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4 ton electric wood splitter....which gadge extension cord to use?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Donna, Apr 27, 2009.

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  1. Donna

    Donna Member

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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Hi All,

    The title pretty much says it all.
    I think I should get a 12 gadge, everybody else says I am nuts....given the price of them. I only need the splitter to be about 10 feet from the outlet, but the cord is waaaay too short for that.
    My dad's voice echoing in my head tells me that it needs a hefty extension not to burn out the engine?
    My brother says NO you don't.
    I know you fellows will tell me the truth. 12,14,or normal gadge, like the one I use for the electric lawnmower?

    Thanks all,
    Donna

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    bigger better in this case
  3. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    475
    Loc:
    NJ Piney
    anything 25-50ft you need 12awg
    you should not use any cord longer than 50' for that splitter
    under 25' you should be ok with 14awg
    I wouldn't use any less than 14awg
  4. Donna

    Donna Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    Ok, got it....Splurged and got a 25 ft 12 awg.
    Just finished splitting for about an hour, so far so good.
    You fellows rock.
    Thanks
  5. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Central NY
    Donna, That cord length and wire gauge (12 awg -American Wire Gauge) would have been my recommendation. 12 awg wire will safely handle 18 amp or 20 amp loads, assuming the wiring to the outlet is also 12 awg. Ya' done good!

    John_M
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Most house wiring would be 14 awg but it's the length of the run that matters. Also, the length of run from transformer to panel has a bearing. Very often in rural residential, the runs are long especially when the transformer is shared with a neighbor.

    Around here the utility will not put transformers on adjacent poles and neighbors had a can so they wanted to add another 300 ft to my run. I conspired with the supervisor to have a nearby pole condemned (woodpecker hole) and to have a new pole put up on the corner of my lot that was two poles away from cans in either direction. The woodpecker was not too happy and made quick work of the new pole, albeit after I got the can installed.
  7. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Central NY
    LLigetfa, You are right; most house wiring to outlets would be 14 awg. Sometimes, I do not entice my brain to think of how others do things. For flourescent fixtures only, I usually install 16 awg. For circuits with a combination of lights, fans, etc, I use 14 awg. For circuits containing only outlets I use 12 awg. This is a bit of overkill, an added expense, and sometimes difficult to work with #12 wire in smaller boxes. However, as you know, the heavier wire provides a bit of a convenience buffer if one is using a couple of high draw appliances on the same circuit. The heavier wire eliminates the need to go to the main panel to reset breakers when two high draw appliances are turned on at the same time. Dedicated 20 amp circuits are used for high draw appliances ie. refrigerator, microwave, air conditioner, etc.

    Also, as a little overkill, I mark every wall plate in my house with the location and number of the circuit breaker controlling that switch or outlet. "CB-10" refers to main panel circuit breaker #10, "TS-2" refers to Transfer Switch #2, etc. This helps prevent overloads and provides convenience when modifying circuits.

    Thanks for the reminder and best wishes,

    John_M
  8. Donna

    Donna Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    John,

    I like your overkill idea. While not in a position to wire my house, I definately intend to mark the circut breaker # on each wall plate. I am always searching....which one, which one when I want to turn a breaker off to install a new one or a dimmer or what have you.
    When I bought my extension, the fellow told me that the house wiring was 14 awg but a 14awg extention, while an improvement over a regular outdoor ext. would still loose some of its power by the time it got to the splitter.
    $15 bucks extra bought the 12awg.....I am happy I listened to my self, not to my brother (altho his advice has been a constant source of prudent knowledge..not this time) and above all.....My Hearth "Big Bang Theory" Physicist friends...this means you.
    Cheers,
    Donna
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