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Old 01-27-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
SeanT
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Default Extension Cord for Heatstick

I'm having problems finding a 10 gauge extension cord for a heat stick I want to build. Any suggestions on where to look? Am I correct that for a 2000W, 120V heat stick I need a 10 Gauge extension cord, using the 80% continuous use rule?

Also, the outlet/circuit I want to use is far away from where I brew. I live in an apartment in an old house, so modifying the circuitry/outlets is out of the question. Other than tripping on the cord and pulling the boiling wort down, is there a safety concern with a long (25 or 50 ft) extension cord from a 20 Amp, 120V outlet?

thanks for your help, sorry if these are easy questions. and yes, I will have a GFCI outlet for the heatstick.

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:59 PM   #2
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This is what I bought, it was the best price I could find

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:23 AM   #3
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12 gauge is fine. The 12G extension cords are usually rated for 18A simply because they don't have 20A plugs, but still operate fine.

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Old 01-29-2011, 06:04 AM   #4
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SeanT, If you're going to use the #12 cord. Feel it every so often to make sure it isn't getting too hot. If it does, go to the #10 cord. The short answer, 50' should not have an impact on your safety. The farther away you are from your power source the greater effect voltage drop will have on your cord. You want to make sure you don't have more than 3-5% loss. That usually doesn't start happening until you get around 100+ feet.

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Old 01-29-2011, 06:30 AM   #5
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EDIT (corrections underlined):

I see some issues with this setup:

1) 2000w at 120v is over 18amps continous (because, in reality, you're running more like 110v)
Correction: if you experience voltage drop to 110v, you would get less heat (1680 watts) and draw 15.3amps.
2) 20-amp receptacle at 80% rule is 16 amps... well below your requirements.You'd need a 25 or 30-amp outlet.
You should be fine on a 20 amp circuit
3) You would need to change the breaker...typical household circuits are 15-amps each. You would need to change to 30-amps.
You don't need a 30 amp breaker, but you do need a 20-amp breaker.
4) Typically 2-14 wire is used inside the walls of homes/apartments/businesses, which is only good for 15amps. You would need to change to 2-10 wire, good to 30-amps.
Again, instead of 2-10 you would need 2-12...good to 20 amps.

OP: you should be good to go with your 20-amp outlet using #12 wire.

Thanks Walker for catching my mistake!

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Old 01-29-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXXX View Post
I see some issues with this setup:

1) 2000w at 120v is over 18amps continous (because, in reality, you're running more like 110v)
2) 20-amp receptacle at 80% rule is 16 amps... well below your requirements.You'd need a 25 or 30-amp outlet.
Maybe the rules are different in Canada. Here in the states, we really have 120V at the outlet and even with a 50 ft 12 gauge cord, he'll only see about a 3V drop, so he'll still be well under 20A. The 80% rule down here applies to multi-drop / general purpose outlets. Kitchens are required to have at least two GFCI protected 20A appliance circuits where 100% use is allowed.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp View Post
Maybe the rules are different in Canada. Here in the states, we really have 120V at the outlet and even with a 50 ft 12 gauge cord, he'll only see about a 3V drop, so he'll still be well under 20A. The 80% rule down here applies to multi-drop / general purpose outlets. Kitchens are required to have at least two GFCI protected 20A appliance circuits where 100% use is allowed.
Here it's still the 80% continuous, doesn't matter which room. And GFCI protection depends on distance from the sink/tub/water appliance.

The OP says he lives in an older apartment building, though. I doubt he has #12 or #10 wire feeding his kitchen, let alone a 20-amp or GFI plug. I also wouldn't be surprised if he has fuses instead of breakers.

As far as having an actual 120v potential at the plug, I'm skeptical. We are supposed to have 120v too in theory, it just never happens in practice; especially in an older apartment building. It would be worth checking with a voltmeter, OP.

Codes were different ten years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. For all we know, OP lives in a 50-year old bldg.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXXX View Post
The OP says he lives in an older apartment building, though. I doubt he has #12 or #10 wire feeding his kitchen, let alone a 20-amp or GFI plug. I also wouldn't be surprised if he has fuses instead of breakers.

As far as having an actual 120v potential at the plug, I'm skeptical. We are supposed to have 120v too in theory, it just never happens in practice; especially in an older apartment building. It would be worth checking with a voltmeter, OP.

Codes were different ten years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. For all we know, OP lives in a 50-year old bldg.
OP said it was 20A so I take his word. Regardless of when it was built, that's 12 gauge. Never hurts to verify @ the panel though. No idea on your 120V issues. All I can say is that's not normal down here.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:00 AM   #9
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Thanks for the response guys. One thing I forgot to mention was that this outlet was for a wall mounted AC unit. I took a look at the plug again, and it isn't a 20A/120V plug, i think its actually a three prong 20A/220V outlet. The sideways prong is on the opposite side of (right if the semi-circular, which I guess is neutral for this outlet, is on the bottom). At the box, the note says 220V, and there are 20 amp breakers together.

Because of this, the cost of a heavy extension cord (I'm in grad school), and the cost of a GCI, I've decided to just make a heatstick for a 15 Amp outlet. Sorry for the bother without any results, and thank you guys for your help!

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXXX View Post
EDIT:

I see some issues with this setup:

1) 2000w at 120v is over 18amps continous (because, in reality, you're running more like 110v)
I know the OP has backed off and is going another route, but this comment here is not accurate.

the 2000W rating is only accurate if you have 120V. The element is a 7.2 Ohm resistor. With 120V, you pull 16.6A and generator 2000W of heat.

If you supply that 7.2 Ohm resistor with 110V instead of 120V, you will not get 2000W out of it (which is where you came up with 18A). You will get only 1680W and pull only 15.3A because the element is still a 7.2 Ohm resistor.
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