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  • Help Please!

    Hello Everyone,

    This may be a dumb question, but I figure it is even dumber if I do not ask it. I am pretty new to this whole area of welding and electricity. I have what seems to me to be a heavy duty extension cord. It is 50 ft. in length it was my now deceased father-in-laws. How do I tell what guage it is? It says 5-15 on both ends and nothing else anywhere. Thanks.
    Last edited by sport.pilot; 08-21-2009, 11:40 PM.
    Darryl

  • #2
    It would help if you could post a pic. Are the ends molded onto the cord or does it have universal ends on it? All the wire I have ever delt with has been listed as even number gauge size. I am not an electrician by any means. usually the 5 would stand for 5 conductor and the 15 would be the gauge of the wire. Break out your tape and tell us the width of the cord and pics will help.

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    • #3
      Extension size

      Sorry, can't do a picture right now, all cameras are packed for the ultralight fly-in we are participating in tomorrow. But, the ends are not universal, they are the molded on kind that you can't remove unless you cut them off. The wire width is aproximately 7/16ths. It is much smaller than the cord on my new Miller 211. So much to learn! Thanks for your help.
      Darryl

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      • #4
        http://www.elect-spec.com/nema_plgsokt.htm (link just for visual representation of the connectors)

        You've got a 15A rated garden variety 120v extension cord. Probably lucky if it's 12 gage rather than 14. Way too small for your welder.
        Syncrowave 250DX
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        Airco MED20 feeder
        Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
        Smith O/A rig
        And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

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        • #5
          Look on the wire itself. If it is not too old it should have the wire gauge marked every foot or so. Look for "14AGW/3C" or "14/3C" or something like that. The number with the C is the number of conductors, the other one is the wire gauge.
          Miller Econotig
          Hypertherm 380 Plasma
          Hobart LX235 AC/DC Stick
          Lenco Spot
          Dan-Mig 5000

          O/A Smith rig

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          • #6
            Thank you all!

            Hi everyone,

            After the air event, I will go out today to buy a heavy duty 10 gage extension cord so I can hook up to my 30 amp plug. When I am down in AZ and have 220available, should I use the same size guage if I need an extension cord? My Hypertherm plasma cutter has a converter that will plug onto the end of a 110 plug and makes it possible to plug into a 220 outlet. Thanks.
            Darryl

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            • #7
              The '5-15' on the ends refers to the type of plug, NEMA number 5-15P for the male connector (plug) and 5-15R for the female connector (receptacle, or outlet). Those are common 15-amp 3-wire (hot, nuetral, ground) 120v plugs found around the house.

              For single-phase service-

              NEMA numbers starting with 5 mean 120v
              NEMA numbers starting with 6 mean 240v
              NEMA numbers starting with 14 mean 120v/240v combination

              The second number after the dash is the current (amperage) rating.

              If there is an 'L' in front of the NEMA number (L6-20, for example), the L means it is a round twist-lock style connector. Without the L it's a straight blade connector.

              Most common plug for 220v single phase welding equipment is the 6-50.
              Last edited by Desertrider33; 08-22-2009, 08:50 AM.
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              • #8
                "School Zone"

                sporty: Just a heads up, there's a new, I mean new, School Zone on SR 68 where it becomes divided past Golden Valley and the "Big Hill." It's 45 mph during the week. DPS hangs out where the road divides, in the gore point.

                Dave
                "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

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