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Old 11-07-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
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Extension cord blew out an outlet


I just installed a Tracklife 50ft Extension Cord Reel that I mounted to the garage ceiling. Plugged in my 10 in table saw, turned it on. Bam. It ran for 1 second, then shut off. I've used this table saw for years in the garage with other extension cords in other garage outlets, no issues. But this particular mountable cord reel was plugged into the ceiling outlet, and I think the table saw had too much amperage for the cord. I have since plugged the table saw into another outlet with another cord, and it works like a charm.

My table saw is rated at 15 Amps. The mountable extension cord is rated at 12 Amps. Of course, hind sight is 20/20!

The outlet is not working. No fuse is blown on electrical panel. Other outlets and lights in the garage are working fine. It seems just this outlet is damaged or blown. The outlet has an automatic garage door plugged in, so it would be nice to get it working again before it gets any colder!

The cord reel has a circuit "reset" button that is supposed to be used when it detects an electrical issue and shuts itself off. I pushed this button, but it didn't help. No power to outlet still. I can tell because automatic garage door opener isn't working now, and its sensor lights are off.

I am a total electrical newbie. Any fresh ideas?

Last edited by scottydel; 11-07-2018 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention reset button
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:28 PM   #2
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


Look for a tripped GFCI somewhere in the garage.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


Yes if there's any GFCI in that circuit you will need to reset it. If there isn't a GFCI then you've got a (well, duh) different problem.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


Also when using that cord it should be fully unrealled when using the saw.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


You say "no fuse is blown on the electrical panel". I hope you mean breaker tripped. If you still have fuses, then, well... But if you have breakers on a panel, you might just have to flip it all the way to the off position before flipping it back to on in order to get it going again. Take a close look and you might see the breaker is only barely budged from the full on position.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:54 AM   #6
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


Bob - I agree that self same thing happen to me in the Spring. I ran around in circles for a day and a half before I figured it out! Secondary circuit for a porch so no big thing. Just PITA.
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Originally Posted by NotYerUncleBob2 View Post
You say "no fuse is blown on the electrical panel". I hope you mean breaker tripped. If you still have fuses, then, well... But if you have breakers on a panel, you might just have to flip it all the way to the off position before flipping it back to on in order to get it going again. Take a close look and you might see the breaker is only barely budged from the full on position.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:01 AM   #7
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


Electrical reels rely on a contact disk to maintain voltage from the plug end to the receptacle end. Otherwise it wouldn't "reel". Most likely you have burned the contacts on the reel up by using an over amped appliance on it. Starting amps on that saw probably approaches 18 amps, so your 12 amp contacts are probably toast.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:24 AM   #8
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


I _had_ a set (2) of these in a home shop. They "sorta" worked. One day I opened one up to see what the mechanism was like, was not impressed, and promptly discarded both. I used them for light duty, drills and such, only.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


A loose connection somewhere in the branch circuit that served the saw?

Since you said the garage door opener also went dead you would need to check receptacles and outlet boxes furrher upstream also.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:40 PM   #10
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


You want at least a 12AWG extension cord for such a saw. The inrush current of that motor during startup is very high. Too much cable resistance is hard on the motor as it extends the peak current period.


I would try to keep it to no longer than 12' and at least 12AWG if possible.


If you have a higher end saw the motor might be jumperable to 240VAC. If you put a 240 outlet (NEMA 6-20) in the garage and convert the motor to 240V you'll see much lower current and a happier starting motor. I did this for my air compressor a few years back and it starts great even on coldest days.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:24 AM   #11
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Re: Extension cord blew out an outlet


You also will be able to rip down the center of a 3/4 piece of plywood without the saw slowing down and dying unless you inch the thing through. Your blades will last longer since you can run the work faster and the blade won't heat as much.
Most of the homes out there have light duty 15A circuits on #14 daisy chained a half a dozen places even in the garage. Totally unsuitable for a table saw rated at 15A. If your going to run it at 120v it needs a dedicated 20A circuit from the panel on 12AWG as Curious said. But it SHOULD be switchable to 240 I haven't see many 1HP ac motors that aren't. Even if it doesn't say on the motor that it's switchable I'd bet if you took the motor off the saw and took it to a motor shop they could switch it over.
If you like dropping the power down from the ceiling to keep the cord from laying on the floor and being stepped on, put a dedicated twist lock outlet in the ceiling and plug it in there.
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