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Garage 25' extension cords -- should I buy 14 or 12 gauge?

Garage 25' extension cords -- should I buy 14 or 12 gauge?

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  #1  
Old 02-03-12, 04:40 AM
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Garage 25' extension cords -- should I buy 14 or 12 gauge?

QUESTION:

So I guess this whole post is about should I run

two 12 gauge 25’ extension cables each going to a separate power strip
one 14 gauge 25’ to a strip and one 14 gauge 15’ to another
two 14 gauge 15’ plugged into one another to one power strip and one separate 14 gauge 15’ to another strip

PRICES:

14 gauge cables 15’ (the ones I own already and they have circuit breakers built in) $6
14 gauge cable 25’ (color is red) $14
12 gauge cable 25’ (color is yellow) $23
__________________________________________________

SUMMARY:

These extension cords will be permanent stapled to my garage ceiling and run from the only outlet to the back of the garage to a power strip. I’ll have to run one 25’ (to the back of the garage) and the other about 15’ (to a wall half way to the back).

So I could run one 15’ to a power strip and then take the other two 3/14 by 15’ and plug them in to each other to run 30’ to the back of my garage into another power strip.

I don’t think Menard’s sells 12 gauge cords in anything but like 3’ or 25, 50’. Since I only need 15’ or 25’ it seems I’d have to buy two of the 12 gauge cords and just have one way too long.

CIRCUIT:

There is a 15 amp circuit breaker in the panel that supports my living room, computer room, and garage. Seems ridiculous but this place was built 40 years ago. I have 6 other breakers supporting other things.

WATTS: LIVING ROOM

In the living room I have:
Tv
Comcast cable box
Wii (almost never use)
Phone Panasonic cordless phone / answering machine
Desktop computer (almost always off when I’m in my garage)

WATTS: GARAGE

In my single car garage I have the following:
½ hp Chamberlin garage door opener (has two 100 watt bulbs go on 5 min when door goes up or down) (so 375 watts? + 200 for lights = 575 watts?)
6 shop lights (with 2 x 32w bulbs) = 384 watts usually 4 lights on (256 watts)
2 little Honeywell fans (.8 amp each so I guess 88 watts each? So 180 watts when they are on (seldom)
Ipod boombox (always on)
Battery charger for Panasonic drill (seldom charging)

These are the tools I may plug into the power strips. I don’t use them too often but….

Delta 10” compound miter saw
Table scroll saw
Dremel tool
DeWalt recip (sawzall) saw
7 Ό” circular saw
Plunge router
 

Last edited by nibroc; 02-03-12 at 04:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-12, 07:34 AM
ray2047's Avatar
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These extension cords will be permanent stapled to my garage ceiling and run from the only outlet to the back of the garage to a power strip.
Extension cords are for temporary use only and should be removed after each use. What you should do to be code compliant is add new receptacles to your garage in a code approved manner. We will be happy to help you with that.

Is this an attached or detached garage? If detached how far from the house? Make and model number of breaker box. How many breakers in the box? Can you please provide us with pictures of your breaker box.
 
  #3  
Old 02-03-12, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 15
Permanent installation of extension cords are a code violation.
( For informational purposes only) 14 gauge conductors are rated
for 15 amps. 12 gauge conductors are rated for 20 amps. The
distance conductors are ran can also play a role. The distance you are running should not make a big difference.
 
  #4  
Old 02-04-12, 01:57 AM
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Meaning running a 25 foot 12 or 14 gauge extension cord will make very little noticeable difference since the breaker is 15 amp and wall wiring is all 14 gauge?

The run from the breaker to the outlet in my attached garage is about 35 feet or so. I'd just be plugging in the extension cord from there.

Since the breaker is 15A then it would not make sense to spend the extra $10 on a 12 gauge cord (that you noted is rated to 20A but my breaker would blow way before that anyway)?

___________________________________

The breaker was put in about 40 years ago....







I don't have any intention of running metal clad cable through my walls or ceiling to my garage to make a new outlet. Unless there is a really easy way to do it but I kind of doubt it. All wires in my wall are in a metal pipe so I'd have to run that too.

Although extension cords should be unplugged after each use, I'll just gently tack the extension cable to the ceiling of my garage over to the back of it. I understand the code says that so people don't have a spider nest of extension cables running all about their homes. How much of a fire hazard is an appropriately-sized extension cable compared to the stuff in the wall?
 
  #5  
Old 02-04-12, 05:54 AM
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I understand the code says that so people don't have a spider nest of extension cables running all about their homes. How much of a fire hazard is an appropriately-sized extension cable compared to the stuff in the wall?
No, the code says extension cords are for temporary use because it's a safety issue/fire hazard to leave them in place or to use them in place of permanent wiring. If you had ever seen cords installed in the manner you are proposing, you would know the flexible cords get stiff and hard over a period of just a few years when they remain stapled in place.
 
  #6  
Old 02-04-12, 06:01 AM
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Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Other responses have already told you that what you are planning is a code violation. It is also a safety hazard. We cannot help you -- and will not continue this discussion -- unless you want to do it properly.

This thread is now closed. If you want to do it properly, start another thread.
 
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