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OT Electric: Hedgetrimmer & Other Ext Cord Choices

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D107
D107 Member Posts: 1,859
edited June 6 in THE MAIN WALL

So I've had this electric hedge trimmer for 20 years, fine condition. Just recently I learned that there is a way to loop the cord around a little hook to prevent it from pulling out while using it. The male plug on the unit is polarized with no third ground pin.

However most of the outdoor extension cords (50, 100ft) are three-way which would be fine—even if the ground pin wasn't actually used—if that thick cord could just fit through the loop slot. The newer trimmers out there provide plenty of space to push the loop through but not mine. Any double-insulated cord will not fit. So then I thought, this unit is 2.6amps running off a 15amp receptacle-breaker, so why don't I make my own short 8" loop out of 14gauge wire with a female polarized plug which should easily fit through and then plug the male polarized short end into the long three-way extension cord?

mattmia2

Comments

  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 922
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    Wow, that is a hard question. Even though this is not a boiler question let me give you the answer as I best know it. Go to a store and buy a 16 gauge extension cord. Since it has a smaller diameter it should fit through that cord slot. I know it works since I too have one of those old trimmers. In my case I use 2 - 100 foot cords and the trimmer works great even with both cords which = 200 feet.

    Intplm.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,859
    edited June 6
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    Yes I know it seems like an easy off-topic question but amperage load was my concern. 16 gauge wire is rated for only 10-13amps. Though my trimmer draw is 2.6amps, the circuit breaker is 15amps, so in this case I don't know if the trimmer or circuit breaker amperage limits apply.

    mattmia2
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,554
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    The circuit breaker or fuse is to protect the fixed installed wiring. Don't worry about the extension cord rating — just don't hide it under the carpet or curl it up under the sofa.

    Giggle check: how many 12 gauge extension cords do you see out there?

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JakeCKPC7060D107
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,764
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    16 gauge cord is fine on a 15 amp circuit especially with the small load you have. Using a larger cord with a short piece of 16 gauge is a good idea as it will limit voltage drop although probably not necessary with the small load.

    Plug into a GFCI receptacle if you can.

    The trimmer is not internally grounded it is considered double insulated.

    D107mattmia2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
    edited June 6
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    My refrigerators are wired with 18 gauge wire and plugged into a 20A circuit.

    Many modern refrigerators, lamps etc are still wired with 18 gauge wire, 16 if you're lucky.

    A 16 gauge ungrounded cord is perfectly acceptable.

    If you draw 15 amps on that 16 gauge cord over 50 feet all that's going to happen is excessive voltage drop and the cord will feel warm.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    D107
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,842
    edited June 6
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    just get a short 2 wire extension cord made from vinyl extension cord cable, they are pretty common.

    Maybe get 3, they become essentially disposable when you cut the cord with the shears.

    D107
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,093
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    Jamie, all of my construction cords are #12.

    Whole Hog drill, vacuum pump, pipe threader etc…….all of which probably have a 16 gauge cord.

    D107
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
    edited June 6
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    I have a 100' 12 gauge Bosch cord that I bought new back in 2002.

    I rarely use it.

    The reason for using a 12 gauge extension on a tool with a 16 gauge cord is because of the added resistance over a long distance. I'm not typing this to you because I know you already know it. I'm typing it for those who don't.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    D107
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,915
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    different code for internal wiring!


    residential refrigerators are rated MOP15 not 20!

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,842
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    I think i have 1 50' and 1 100' #12 120v cord and a number of #14 3 wire extension cords and 1 or 2 #16 extension cords for running the house off of generator power. After about the 5th time setting it up and tearing it down i'm ready to install a subpanel for generator loads and a manual transfer switch.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,842
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    Oh, and i have a gas hedge trimmer on a stick which I highly recommend. I don't so much recommend the Echo brand one I have because it is prone to the gear at the pivot for the shear bar breaking after hitting multiple obstructions and the gear is very expensive as a replacement part. I would go makita if i were doing it again with a cordless motor.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
    edited June 6
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    They have built in overloads just like condensing units.

    That said can you show me where NEC says 15A mop on residential refrigerators?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,093
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    IIUC, I believe that 15 amp ckt/wiring is allowed for refg if outlet is behind the fridge. Otherwise all kitchen outlets are to be 20 amp wiring.

    Perhaps that 15 amp fridge exception is what pecmsg is referring to.

    Another customer was trying to run his camper AC on a 100' 16ga cord. Most of the cord was in a nice coil lying on the ground. The AC could not start and trip out on overload. Put a 25' 12ga ext cord on it with no loops on the ground.

    Another time a carpenter had a table saw that really growled as he cut wood. Again big coil in his cord, too long and too small. I took his loop and spread the cord out and the saw took right off.

    I told him that that loop of wire created an inductive choke and actually was messing up his saw.

    He knew the saw was performing better, but latter after I left he nicely rolled his cord back up into a neat coil and the saw growled the rest of the day……when all you have is a hammer….the electrician knows nothing.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
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    That's what I'm thinking.

    As far as I know it's a 15A minimum.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,915
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    The plug has a NEMA 5-15R stamp. 15 amp max. A 5-20 stamp would allow 20 Amps.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
    edited June 7
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    That does not mean it cannot be used on a 20A circuit.

    It means the appliance cannot draw over 15A.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment