Ext Cords


Old 02-25-07, 07:15 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
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Ext Cords

Just a random question on extension cords, as I know there is always warnings about the safety of using them, and using them as long-term options....

When making an extension cord, would it be better/safer to use NM wire? In other words, the wire I would use to wire together two receptacles (NM wire, 14-3) I would use to wire an extension cord that would be used 24/7.

Maybe Im way off here, but wanted to throw it out for ideas.
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Old 02-25-07, 07:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
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NM is intended to be installed and left alone, that is, not physically disturbed or moved. Also plugs and cord-mounted receptacles are not intended to be used with solid wire. And you probably don't want to use NM for a long time in direct sunlight and in many other situations.

You can make it work for a while using NM, but using cord intended for the purpose is a better idea. It's more expensive, of course.
Old 02-25-07, 07:57 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Anderson, IN
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If you need an extension cord on a semi-permenant basis, then have a receptacle installed at that location so that the cord is unneeded. Extension cords are a major cause of fire and should only be used on a temporary basis.
Old 02-25-07, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Making an extension cord out of NM cable is wrong in so many ways. Do not even consider this.

By the way, it would be 14-2, not 14-3. With 14-3, what would you do with the extra conductor?
Old 02-25-07, 07:18 PM
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As stated before, the best answer is to have a receptacle installed where you need it instead of using an extension cord. If you do still want to use an extension cord, there are a few rules to remember:

- Don't use it if it's in any way damaged. I've seen too many cords electrical taped back together. A few dollars for a new one is well worth the investment.
- Use a high quality one. You'll feel the difference in the sheathing used and it will last much longer.
- Use one that's rated for at least what you're using. They usually come in 16ga, 14ga and 12ga. Use 14 or 12 for any power tool, and 16 for only low power draw applications.
- If you do decide to build your own extension cord, use SO type cable (it's rubber jacketed and meant to handle the constant flexing. And use high quality plugs on the ends. And remember - it'll probably be more expensive to make your own than buy a good one premade.

Hope this helps!

Old 02-26-07, 09:36 AM
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There are dozens of different types of cord, each suited to a different environment. NM would be a poor choice as it is not flexible, not UV resistant and not suitable for use in wet areas. Here is a chart of many cord types which may help you select the correct cord for the application. The flexible cords start with "S" and then have several modifier letters.

Old 02-26-07, 05:26 PM
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Wink Veiws

Many veiws stated here. The one that grabs me is "24/7" This is not an application for a cord. Don't care what it's operating.

Spend the cake.. do it right. C'mon, just listen to yourself!

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