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Less expensive extension cords


Richard Hamilton
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You certainly know by now that extension cords eat up a large portion of your budget. I'm always on the lookout for good priced cords. I usually hit Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, Sam's, Target, and WalMart.

When I was out making rounds to all local store yesterday, I saw some decent priced items listed below. I expect that prices for these items should be similar for these chain stores across America. Perhaps you can list your own sources here as well. As a final note, sometimes I make special length cords by buying SPT2 wire on a roll, cutting to length and attaching clamp-on sockets/plugs. It is hard to make them cheaper than these...

Home Depot: 25 feet, 16 awg, 13 amp, with 3 socket molded pigtail, $10.97
Home Depot: 3 in 1 female adapter. $1.97 (nice molded weather resistant) # 522-060

Walmart: 15 feet, 16 awg, 6 amp, $2.84
Walmart: 40 feet, 16 awh, 13 amp, $7.78 # 66403

Lowes: 15 feet, 16 awg, 6 amp, $2.92
Lowes: 20 feet, 16 Awg, 13 Amp, $6.97 Holiday Living #092051

50 feet and 100 feet cords also reasonably priced around $10 at Target and Walmart.

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Richard, I got to tell you. over on scl (synchronizedchristmaslights.com) William had a site for 50 ft 12/3 extension cords for $15 dollars with free shipping ( bought 10). and 25 ft. 16/3 for $3. might want to research it over on scl or join this forum. all new member welcomed.

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evana wrote:

Richard, I got to tell you. over on scl (synchronizedchristmaslights.com) William had a site for 50 ft 12/3 extension cords for $15 dollars with free shipping ( bought 10). and 25 ft. 16/3 for $3. might want to research it over on scl or join this forum. all new member welcomed.

Thanks, I've seen many of the internet sites, including the 50 foot cords at SCL that you mentioned, but still not as cheap as the ones locally available at Walmart. When it comes to things like cords, it's hard to compete with the national big dogs that buy them in the millions.
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Bruce Ingebretsen wrote:

Correct me please if I am wrong (been known to happen). But aren't we talking about 16 gauge vs. 12 gauge? That's a pretty big difference. Personally I had always rather overbuild. I would hate to come up down the road needing the capacity of 13 gauge and only have a bunch of 16 guage.



Hi Bruce,

Yes, I agree with your comment. In my posting, I was listing a combination cords with different current carrying capability to be used for different purposes. As you probably know, you are going to need both types in a display if you plan to be cost effective.

The heavier gauge wire is preferable for connecting from the AC outlet to the controller, and ideally short runs, or better yet, no extensions running at all to the controller if you can avoid it.

However, you probably will not want to waste money buying expensive heavy gauge (12 gauge) wire ($10 or more) to hookup each channel to a set of lights when a typical 15 foot 16 awg extension cord will likely do the trick for $3. They are usually rated at around 7 amps which would be rare if you are running that much current from one channel.

William and I are comparing apples to apples in this post.
Bottom line is to use whatever is appropriate for what you have on the channel. Statistically speaking, probably 80% or more of what you need will be 16 awg wire on channels (SPT2 equivalent).
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Richard Hamilton wrote:

evana wrote:
Richard, I got to tell you. over on scl (synchronizedchristmaslights.com) William had a site for 50 ft 12/3 extension cords for $15 dollars with free shipping ( bought 10). and 25 ft. 16/3 for $3. might want to research it over on scl or join this forum. all new member welcomed.

Thanks, I've seen many of the internet sites, including the 50 foot cords at SCL that you mentioned, but still not as cheap as the ones locally available at Walmart. When it comes to things like cords, it's hard to compete with the national big dogs that buy them in the millions.
I bought some of those 50ft cords at about 15$ea. ;) I wish I had purchased a few more.

If I was to see them come up again I'd jump on it.
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MrChristmas2000 wrote:

I bought some of those 50ft cords at about 15$ea. ;) I wish I had purchased a few more. If I was to see them come up again I'd jump on it.

Amen on that one Mr. C. I am always on the lookout for those heavier duty 12/3 cords, but since my display is largely LED driven, I only use these for running from the AC outlet to the controller. I had to break down and buy a few of the 12/3 locally for $20 for my new controllers.
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I just bought 48 100' cords (4800 feet) at home depot for 12.89 each. They are the dark green, 16ga outdoor type. I am running all LED so the 16ga is perfect.

They were listed at 14.83 each on their website, but we talked the local manager into a discount. :D

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Not that this helps now, but last January, when Hobby Lobby did their 90% clearance on christmas items ... I walked in and they had 100's of 20' green outdoor cords, regularly 8.xx each ... for $.79 each ... I bought like 30 ... but really regret not buy WAY more ... I have been in a few days earlier and they had nothing, then on my second visit, they must have added stock from somewhere else ... and they literally had 200-300 and none sold .... if I could only go back and do it over again!!

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