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Old 11-17-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default 12gauge extension cord rated at only 15Amps

I have a 12gauge extension cord that I currently use for my 2000w/20A heat stick. I have noticed in the past the these extension cords are only rated for 15 amps regardless of the 12 gauge wires. Is this because the plug is not rated for 20A? Other than this I can't see why it would not be rated for 20Amps. Is there some other difference between this and a regular 12/3 cord? I have never felt the cord get hot after extended use.

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Old 11-17-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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The cord probably does not have a 20 Amp receptacle on it.

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Old 11-17-2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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How long is the cord?

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Old 11-17-2010, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy View Post
The cord probably does not have a 20 Amp receptacle on it.
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Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
How long is the cord?

It does not but I'm planning to cut it in half to use to supply my HLT element. It is currently 25' or 50' long and I will be cutting in half to share with both my heatstick and HLT. When I cut it I will be putting on a 20A rated plug.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Length matters (that's what she said) but I'd only de-rate it to 15amps if it was left as 50 feet or more. There's no problem running 20amps over a 25 foot length of 12/3 SJ.

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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Length matters (that's what she said) but I'd only de-rate it to 15amps if it was left as 50 feet or more. There's no problem running 20amps over a 25 foot length of 12/3 SJ.
Exactly what I was driving at.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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12 gauge is fine for 20 amps - It's the standard plug and receptacle that are rated for 15.

If it bothers you, you can cut them off and use proper 20 amp fittings.

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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Even the short 12 gauge extension cords were only rated for 15amps. I figured the limiting factor was the plug. If they throw a 20amp plug on there it would limit the outlets you could use it on. Just wanted to be certain I wasn't missing something in regards to the rating for the actual wire.

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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Length can be a factor since resistance goes up. I think it does have to do with it having 20amp ends on it.

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Old 11-18-2010, 01:32 AM   #10
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So I stopped at HD again tonight. Both the Husky brand and Rigid brand 12gauge extension cords are rated for 15A only. In my eyes 12 gauge wire is 12 gauge wire. BUT the 15amp ends, as already mentioned, would limit the rating of the plug. I can't see how this would make much difference for our uses. I'm not worried about the rating of the plug so much as the wire. Luckily if the house catches fire I can run out the brewing garage rather quickly.

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