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Power Supply Cords


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So I went down to the hardware store today to get the parts to create a plug on my soon to arrive LOR ( 16D 40A capacity ). The problem is that there are no 20A plugs available to make my cord. I found one 12g pigtail that I could cut the end off of and use but even that says that it is only for 15A despite the fact that 12/3 wire can carry 20A ( especially over short distances such as the 2 feet of my power cord.

So my question is how I might be able to supply power to my LOR controller...

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With mini lights, I am having a very hard time even getting over 7 or 8 amps. I just used extension cords hard wired into the LOR units. Going with 40 amp LOR's (I have 5) may have been a little overboard for this year. I don't know exactly what you are planning, but you may not need to really put too much effort into beefy cords and plugs.

Have you calculated how much your lights will be drawing with the calculator going around here on PM?

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llbarnes wrote:

With mini lights, I am having a very hard time even getting over 7 or 8 amps.

I think briant's talking about the feeder cords, not the channel cords. As to the 20 amp issue, I'm using regular 15 amp plugs, with 12/3 wire and running up to 20 amps. Personally, I don't care to spend extra money just to have a fancy plug. The wire will hold it, the connections will hold it, so why spend the extra money.

Note: I'm not an electrician...Use at own risk... Electricity kills... etc...

J.
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Just figured I best dot the i's and cross the t's so that I don't start the house on fire. I have no problem using the 12/3 wire, I am just not that familiar with what components within the plug itself have a significant bearing on the load rating.

Thanks for your help!

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Jeremy Wiles wrote:

llbarnes wrote:
With mini lights, I am having a very hard time even getting over 7 or 8 amps.

I think briant's talking about the feeder cords, not the channel cords. As to the 20 amp issue, I'm using regular 15 amp plugs, with 12/3 wire and running up to 20 amps. Personally, I don't care to spend extra money just to have a fancy plug. The wire will hold it, the connections will hold it, so why spend the extra money.

Note: I'm not an electrician...Use at own risk... Electricity kills... etc...

J.

No, that's what I was talking about. The feeders to the LOR. I'm just using regular extension cords connected directly to the LOR. But sounds like he's pulling a bit more on the amps than I am.
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As long as you are SURE the receptacle is a 20 amp feed then the regular plug with 12/3 wire is OK. The whole point to having the 20 amp plug with the prong turned sideways is to keep people from plugging in a 20 amp device into a 15 amp circuit.

Again, I'm no electrician, so contact a licensed electrician before making any mods to your home. etc, etc, blah blah.

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llbarnes wrote:

With mini lights, I am having a very hard time even getting over 7 or 8 amps. I just used extension cords hard wired into the LOR units. Going with 40 amp LOR's (I have 5) may have been a little overboard for this year. I don't know exactly what you are planning, but you may not need to really put too much effort into beefy cords and plugs.

Have you calculated how much your lights will be drawing with the calculator going around here on PM?
No, that's what I was talking about. The feeders to the LOR. I'm just using regular extension cords connected directly to the LOR. But sounds like he's pulling a bit more on the amps than I am.

PLEASE READ:

Can we delve into this a little deeper? You're using 16 gauge extension cords for the feeders to your LOR's? But you mention 40 amp LOR's. I'd be careful about this. I'm sure you're aware, and being careful. But in case anyone else is reading this...

16 gauge extension cords are only rated at 7 - 10 amps. The LOR board comes with a 15 amp fuse, and it sounds like you've upgraded it to 20 amps. This puts you in a situation where the fuse doesn't protect the feeder wire. This is very dangerous! In theory, there is nothing stopping you from running 15-20 amps on that side. That would overheat the feeder cable and potentially cause a fire. I would not rely on the fact that you've calculated the loads on that side alone. The fuse should be used to help protect you from overloading your feeder cable. It's too easy to forget and plug a flood lamp, or more mini's and really cause a bad situation.

The feeder cords from LOR are 14 gauge and rated at 15 amps. I run 20 amps, but I replaced my feeder cords with 12/3 6 foot extension cords. So the boards are definately capable, but the input cords must be of the same capacity...

Note: I'm not an electrician. Please consult a professional if you have any doubts.
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I used air conditioner applicance cords (grey, short I think 6') that had the proper 20 amp plug on them for the two boxes that needed 20 amps (total, across both sides, one feed). Got them at Lowes. If I recall correctly, about the same price as attachable ends.

Jeff in Raleigh

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No no. Thanks for your input. It was discussed at an earlier time on this board that the only difference in the extension cords theirselves was the actual plugs. Wire itself was still rated the same. I am not an electrician either but do have a bit of common sense. For my setup, this appears to be working fine. No heat is being generated at the breakers or the wires or plugs on the breaker side. In addition, I have hard wired the Lor side directly to the board and not using a plug at all.

It's also something that will continually be looked at also. Saftey is the number one priority and it's better to be safe than sorry, but it is easy to go overboard too. In addition, it's easy to freak out without seeing the real setup in person.

Nothing takes the place of testing, testing and more testing of which I think we are all doing (well I am). IE. using the load calculator to accuratly figure out what your total amperage will be. I'm way under. As the display gets bigger for next year, will there be upgrades? Absolutely. In this guys case, he's going a bit higher than I am on the amperage so this is probably not a good setup for his application.

As for adding a flood light (or drill, circular saw, heating lamp lol) something like that accidentally, well that's not going to happen as there is no place for something like that in my display. I'm maxed out on what is physically possible to add to my display. Again, more common sense comes into play here. But I understand that sometimes other people don't have enough to come in from out of the rain and appreciate your input.

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16 gauge extension cords are only rated at 7 - 10 amps.

P.S.,

The outdoor, 16/3 cords I use are rated at 13 amps. Well above the 7 or 8 I am pulling.
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llbarnes wrote:

It was discussed at an earlier time on this board that the only difference in the extension cords theirselves was the actual plugs.


First, I'm glad you're being safety conscious.

As for the above statement... I'm not sure which 2 you're comparing. Can you elaborate?
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Hi, not sure what your question is either. I'm pulling 7 or 8 amps per lor and have (2) 16 guage (13amp) extension cords going to each LOR. My point was that going with heavier guage/amp cords couldn't be justified even for saftey's sake.

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