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Old 08-30-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
tjash
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Default 12/3 L5-15 extension cord safe for 20a service?

I plan to run 2 2000W elements of two circuits, both of which have outside outlets. One is a T-blade style L5-20, but the other is a standard household L5-15. They're definitely on separate circuits and both definitely have 20A breakers in the main panel.

Any issue using a run-of-the-mill 12/3 extension cord with L5-15 ends to power a 2000W element on an otherwise up to code circuit, since 12/3 can handle 20+ amps?

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Old 08-30-2012, 02:42 AM   #2
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12/3 is safe for 20 amps but you may have some voltage drop across the cord if you run a long one. I would not run over 12'.

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Old 08-30-2012, 03:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thargrav View Post
12/3 is safe for 20 amps but you may have some voltage drop across the cord if you run a long one. I would not run over 12'.

I agree completely that this is best practice, I have used a 25 footer without issue FWIW. No naps w/ the power on
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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The problem with the length of the run would be voltage drop. The heat given by the conductors in the cord is not an issue for 2 reasons. 1) the heat is dissipated over a greater length. 2) The conductor is sized appropriately for the amperage anyway. An underpowered television may suffer with insufficient voltage. An underpowered element would just produce less.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. After more thought, I've gone back to my original plan of a single element on a 240v system. Simpler, more power, and less hassle with only one power source to worry about.

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