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Old 09-18-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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How far can I run extension cords?


Hi all --

I'm getting married in a tent about 200 feet from a house that has lots of power, and both 15 + 20 am circuits. Gas generators will be too loud, and silent ones too expensive.

I'm considering renting a lot of 100' extension cords and running from outlets in the home to the tent. Can anyone tell me how much this "daisychaining" compromises the load of the cord? Is this a terrible idea? Or just slightly clever and save, so long as we don't max the circuits?

Would love some professional advice.

Thanks much,
J

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Old 09-18-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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How far can I run extension cords?


The wire gauge of the cord itself has to be taken into account.

I am guessing up to 10 amps for 14 gauge and about 7 amps for 16 gauge.

Now you can put two separate 200' extension cord runs on the same house circuit (or using both top and bottom of a duplex receptacle) when you plan what will be plugged into which cord to not exceed the house circuit capacity.

You may be able to rent a load center (subpanel) with a 200' cord that plugs into your clothes dryer receptacle and individual receptacles out at the panel. This way you have only one cable running from your house to your tent.

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Old 09-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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How far can I run extension cords?


The idiots that lived next door to me before the guy there now had a mobile home/trailer they dragged back there 500' and ran 5 100' extension cords from the road to power it. They dug an outhouse too... no water.

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Old 09-18-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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How far can I run extension cords?


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The idiots that lived next door to me before the guy there now had a mobile home/trailer they dragged back there 500' and ran 5 100' extension cords from the road to power it. They dug an outhouse too... no water.

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Seriously.. You don't have inspections there??
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:52 PM   #5
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How far can I run extension cords?


You need to figure out how much power you need at the tent.

The last one I did, I bought #10 UF cable and connected it to a 30 amp breaker in the panel and ran it out to the tent and made a small distribution panel.

If you use extension cords, you need to pay attention to the wire size. Many cheaper cords are 16 awg wire. At that distance, you could have a serious voltage drop problem with that small of wire.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:59 AM   #6
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How far can I run extension cords?


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Seriously.. You don't have inspections there??
Yup, we have inspections... why do you think he moved back to Alabama, where "they let me do what I want to"? The next guy built a real house there.

........Then lost it to foreclosure because he had a variable rate mortgage and they doubled his payments.

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Old 09-19-2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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How far can I run extension cords?


your loads are a big concern, as nap mentioned. you need to figure how many watts or amps you'll need - lights, cookers, dj music, etc. you could buy a 250' roll of romex like 10/3 and have a quad recep box wired in to give you 2 ckts out there. this way you'll have the wire left over when it's all over. the heavier gauge is to minimize voltage drop for the distance. the type of loads most critical to voltage drop are motors, they don't like it. lights and heaters are ok. and don't forget to wire in a remote control cut off switch in case you want the lights to go out at the "i do" part. (kiddin)
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:47 AM   #8
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How far can I run extension cords?


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You may be able to rent a load center (subpanel) with a 200' cord that plugs into your clothes dryer receptacle and individual receptacles out at the panel. This way you have only one cable running from your house to your tent.
I agree with AllanJ on this one. Have you PRICED 250' of 10g wire lately????
If he buys that, he won't be able to afford the wedding! LOL

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Old 09-19-2010, 01:56 PM   #9
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How far can I run extension cords?


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lights and heaters are ok. and don't forget to wire in a remote control cut off switch in case you want the lights to go out at the "i do" part. (kiddin)
depending on the type of electronics, some of them are picky as well. If there is a Dj with equipment out there, it might present a problem and since the OP is supplying the power, OP might be liable for not providing adequate power and causing damage.


If you buy UF instead of NM, you can save it to run to the pool you are putting in next year.

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