What gage of extension cord.

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dribron, May 1, 2010.

  1. dribron

    dribron Meat Mopper

    Hey, all I was just wondering what everyone here felt was a good gage for an extension cord. On the back of my smoker it says, 120v, 1500watt, 12.5 amp. I have a possible 14ga that is rated for 13amps... I'm guessing I should go for over kill here and get somewhere in the 12gage area. Still wanted to get some info from the pro's.. Thanks, Duane
  2. I agree...Overkill is better...Also go with the shortest length you can. So if you only need 10' don't get a 25' cord!
  3. bamafan

    bamafan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Use a 12 Gauge cord. That's what I use for my MES. and have never had a problem with it. The breakers are rated at 80% of their max value to trip. Heavier is better. How far the cord is makes a difference also. The longer the cord, the higher value it needs to be. I have a 50 foot # 12 and no worries.
  4. ozark rt

    ozark rt Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    As long as you're not running the extension cord a long distance the 14 ga should be fine. In fact 14 ga should carry 15 amps, but if you're uncomfortable then go with 12 ga.
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep get the shortest cord you can with the biggest guage and you shouldn't have a problem.
  6. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Technically, the 14 gauge will carry the amperage, if, it doesn't have to go too far and is rated (by cover) for the service. Translated to plain english: You using this cord outside? Is the cord rated for outside use? Take a good look at the rubber coating on it, is it nice and thick? Does that little tag on it that tells you its rated UL also say for indoor use only or does it say indoor/outdoor use. How far is the receptacle from where you plan to use it? 50 to 100 feet? You'll need a minimum of 12 gauge rated for outdoor use. Closer than 50 feet, use 12 gauge anyway. If you're using it outside, you are plugging it into a GFI protected receptacle, right? Do it right the first time, then enjoy the smoking process with no concern for cheaping out on the cord. If you have a cord you've been using for awhile, give it the heat test: Let it be in use for awhile, then touch the cord gently, then lay it in your palm. Is it hot, or even warm? Hot? Get a bigger wire size, the cord you're holding is not long for use. Warm? I'd be suspicious, but then I've been known to be darn careful around electricity. Now, I'm retired from that trade so I can enjoy the benefits of that carefulness.

    Electricians love it when people skimp of safety features, we call it job security.
  7. dribron

    dribron Meat Mopper

    No, it is indoor outdoor. It was bought for another pourpose last year with the intent that I may need to go out doors with it. And I know that 14ga will be fine under normal conditions. I was just wondering what the norm was here.. Thank you all so much!
  8. It is always advantages to over engineer than to engineer when it comes to electricity. I was an I.B.E.W. electrician for 28 years of my life, and we always over engineered our projects.
  9. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am using a 10ga 25 ft cord I bought at Harbor Freight for $35.00 and it is plenty heavy... Overkill is better than Underkill...
  10. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i have 1500 watt units and use 14ga up to 25' no problem.
    over kill is ok but if you have a good cord and it does not get warm to the touch stick with it[​IMG]
  11. sweller

    sweller Newbie

    As others have said, bigger is better and shorter is better. Best is not to use one at all if possible. But if you have to, hold the cord where it plugs into the outlet, if it gets warm to the touch, keep an eye on it. If it gets noticably hot = big red flag! "DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!"
  12. lmalmen

    lmalmen Newbie

    What ever you do, make sure you unwind the cord totally from the holder. [​IMG]

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