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Good Use for an Blow Dryer


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I think he means your theory of how They will warm up through regular use. A wire will heat up when electricity flows through it.

I'm kinda' struggling with your explanation also, but maybe you can educate all of us.

Me too. I am also having trouble with the part in red. This is not incan rope light we are talking about Willis.

I see you answered while I was typing the above. Ok using your light bulb example. Remember a cord carrying power is not a light bulb filament that is in a vacuum. Vacuum will not carry heat away from the filament like heat is conducted away from a cord. I seriously doult that a properly loaded extension cord will heat up enough to cause it to become limp enough to make a difference. And if you can feel a temperature rise, then as pointed out above. You have a serious problem and need a large gauged wire.

Edited by Max-Paul
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My cords have never gotten hot at all, not even warm but their ductility changes after a few minutes of use to make them easier to roll up. Again, I am not pushing that much power through them. I was pushing a total of 300 watts through seven individual 14 gauge power cords last year. I have personally seen what electricity can do to the human body and have no wish for that to happen to my family or me. An incandescent bulb has no insulation at all, unlike the power cords. The vacuum inside the bulb. doesn't slow down the conduction of the heat to any appreciable amount. After all, the heat from the sun is conducted across the vacuum of space to the Earth, right? If you turn on an incandescent bulb, you can feel the heat immediately.

Just give it a try. I think it would be more efficient than using a hair dryer.

Torqumada

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... I seriously doult that a properly loaded extension cord will heat up enough to cause it to become limp enough to make a difference. And if you can feel a temperature rise, then as pointed out above. You have a serious problem and need a large gauged wire.

I think those words - properly loaded - are debatable.

Back in my static days, I defined "properly loaded" as meaning literally one string of lights less than tripping the breaker. We didn't have no stinkin' Kill-A-Watt - that's what the breakers were for!

I used to enjoy looking outside and following the path of HD cords as they melted a channel through the snow and ice. As long as the breaker didn't trip, well, no harm - no foul was my motto. Plus, I always knew where my major connections were... Wasn't worried about fires 'cause there just wasn't much fuel out there in the yard during a Minnesota winter.

Then I joined households with Sharon and her English mastiff and quickly learned what gallons of doggie pee can do. And no, it doesn't help soften stiff wires...

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... I think it would be more efficient than using a hair dryer.

I still haven't figured out that part either. Hair dryer needed in Florida for stiff cords? Just how soft do they need to be???

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I still haven't figured out that part either. Hair dryer needed in Florida for stiff cords? Just how soft do they need to be???

I agree with that. Average December temp in Orlando is 72. Maybe he is using high tension power cables?

Torqumada

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It's called Joule Heating or Resistive heating. Any time you pass a current through any metal conductor it will generate heat. The electrons flowing through the conductor collide with the atoms in the conductor. the kinetic energy from the collision generates heat. It's how incandescent light bulbs work. It's no different for power cords. If you are running power through them, they are generating some amount of heat. Since they have thicker wire in them, it would take a great deal more heat to make them glow. We don't, (or shouldn't) push that much power through them. However, the heat can increase the ductility of the wire and insulating plastic, making it easier to roll up. The hair dryer is doing the same thing, but from the outside and probably not as efficiently. Hair dryers can pull anywhere from 500-1800 watts of power while in use. All my LED lights last year only used about 300 watts or so. If you're having trouble rolling up your power cords or lights, you can heat them a little, internally, to make it easier to roll up by turning the power on for a few minutes. It's what I noticed last year.

Does that help clarify things? :)

Torqumada

I think you'll have more success of the sun warming them up instead of that type of heating. Good Google search though.

I connect the ends together on the same cord and hope static electricity will work. It will save some money.

Edited by wbottomley
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I think you'll have more success of the sun warming them up instead of that type of heating.

Much more efficient than a hair dryer too.

Good Google search though.

And a year of college level physics too. It does and can work.

I connect the ends together on the same cord and hope static electricity will work. It will save some money.

Remember to add your lights to the circuits. You might be able to run some LEDs that way. :rolleyes:

Torqumada

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A lot of us have taken 'college level" courses..I always laugh at "I took a class" being the explanation for why I should believe something someone says when they simply post a wikipedia link.

So how many strings of incans will I need to put at the end of my stiff extension cords to get them to become more pliable? What if I'm running LEDs?

But again, just to make sure I'm understanding your statement, and please do correct me if I'm wrong: the resistive heating of the conductor will be enough to make the extension cord more pliable?

Your statement was: You could just turn the power on for a little while. The heat from the electricity will soften the cords as well and probably be a bit more efficient than a hair dryer.

IS Orv's idea heating the insulation making it more pliable, or the conductor? Whatcha' think?

So please elucidate...i plug my colied up stiff extension cord into the wall..what kind of load (assuming I need one) is needed to create enough heat to make my extension cords more pliable (gee, maybe the type and thickness of insulation might matter?) What gets "softened"? The insulation? Guess that means the the conductor is heating up? Assuming 1/3A for a string of 100 incans, much much less for a string of LEDs...should I plug them in now and let them start heating in anticipation of November set up?

Or, are you saying I can just plug my beloved 100 foot 16 gauge cords in with no load and viola...they will magically unfurl?

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You could just turn the power on for a little while. The heat from the electricity will soften the cords as well and probably be a bit more efficient than a hair dryer.

For Power to flow through a cord it has to have a load on it

For a cord to heat up that would make a difference in the cold you would need to run it near or above its amperage rating and as an electrician I DO NOT reccomend doing this

if you want and easy solution bring the cords inside and let them sit for a couple hours

If anybody has any questions comments or concerns please PM me for this is all that I will write on this topic

Edited by TitusCarnathan
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Just for the record, when or if you use the blow dryer method, DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT have those cords plugged in to anything! That would and could be disasterous if you heated the cord to excess and shorted it!

So if using the blow dryer method, make sure that cord IS NOT plugged into any electrical outlet!

I see an Abbot and Costello routine starting here.....

How am I suppose to use the hair dryer to uncoil the extension cord, if I'm not able to plug in the extension cord???

I don't have a battery operated hair dryer

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I see an Abbot and Costello routine starting here.....

How am I suppose to use the hair dryer to uncoil the extension cord, if I'm not able to plug in the extension cord???

I don't have a battery operated hair dryer

You should NEVER power the cord you're using the blow dryer on {LOW heat setting}, that is asking for trouble if you get too close and melt the insulation into the copper wires. COPPER WIRE IS STIFF in every "GREEN" extension cord I have, even in Florida, despite what some may think, when they are curled and put away for the season, when pulled out for the next season of use, they are EXTREMELY STIFF and HOLD THAT CIRCULAR curled shape.

Anyone with any common sense should know NOT to plug in the cord you're "heating", you plug the blow dryer into another outlet.

Most often I just heat the entire coil and unfurl the UNPOWERED, UNPLLUGGED extension cord, but it there are areas that don't unfurl or are prone to stay coiled I hit those areas with the low heat of the blow dryer to make the cord more pliabe.

I just can't believe how this whole simple little idea/tip of using a hair blow dryer on low heat setting, that was supposedly to help with a possible issue, and has just been so convoluted into something that has nothing to do with the purpose of sharing the idea in the first place. The idea was only to try and help others get their extension cords a little more pliable when taken back out after being stored during the off season.

From now on I guess I'll just quit sharing any tips, ideas or tricks here

I have never seen any other forums take ideas, tips or tricks and just convolute them as always seems to happen here on the LOR Forums. Just unbelievable.

As far as I am concerned the mods can CLOSE and LOCK this thread. There is nothing further to say here.

.

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For a cord to heat up that would make a difference in the cold you would need to run it near or above its amperage rating and as an electrician I DO NOT reccomend doing this

I'm glad you emphasized the do not because that is the best way to burn something down. A coiled cord will create heat to the point of breaking down and causing a fire.

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