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What guage do extension cords need to be?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by freefly23 View Post
    Thanks so much for replying guys. I did buy a generator.

    So basically you need larger extensions cords at longer ranges to provide the proper voltage, this is the answer I was looking for.

    However, why do larger extensions cords provide more voltage than smaller ones? Is this because the electrons have a larger surface area to travel over? If that is the case, can you also have smaller copper strands inside the same guage wire to provide more surface area and therefore voltage?
    Yes, but the difference at 120 Volts, and 15 amps isn't significant. Mostly, stranded wire is used because it is more flexible. Imagine each strand being capable of a current of 1/10 amp without overheating. More conductors sharing the load= more power.
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    • #17
      Originally posted by freefly23 View Post
      Thanks so much for replying guys. I did buy a generator.

      So basically you need larger extensions cords at longer ranges to provide the proper voltage, this is the answer I was looking for.

      However, why do larger extensions cords provide more voltage than smaller ones? Is this because the electrons have a larger surface area to travel over? If that is the case, can you also have smaller copper strands inside the same guage wire to provide more surface area and therefore voltage?

      The whole "electrons travel over the surface of a conductor" (skin effect) only applies to very high transmission frequencies. At 60Hz AC, the entire conductor cross-section is consumed for current transfer. It is of no negative consequence in this case.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by freefly23 View Post
        Thanks so much for replying guys. I did buy a generator.

        So basically you need larger extensions cords at longer ranges to provide the proper voltage, this is the answer I was looking for.

        However, why do larger extensions cords provide more voltage than smaller ones? Is this because the electrons have a larger surface area to travel over? If that is the case, can you also have smaller copper strands inside the same guage wire to provide more surface area and therefore voltage?
        here ya go

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        • #19
          That really helps guys! I think I understand it now. Electrons encounter less resistance as a wire's cross section increases because they have more room to flow through!

          I've been struggling to find an answer to this question online. I hope others with this question will stumble upon this thread. I'm glad I asked on millerwelds this time, and found the answer I was looking for. A big thanks again for everyone's help!
          Last edited by freefly23; 10-27-2015, 03:22 PM.

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          • #20
            You don't need 6 to run 15A tools at 150 ft. Pole barns and houses are built all the time with a wire like this plugged in to outlets on the side of a building. That chart is really faulty in some sense and remember that the applied load is not the same as the breaker rating. I zing boards off all the time from 100 ft of 16 cord and a circ saw.
            Last edited by Sberry; 10-28-2015, 05:01 PM.

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