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Thread: Which gauge wire

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    Question Which gauge wire

    So I'm trying to replace a 100-ft length extension cord my parent(s) have that desperately needs to be replaced. The trouble is, I can't figure out which gauge I need. The wire is for a corded electric mower, which is 13 amps.

    According to he Kobalt manual... modern science hasn't developed a 100-ft length cord capable of handing this amperage.

    According to Home Depot... they say medium gauge 14 is fine.

    And according to this site... 12 gauge is necessary due to the length.

    Obviously, the higher the gauge, the more difficult it is to handle the wire when mowing my parents awful yard. If it was flat, it'd take 5 minutes. *sigh* Instead it is about 15 to 20 minutes, two groin pulls, and thirty curse words. I don't want a wire that makes it worse.

    Are some 14 gauge wires "more" 14 gauge than others?

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Claymores. One second, everything's at a uniform height. Grass, weeds, trees, landscaping, rocky outcrops, small cars, poorly-timed Jehovah's Witnesses....

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    Member Poppa Popobawa's Avatar
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    Could you have several extension cords, joined end-to-end. You can get plastic enclosures to cover the joins, so that they can't come apart.



    The cable can be assembled and dis-assembled to various lengths in this way.
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    studying nothing.
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    Consider replacing the mower with one that runs on a rechargeable battery.

    I am prejudiced because frankly I discovered long ago that for me, electrical cords were unwieldy. I also had an inordinate fear of someone accidentally running over the cord. So we ditched that lawn mower and used a gas one for years until the battery powered ones were available. Super easy to share and recharge.

    No it’s NOT as cheap (by hundreds of dollars) as simply replacing the cord. But it WILL make your life easier.

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    I worked at a Marshalls as a teen and vacuumed the entire store. I absolutely mastered using long cords with aisles. So in an open area, no problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    According to Home Depot... they say medium gauge 14 is fine.

    And according to this site... 12 gauge is necessary due to the length.
    Note that on the Home Depot site you're right on the edge between 12 and 14. There's not a lot of difference in these two answers. I'd go with the 12. My 100' 12/3 extension cord is plenty flexible but the weight is quite noticeable when carrying it around.

    Are some 14 gauge wires "more" 14 gauge than others?
    Stranded carries slightly more current than solid. The effect is quite small at power line frequencies, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    So I'm trying to replace a 100-ft length extension cord my parent(s) have that desperately needs to be replaced. The trouble is, I can't figure out which gauge I need. The wire is for a corded electric mower, which is 13 amps.

    According to he Kobalt manual... modern science hasn't developed a 100-ft length cord capable of handing this amperage.

    According to Home Depot... they say medium gauge 14 is fine.

    And according to this site... 12 gauge is necessary due to the length.

    Obviously, the higher the gauge, the more difficult it is to handle the wire when mowing my parents awful yard. If it was flat, it'd take 5 minutes. *sigh* Instead it is about 15 to 20 minutes, two groin pulls, and thirty curse words. I don't want a wire that makes it worse.

    Are some 14 gauge wires "more" 14 gauge than others?
    It's more about what sort of voltage drop is acceptable for the application. Some devices are more sensitive than others.

    According to this, 14 gauge Cu wire has 0.505 Ω resistance per 100 foot of the cable. At 13 Amps, that's a voltage drop of 6.57V, or about 5%, which should not affect your mower much. However, you also lose 85.3 W to resistive losses (heating the cable).

    Going up to 12 gauge, your resistance drops to 0.318Ω, you have 4.13V voltage drop and an 53.7 W extension cable heater.

    Must be a rather small yard that they bought a corded electric mower instead of a gas one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Stranded carries slightly more current than solid. The effect is quite small at power line frequencies, though.
    Pretty close to zero as skin depth at 60 Hz in copper is ~8mm.

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    Veteran Member Tigers!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Claymores. One second, everything's at a uniform height. Grass, weeds, trees, landscaping, rocky outcrops, small cars, poorly-timed Jehovah's Witnesses....
    We call that 'farmer's pruning'. 1" above the ground.
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppa Popobawa View Post
    Could you have several extension cords, joined end-to-end. You can get plastic enclosures to cover the joins, so that they can't come apart.



    The cable can be assembled and dis-assembled to various lengths in this way.
    That doesn't address the physics of current though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Claymores. One second, everything's at a uniform height. Grass, weeds, trees, landscaping, rocky outcrops, small cars, poorly-timed Jehovah's Witnesses....
    For the last time Keith&Co, I'm not using claymores!

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