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#72654 - 12/06/06 11:57 AM Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
wendel Offline

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 57
I have two extension cords both are 50 feet long. One is 12 gauge and the other is 14 gauge. I want to power an electric saw.

I want the least voltage drop over the combined 100 feet so I keep the current draw by the saw motor as low as possible minimizing heat damage. Which should I plug into the 120 volt receptical first? Why?

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#72655 - 12/06/06 12:16 PM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
scameron81 Offline

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 80
Loc: Healdsburg, ca, USA
I don't think it matters. The resistance will be the sum of the two extension cords regardless of which one comes first and the distance is still the same. But I could be wrong (it wouldn't be the first time.)

#72656 - 12/06/06 12:53 PM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City's still, essentially two resistors in series. Don't think it really matters which "gets it" first.

If it makes you feel better, though, I'd go with the #12 first and then hook in the #14.

Of course I betcha the wiring in the wall is #14....

Would there really be THAT much voltage drop over that much wire?

#72657 - 12/06/06 01:15 PM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
It's all going to be one series circuit whichever way you do it:

#1. Hot -> 50' #12 -> 50' #14 -> Tool -> 50' #14 -> 50' #12 -> Neutral.

#2. Hot -> 50' #14 -> 50' #12 -> Tool -> 50' #12 -> 50' #14 -> Neutral.

Either way you have 100 ft. of #14 plus 100 ft. of #12 conductor in the circuit, so the resistance of the extension cords will be the same.

#72658 - 12/06/06 01:36 PM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
rabbitgun Offline

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 21
Nope it does not matter.
That said, even with a 16A load the drop is only right around 4 volts.

#72659 - 12/07/06 12:15 AM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Have you thought of installing an outlet closer?
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#72660 - 12/07/06 06:34 AM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
Zapped Offline

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Two resistors in series: R(total)=R1+R2. No difference with placement. If it's causing you to lose sleep, spend the $20 on another 50' #12 extension.

#72661 - 12/08/06 03:56 PM Re: Extension Cords-Which to Use First?
napervillesoundtech Offline

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Think about inrush current, though. Get a 100' 10/3 cord. just a thought.


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