Twist & Lock Connectors - Wire Gauge

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Old 05-12-06, 02:25 PM
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Twist & Lock Connectors - Wire Gauge

Hello,

I am wondering if there is any specific wire gauge that should be used with twist & lock connectors (these are used for stage lighting, they are 20A, 120V connectors.)

This is in regards to what wire gauge I would use in making my own extension cords for these devices. I am guessing they would need 12-gauge, is this correct? It must be quite expensive to purchase this cable (water resistant), plus it is difficult to roll and store...

Anyway, thanks.
 
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Old 05-12-06, 02:47 PM
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The range should be listed with the connectors. They will definitely work within the common range; #14-#10
 
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Old 05-13-06, 06:27 PM
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We use SO cable here at the TV station where I work, for all our lights on the lighting grid. It is not particularly hard to roll, since the conductors are stranded.
Consider yourself lucky that you are using twist-locks. We still use the OLD three-pin stage plugs. Those things were designed by someone with a death-wish
 
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Old 05-13-06, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by HJ25
Hello,

I am wondering if there is any specific wire gauge that should be used with twist & lock connectors (these are used for stage lighting, they are 20A, 120V connectors.)

This is in regards to what wire gauge I would use in making my own extension cords for these devices. I am guessing they would need 12-gauge, is this correct? It must be quite expensive to purchase this cable (water resistant), plus it is difficult to roll and store...

Anyway, thanks.
the fact the cord cap and connector are twist lock makes no difference. The wire needs to be a minimum of #12 because of the rating. Depending on the length of the cord you may want to go with a larger gauge due to voltage drop calculations.

There are several cable types you can use. SJO is acceptable as well as SO. There are neoprene and other outer sheath materials available as well. If need water resistant, you may want to look into cord cap and connectors that are rated for wet conditions. There is nothing like standing in a puddle of water and have it enter the connection. It can be an electrifying experience.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 04:03 AM
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[QUOTE=nap]the fact the cord cap and connector are twist lock makes no difference. The wire needs to be a minimum of #12 because of the rating. Depending on the length of the cord you may want to go with a larger gauge due to voltage drop calculations.
[QUOTE]

This is _not_ correct. 12ga is the minimum size for normal 20A circuits in permanent wiring (eg romex in the walls), but _not_ the minimum for extension cords using flexible cables.

Depending upon application, the conductors coulds be as small as 16ga. See article 400 for _flexible_ cords and cables, 400.13 refers back to 240.5 for overcurrent protection. 400.5 gives the allowed ampacities for cords. 240.5(B)(3) extension cords on 20A circuits must be 16ga or larger. Table 400.5(A) gives ampacities for different sizes of flexible cord.

-Jon
 
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Old 05-14-06, 08:11 AM
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Depending upon application, the conductors coulds be as small as 16ga. See article 400 for _flexible_ cords and cables, 400.13 refers back to 240.5 for overcurrent protection. 400.5 gives the allowed ampacities for cords. 240.5(B)(3) extension cords on 20A circuits must be 16ga or larger. Table 400.5(A) gives ampacities for different sizes of flexible cord.
actually you might want to read section 520.

esp table 520-44, 520-44(b)(2), 520-68(b)
 
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Old 05-14-06, 08:43 AM
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gaaa. That would be my bad. The main articles giveth, the special occupancies taketh away.

nap: I find myself confused by table 520.44. The table mentions 'Maximum Rating of Overcurrent Device' which supports the requirement of #12 conductors on 20A circuits. However I can find no supporting language in the text that refers to this portion of the table. Can you help me to understand this?

Thanks.

-Jon
 
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Old 05-14-06, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by winnie
The main articles giveth, the special occupancies taketh away.

nap: I find myself confused by table 520.44. The table mentions 'Maximum Rating of Overcurrent Device' which supports the requirement of #12 conductors on 20A circuits. However I can find no supporting language in the text that refers to this portion of the table. Can you help me to understand this?

Thanks.

-Jon
Do you mind if I steal that quote and give it to our apprenticeship instructors?

The table is supporting definition for 520-44(2). It may be for others as well but I did not see any close. It in itself is similar to table 310-16 and is merely a current rating for the given size for this particular situation and the max breaker it can be used on

(similar in use as table 310-16 wire sizes 10, 12, and 14)

While the wire is actually rated for more than the ampacity of the breaker, it is restricted to the listed breaker size. A built in derating factor. Yhis is followed by an additional derating table similar to 310-15(b)(2)(a)
 
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Old 05-14-06, 09:52 AM
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I've done stage lighting. These guys will plug as many lights into that circuit as they can possibly get away with and run them all day long. There is a good reason why smaller conductors are not allowed here.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MAC702
I've done stage lighting. These guys will plug as many lights into that circuit as they can possibly get away with and run them all day long. There is a good reason why smaller conductors are not allowed here.
I've known a few riggers and such myself. That is also why the OP might consider upsizing the conducters for voltage drop because of the length and loads involved.
 
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Old 05-14-06, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nap
I've known a few riggers and such myself. That is also why the OP might consider upsizing the conducters for voltage drop because of the length and loads involved.
I agree. Now that you mention it, we did have quite a few #10 SO cords on many of our 20A circuits.
 
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