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garrettc134 09-23-2012 06:27 PM

Extension Cord Nightmare
 
Hey guys.
I just moved to a new place and was wondering if anyone has any advice about my power situation. Currently I have a 100 foot 16 gauge extension cord that is plugged into my UPS which in term powers my PC (600W power supply) 2 LCD monitors, small speakers, wireless access point and charges my laptop. It works without tripping any breakers and the cord does not feel warm. Also the UPS reports that it is receiving 121 volts.

So my question is: is this safe and could it damage my equipment. My only option is to use an extension cord for ~ 1 year. I could get away with a shorter cord (~25ft). Should I buy a shorter cord? and if so what wire gauge?

Furthermore from the same wall outlet I plan to run another extension cord with a power-strip off the end of it in order to run about 7 Cisco routers and 4 Switches for a couple of hours every night (not sure how much power they pull...) Do I need to spend the extra $ to get a 12 or 10g cord?

Any advice would be helpful. Trying not to burn the house down :)

Link to UPS
http://www.apc.com/resource/include/...age_type=print

DangerMouse 09-23-2012 06:43 PM

Personally, I WOULD go with a larger gauge and shorter length. :)

DM

garrettc134 09-23-2012 06:47 PM

Do you think this chart is accurate?
http://i.stack.imgur.com/0DDyE.jpg

The way I figure it I'm currently pulling 1000w max = 8.33amps

AllanJ 09-23-2012 07:01 PM

Measure the voltage at the receptacle end of the extension cord (as opposed to at the UPS).

If you are getting 111 to 121 volts with all of the computers and appliances going at the end of the extension cord then you are okay.

An extension cord should be uncoiled when in use to prevent heat from building up within the coils.

It is okay to run a second extension cord along the same route as the first if one cord isn't enough to carry the amperes or watts used by all of the equipment.

garrettc134 09-23-2012 07:03 PM

The UPS is at the far end of the extension cord.

Wall outlet ------ 100ft cord--UPS---All my crap :).

Should I still measure at the end of the cord or is the UPS measurement accurate enough? Thanks

gregzoll 09-23-2012 07:15 PM

100 feet of #16 stranded, that is one hell of a drop for both volts & amps. Worst thing is, the load you are putting on it, is heating it up pretty good. Hope you have insurance to cover your place, if it burns down, due to this setup.

techpappy 09-24-2012 01:31 PM

Unless you have a "split" receptacle feeding all this mess then you would be limited to about another 500 watts as you are already at 1000 on a theoretical 15 amp receptical OR 1500 watts max.

AllanJ 09-24-2012 04:31 PM

Measure the voltage at the extension cord receptacles (where the UPS is plugged into), not the UPS receptacles (that the various gear is plugged into). Measure it when all of the gear is turned on.

AltaSparky 09-24-2012 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garrettc134 (Post 1015939)
Hey guys.
I just moved to a new place and was wondering if anyone has any advice about my power situation. Currently I have a 100 foot 16 gauge extension cord that is plugged into my UPS which in term powers my PC (600W power supply) 2 LCD monitors, small speakers, wireless access point and charges my laptop. It works without tripping any breakers and the cord does not feel warm. Also the UPS reports that it is receiving 121 volts.

So my question is: is this safe and could it damage my equipment. My only option is to use an extension cord for ~ 1 year. I could get away with a shorter cord (~25ft). Should I buy a shorter cord? and if so what wire gauge?

Furthermore from the same wall outlet I plan to run another extension cord with a power-strip off the end of it in order to run about 7 Cisco routers and 4 Switches for a couple of hours every night (not sure how much power they pull...) Do I need to spend the extra $ to get a 12 or 10g cord?

Any advice would be helpful. Trying not to burn the house down :)

Link to UPS
http://www.apc.com/resource/include/...age_type=print

You are getting 121V under load? (when everything is running). Voltage drop can only be measured under load. If the UPS is reciving 121 volts, that does not mean that you are getting 121V 100ft away.

With 100ft extension cord 16AWG, it is undersized. If you are really concerned about all the electronic equipment, I would get a proper circuit there. In theory less copper means less resistance so a shorter cord should help with volt drop. The reality may be different especially if you have 2 different kinds of cords.

frenchelectrican 09-24-2012 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 1015995)
100 feet of #16 stranded, that is one hell of a drop for both volts & amps. Worst thing is, the load you are putting on it, is heating it up pretty good. Hope you have insurance to cover your place, if it burns down, due to this setup.

Basically what the OP doing which I think they may not aware with this is a serious issue due the conductor size and length and the extendison cord is NOT a perament useage.

It the same idea with water hose a super small diamaiter hose will result the same thing no flow ( aka amps on electrical side ) you will have good pressure ( voltage ) but once you open up the flow the pressure will drop alot.

The best thing is do the proper wiring set up if you can do this.

Merci,
Marc

jimmy21 09-25-2012 12:12 AM

as it sits right now, it sounds like a fire waiting to happen. If adding a new receptacle isn't an option because you are renting, i would get a short 10awg cord. Not just because of the 10awg conductors inside, but also because the ends are much beefier.

ddawg16 09-25-2012 02:49 AM

Is the UPS telling you it's putting 'out' 121 Vac or is recieving 121 Vac? Based on my experience, most UPS's are not a very accurate volt meter...

Regarding your load....even though your PC supply might be rated for 600W, I really doubt your anywhere close to that actual limit unless you have about 5 HD's in it along with a wazu video card and other specialty cards. Assuming the monitors pull about 1A each....I bet your only pulling about 6-7A total...maybe 8 when charging the laptop.

Get a shorter extension cord....if anything, just so you have less cord on the floor. Oh, and make it a 14awg cord.

md2lgyk 09-25-2012 08:31 AM

Where did you even find a 100-ft long 16AWG extension cord? But in any case, I'd replace it with a 12AWG cord. They're not that expensive.

herdfan 09-25-2012 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2lgyk (Post 1016967)
Where did you even find a 100-ft long 16AWG extension cord?

Home Depot.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UGG52Y4-2ts

DannyT 09-25-2012 09:52 AM

are there no outlets near the computer?
use the shortest 12 gauge cord you can.


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