Critical questions about workshop wiring
Choosing extension cords
A: No matter how many outlets your shop contains, you may occasionally need an extension cord. Keep the following rules in mind:
- The longer the cord, the fewer amps it can handle, and the greater the voltage drop will be across it's length.
- The lighter the gauge (larger AWG number), the fewer amps the cord can handle.
For example, a 50'-long, 12-gauge cord can handle 15 amps. At 150', though, a 12-gauge cord can't handle more than 10 amps.
The lesson: For shop use, buy only 10- or 12-gauge extension cords that are no longer than necessary for the job.
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