Wrong Ext Cord Blowing Out Motors?

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  #1  
Old 05-08-07, 05:09 PM
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Wrong Ext Cord Blowing Out Motors?

I apologize if you think this should be in the Electrical forum (if so, let me know).

In 2005 I purchased an electrical trimmer and 100' ext cord from Sears at the same time. Used it fine until it just stopped working last summer. I was secretly glad b/c I wanted to upgrade.

Today, I purchased another electrical trimmer, Ryobi Brand, and 5 mins into my first usage it, too, stopped working. Im prepared to return the trimmer, but I realized I used the same 100' ext cord as before. I looked a little closer and see that the 100' cord is 14 guage wire. The owners manual of my trimmer says the standard for a 100' should be 12 gauge.

Could this have caused either or both trimmers to blow out?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-08-07, 05:26 PM
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no. the wire gauge doesnt matter. the 14 gauge wire will just get "hotter" first. doesnt matter what gauge you use b/c its just a trimmer. did you trip the circuit breaker inside your house? you might have too many amps running through it at the same time you are using the trimmer. just check the connections at the ends, maybe try another receptacle, or check for some kind of safety switch that you have to press down on the trimmer.....maybe read the manual again.


good luck
 
  #3  
Old 05-08-07, 05:35 PM
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thanks. i have an update as well as some answers to your ques:

- did you trip the circuit breaker inside your house? you might have too many amps running through it at the same time you are using the trimmer.
just check the connections at the ends, maybe try another receptacle

I checked this. Tried another receptacle, different cord, same receptable, different cord. Nothing. Definitely not it.

-check for some kind of safety switch that you have to press down on the trimmer.....

Good one. I dont remember reading anything but I should check that too.


Here's what I found:

For the first trimmer, purchased in 2005, owners manual states for a 100' cord should use a minimum of 16 gauge wire. So not the cause there.

For the newer trimmer, use a minimum of 12 gauge on 100'. And "an undersized cord set will cause a drop in line voltage resulting a loss of power and overheating."

So, it looks possible that by using that cord I may have overheated the trimmer.
 
  #4  
Old 05-08-07, 05:48 PM
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to be honest, it doesnt matter what size ext. cord you use. you can use 10 gauge or 18 gauge. it will still send 110 volts to you trimmer. has this new trimmer ever worked for you? it could be a factory defect. i would take it back to the point of purchase. you should just plug it in and go. just check again for a thumb switch or an internal fuse that may have blown. i cant think of anything else.



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  #5  
Old 05-08-07, 06:45 PM
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Well strobel19606 I hate to burst your knowledge bubble but size does matter. Whether or not it is important is another question. There is a price to pay for pushing electrons through wire.

If the trimmer is pulling 10 amps then here is what you loose on a 100ft extention cord:
10 ga : 1.01 volts
12 ga : 1.62 volts
14 ga : 2.58 volts

If the trimmer uses 15 ams then the losses are:
10 ga : 1.53 volts
12 ga : 2.43 volts
14 ga : 3.86 volts

Also, when voltage drops the amperage increases. So, if your trimmer pulls 15 amps plugged directly into the outlet it is using 1'800 watts (15 amps x 120 volts = 1'800 watts). If your voltage drops to 115 than you are pulling 15.5 amps. Should a little (half amp) extra amperage burn up your trimmer? No. Is that extension cord making it work harder? Yes.
 
  #6  
Old 05-08-07, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for this feedback.

strobel19606 - the trimmer worked for about 1-2 minutes when I first ran it tonight. Worked ok! Then it stopped working.


Pilot Dane - good stuff! Wow, that explains alot. My trimmer is 6amps, so probably then lost less than 1/2 amp as in your example?

Hmmm, oh well. I bought this as an "all sales final" from a Home Depot that is moving. In fact, they already closed. I have a feeling, however, they will help me out since, in essence, the product only worked for 2 mins.
 
  #7  
Old 05-09-07, 03:43 PM
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With a 6 amp trimmer your voltage loss will be even lower than the number I ran. You are loosing about 1.55 volts through your 100' extension cord so you should be pulling 6.08 amps. That extra .08 should not matter at all. I'd have to say the extension cord is not the culprit.
 
  #8  
Old 05-09-07, 06:18 PM
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I suggest consulting a local MTD service center. Your Ryobi is an MTD company product and any MTD service center can help you with warranty.
 
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