Extension Cords. If 14 Gauge Can Supply 15A - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-18-2014, 10:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 52
Rewards Points: 39

Extension cords. If 14 gauge can supply 15A

Up to 50FT, why does 25FT & 50FT 12 gauge cords exist? I can't think of any reason to ever need 12G cords less then 100FT. All I can guess is that 12G would produce slightly less heat than 14G at the same current draw. Maybe there's more to it other than price. Because I could just buy a 25FT 14G instead of a 12G version and save money for example.

I've been wondering about this since I brought some new cords with locking feature. Locking cords FTW! What have I been doing without them.


Sliding Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 12:10 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,158
Rewards Points: 6,652

Yes they do. You can get them at Farm & Home stores, or make your own.


gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 07:17 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 34,424
Rewards Points: 13,978

When using high torque, higher amperage tools like ciruler saw, table saws, hammer drills, planners, ECT. a 12 gauge will have less voltage loss and allow the tool to not loose power and over heat the tool.
Locking connections sounds great if your talking about twist locks, but limits what you can do with the cord, It's only going to with another twist lock.
A simple over hand knots worked for me for 40 years.
When posting in forums, letting us know your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 08:00 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,895
Rewards Points: 2,464

Originally Posted by Sliding Man View Post
I can't think of any reason to ever need cords less then 100FT.
#1 reason: The PITA factor of wrestling with long cords.
#2 reason: Most need for power will be closer than 100 ft
#3 reason: Two 50ft cords can be joined together easily.
TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TarheelTerp For This Useful Post:
Oso954 (03-19-2014)
Old 03-19-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Perris, CA
Posts: 208
Rewards Points: 299

The 12 gauge cord will handle more current than the 14 gauge even though the "rating" is the same. My compressor and shop light would not run together at the end of a 14 gauge cord (light would dim and compressor would hum, but not start, when the light was on) but would work at the end of a 12-gauge.
Syberia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 09:43 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 733
Rewards Points: 808

We use 12 ga cords and even 10 ga cords when core drilling and the generator or power source is far away. Voltage drop is a motor killer.
IslandGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 10:33 PM   #7
Msradell's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Louisville Kentucky
Posts: 2,188
Rewards Points: 262

I seem more reason to have every extension cord except for those that are used for interior lighting to be 12gauge and to eliminate the 14 and 16gauge records that are so prevalent. This would do 2 things, it would significantly reduce the price of the 12gauge cords since there would be more of them available and it would help make things using extension cords run better despite the user's best efforts.
Msradell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:12 AM   #8
A "Handy Husband"
rjniles's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 7,507
Rewards Points: 4,226

12 and 10 ga. cords use 15 amp plugs and sockets (straight blade configurations).
Coastal South Carolina
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 01:20 AM   #9
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 52
Rewards Points: 39

So there's still voltage drop on the 14G cords. Good to know. Thanks for the explanations everyone.

@joecaption I brought these 50FT 14/3 and 100FT 12/3. So far they seem to be working well. You hold the button as you plug in something until you hear/feel the click. I thought they were a good idea after the female end of my old cord stopped holding plugs tight. Tying them didn't help as any vibrations caused the plugs to work loose. I could've just replaced the end, but the entire cord was getting pretty worn out anyway.

The red one was to replace another cord that was cut in half. I actually put that one back together but didn't feel safe using it anymore.


Last edited by Sliding Man; 03-21-2014 at 01:26 AM.
Sliding Man is offline   Reply With Quote

amps , extension cord , heavy duty , outdoors , power

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NEC - what is the purpose of some of these codes ? chez bouton Electrical 32 12-17-2013 02:04 PM
transfer switch - wire gauge soma Electrical 14 12-03-2011 09:53 PM
Distance between HVAC supply and return vents atlantatd HVAC 4 04-13-2011 08:30 PM
making outdoor extension cords for Christmas lights flamtap Electrical 4 01-14-2011 08:21 PM
Extending Water Supply Box In Laundry Room hsl Building & Construction 0 11-18-2009 09:21 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1