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Old 06-18-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
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20 amp power questions


I will be sanding our wood floors with a rental machine that I am told requires 20 amps for power. I have 20 amp power in my garage, but the 50’ cord will not reach the area to be sanded. The guy at the rental store said an extension cord won’t work. Can I just rig my own extension cord using 12-2 cable and plug this into the garage?

Also, when I am using a 20 amp breaker switch and 12-2 cable do the outlets have to be “20 amp” ? I wasn’t paying attention and installed typical 15 amp outlets in the garage. It is an easy fix, but I am wondering if there really is a difference.


Thanks.

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Old 06-18-2008, 09:09 PM   #2
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20 amp power questions


The reason for the 20 amp circuit, is because of the load. If you have 12/2 running to the outlets, you should have a 20 amp breaker on that circuit, but the outlets may be the 15 amp variety. You can run a temp circuit though from a single 20 amp breaker, but will have to use a "workbox" that is made for situations such as this.

Depending on the cost to have an electrician come in, it is either find a circuit close to the room you planning on using that is 12/2 with the 20amp, or having the temp drop ran.

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Old 06-18-2008, 10:02 PM   #3
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There are two types of circuits that have been required by code (for many years) to be 20 amp. One is the laundry, the other is the kitchen.

If an extension cord is 12 gauge, it's the same as a 12/2 romex. Most equipment manufacturers prohibit using extension cords because most cords aren't 12 gauge. they're usually 16 gauge. A 20 amp load will heat up a 16 gauge cord pretty quickly, it'll likely start to melt in less than an hour. If the cord is longer than 25 feet, it'll likely cause enough voltage drop to damage a motor.

If you can get to a kitchen or laundry plug, you'll be fine.

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Old 06-19-2008, 06:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You can run a temp circuit though from a single 20 amp breaker, but will have to use a "workbox" that is made for situations such as this.
I have to disagree with this. You cannot use romex as a "makeshift" extention cord. Romex MUST be protected from physical damage.


To the OP, if your house is wired with 12awg wire and is on a 20amp breaker, then you can always change out a receptacle with a 20 amp recep. first, check the plug on the sander. If it has a t-shaped plug, then that is what you will have to do. If it has a standard plug, you should be good to go, as long as it is a 20 amp circuit.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:08 AM   #5
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It is not a makeshift Extension cord, but would be under NEC guidelines as a Temp Circuit, and would follow those guidelines. This is done in the Construction industry all of the time, when you are only using in the performance of completing the job.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
It is not a makeshift Extension cord, but would be under NEC guidelines as a Temp Circuit, and would follow those guidelines. This is done in the Construction industry all of the time, when you are only using in the performance of completing the job.
Can you show me where in the NEC it refers to this? I've never read about it before...

My concern would be that this is not a "construction site", it is in a finished home, and sanding floors doesn't require a permit of any kind so I would have a hard time believing the code you say would apply in this situation.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
I wasn’t paying attention and installed typical 15 amp outlets in the garage.
That sounds like a person that should NOT be working in an electrical panel.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:41 AM   #7
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20 amp power questions


"Originally Posted by Cossack
I wasn’t paying attention and installed typical 15 amp outlets in the garage"


"That sounds like a person that should NOT be working in an electrical panel."


Nothing wrong with putting 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp breaker, so your statement is way out of line!
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:44 AM   #8
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Can you show me where in the NEC it refers to this? I've never read about it before...
See NEC(2005) Section 590 "Temporary Installations"
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
"Originally Posted by Cossack
I wasn’t paying attention and installed typical 15 amp outlets in the garage"


"That sounds like a person that should NOT be working in an electrical panel."


Nothing wrong with putting 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp breaker, so your statement is way out of line!
I was refering to the "not paying attention" comment.

I know there is nothing wrong with a 15A recep on a 20A cct...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
See NEC(2005) Section 590 "Temporary Installations"
I'll give it a read now...
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:09 AM   #10
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Well, after giving it a read, I will admit that it is feasable to do this, but I'm not sure how practical it would be. first, it would have to be GFI protected. Second, the NM cable still needs to be sopported at intervals that would protect it from physical damage. How is it going to be supported in a finished house?
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:42 PM   #11
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Secured to the Studs on the wall up towards the ceiling. When done, you come along and patch the holes, and roll up the wire. Carnivals & such use Temp. installations of NM and if you ever seen those lines secured, you wonder what was being thought, due to 9 times out of ten, the lines are secured with Zip Ties, or just draped along trees.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:20 PM   #12
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"I was refering to the "not paying attention" comment."

Ok, how about I just did not know there was a difference between 15 amp and 20 amp outlets (NOW I do). The outlet writes "15amp" but I did not notice this. I have rewired my entire 1863 house just using books and common sense and have done quite well. This forum fills in the gaps.

Is there any way I can simply plug into my garage outlets with a standard plug and run about 75' of 12 gauge cable with a 20 amp outlet at the end? I would then just plug the sander into that. The upstairs all has 15 amp with 14-2 cable. I guess if I cant plug into the outlet I could temporarily wire it in. This is a fast sanding job that will probably only take one day.

Thanks in advance for all help.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
Is there any way I can simply plug into my garage outlets with a standard plug and run about 75' of 12 gauge cable with a 20 amp outlet at the end? I would then just plug the sander into that. The upstairs all has 15 amp with 14-2 cable. I guess if I cant plug into the outlet I could temporarily wire it in. This is a fast sanding job that will probably only take one day.
I'm gonna catch flack, but if this was my job, in my home and with these options, I'd install a 20 amp GFCI in the garage and run the romex as an extension cord. Keep the kids away for the day. BTW I always observe the speed limits
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:33 PM   #14
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Now they are picking the fly s--t out of the pepper. Common sense must be dead in America. Make your cord with romex and do your floors. You will be finished by the time you read all of these posts.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #15
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Ok, so i can just rig a plug into the cable and put it in my garage 20 amp outlet? As you guys have said I will be done with this project in a few hours and I will probably never need this set up again.

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