.
  • BEST SMART: TanTan Gosund Smart Power Strip.
  • What kind of extension cord should I use for a space heater?

    To run a space heater, you need to use medium or heavy-duty extension cords ranging from 14 to 10AWG. Every extension cord has a gauge. The gauge tells you the thickness of the cord. If you don’t want the extension cord to catch fire, you must secure the thickest cord possible.

    Is a thicker extension cord better?

    All extension cords have an AWG (American wire gauge) rating. This rating is a standardized wire gauge system for measuring electrical wire. A lower AWG number indicates a thicker wire and a higher capacity. The lower the number, the higher the cord’s capacity to deliver power.

    Is it OK to plug space heater into extension cord?

    Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.

    What kind of extension cord do I need for 1500 watts?

    Medium-sized space heaters draw around 1,500 watts and 12.5 or more amps. That is what most extension cords can barely handle. The rating for your extension cord could be anything between 10-15A. It’s like you’re walking on the edge of a cliff.

    How many watts can a 12 gauge extension cord handle?

    Matching Extension Cord to Load

    Extension Cord Wire Gauges, Amperage Rating, and Wattage
    #18 5 Amps 600 Watts
    #16 7 Amps 840 Watts
    #14 12 Amps 1,440 Watts
    #12 16 Amps 1,920 Watts

    Does the length of an extension cord affect the power?

    As the cord gets longer, the current carrying capacity of the cord gets lower. For example, a 16 gauge extension cord less than 50 feet in length can power a 1625 watt (W) appliance. A 16 gauge cord that is longer than 50 feet in length can only power an appliance up to 1250W.

    Is it OK to run a refrigerator on an extension cord?

    While most small appliances can be plugged in to an extension cord with no problem, that isn’t the case with a refrigerator. Refrigerators are huge and need a lot of energy to run and thus a regular extension cord may not be able to take on the job and be a fire hazard to boot.

    What happens if you use too long of an extension cord?

    An improperly sized extension cord can cause a tool or appliance motor to burn out if allowed to run for too long. It can also cause a dangerous situation if it overheats.

    How long is too long for an extension cord?

    Power cord ratings are determined by length. If you plug two identical cords into each other, that reduces their current capacity in half and can possibly result in voltage drop and overheating. In general, extension cords should not exceed 100 feet in length.

    Can I plug an extension cord into an extension cord?

    DON’T plug extensions cords together.

    It may be tempting to just string them together, but resist the temptation. Extending the length of an extension cord by “daisy-chaining” can lead to overheating the cord by overloading it, creating a serious fire hazard.

    Can I connect 2 extension cords together?

    Don’t plug the cords together

    Some people string two extension cords together to get a lengthier one, but this is not a good idea. Extending the cords this way can lead to overheating and overloading, creating a risk for fire. Instead, get one extension cord with the right length.

    How often should you replace extension cords?

    Extension cords and power strips: While extension cords and power strips don’t come with an expiration date per sae, they do have a limited lifetime use. These items are only designed to handle so much juice over the years and will eventually short out or lose effectiveness.

    Why are outdoor extension cords different colors?

    The colors chosen are up to the designated inspectors, though vinyl or electrical tape in “seasonal” colors has been suggested by various individuals in charge of the process. Red markers can be used to mark cords tested during the winter holiday season; green can be employed during the spring months; etc.

    How long do outdoor extension cords last?

    Do NOT leave even your outdoor extension cord outside more than a day or two. Left outside over extended periods, cord materials can breakdown, potentially resulting in sparking, fire, and shock. Always follow outdoor electrical precautions.