14g extension cords on a 20amp circuit


Old 12-01-11, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
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14g extension cords on a 20amp circuit

I'm putting up my xmas lights and have a question about safe usage of extension cords. I'm powering my lights with a 20amp circuit and some of the extension cords I'm using are 14g, and none of the cords are over 25'. I want to know if this is safe or do I have to use 12g extension cords. Also, the circuits are gfci.

Also, I covered all the connections and open ends (3 prong female end) on the cords with duct tape to keep out the weather. Is this overkill? The reason I ask is that I've seen other peoples cords left out in the weather that don't have any tape or other means to keep them dry.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-01-11, 12:46 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
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Per the actual rules...extension cords are for temporary use and should be removed each day.

Per real life experience...for years I have wrapped the outside connections in plastic wrap and just unplugged from the outlet w/o any issues. And that was probably overkill.

The 14 gauge extension cord is fine...the lamps (esp if they are the minis or LEDs) won't draw anywhere near as much as the cords can handle...unless maybe you have 10 strings of the big old school bulbs on each cord.

Each string should have a rating on the tag...add them all up and don't go over 1500W (1000W would be better) and you shouldn't have an issue.
Old 12-01-11, 02:25 PM
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Thanks for you help Gunguy. You're advice will save me some $$.

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