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AKA06

join:2011-02-10

Extension cord for chest freezer (electrical question)?

I've got a 7 cu. foot chest freezer that I'd like to install in a utility room. The best available spot is located far enough away from an outlet that I will need some kind of extension. I know extension cords are not ideal for appliances, so if I use one I want to be sure that it exceeds what I will need so that it is safe.

The manual states that a suitable outlet is 115v, 15 amps (with proper grounding). I've seen extension cords rated at 125v, but many are 13 amps rather than 15 amps. My question is, is it acceptable to use a 13 amp cord in this situation, or should I stick with the 15 amp cord? I did find some detail that the running amps = 1 for this freezer, though I'm not sure that makes a difference.

Any and all help and advice is appreciated. Thank you.


davidg
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a heavy duty appliance extension cord is what you want, 12 or 10 guage wire.
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Ivybridge_I7
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1 edit
reply to AKA06
said by AKA06:

I've got a 7 cu. foot chest freezer that I'd like to install in a utility room. The best available spot is located far enough away from an outlet that I will need some kind of extension. I know extension cords are not ideal for appliances, so if I use one I want to be sure that it exceeds what I will need so that it is safe.

Call a qualified master electrician and run a dedicated outlet to that freezer. If the compressor in that freezer shorts out and decides to draw a huge amount of current. the heat made across a long extension cord could start a potential fire.

Think ohms law, voltage drop across the resistance of the copper in the extension cord (from end to end, three wires. The bigger the gauge of wire, the less voltage drop) means a increase in current, therefore heat

Volts/ resistance =current

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cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to AKA06
Despite what others would say, I'd connect the freezer to a lighting circuit. If something happens (a breaker trips for some reason), you'll have a chance to notice before maggots start crawling out...
The 13A-rated cord is more than enough for a 1A load, even considering the startup current which is 5-10A for the first 1-2 sec, but don't use a 100ft cord if a 25ft one is enough. If the compressor shorts for some reason the breaker should trip way before the cord has a chance to heat.

8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA

2 edits
reply to AKA06
There are some heavy duty extension cords available for applicances and space heaters. They are usually very short, about 3-5 feet long.

Look at Lowes, Home Depot or a similar store, and get a cord as short as possible to do the job.

You could also buy some 12 guage Romex, a heavy duty plug, a heavy duty metal outlet box, wire clamp, recepticle and cover, and make your own. You can make it exactly as long as you need to reduce resistance (and heat). If the outlet you intend to plug into is not used for anything else, replace it with a heavy duty 3 prong outlet sometimes used for large window A/C units, and use a 3 prong plug. It will be the equivilent of a hard-wired solution with a 3-prong plug that will keep anyone from unplugging the freezer to use the outlet for something else.

Waterbug

join:2008-03-30
reply to AKA06
If you don't want the extension cord to be the weak link in the electrical chain, make it the same wire guage as the wiring to the wall outlet. If the wall outlet is on a 15 amp fuse or breaker, use a 14 guage extension cord. If the wall outlet is on a 20 amp fuse or breaker, use a 12 guage extension cord. A 10 guage extension cord is overkill, unless you're going over 50 feet.


jack b
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reply to AKA06
If it's going to be permanent do it right. You can always run some surface wiremold from the existing plug and install a new outlet by the freezer. Home depot has what you need.
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AKA06

join:2011-02-10
reply to AKA06
Thanks for all the replies. I will make sure to use an appropriate gauge cord (12 or 14) if I do not decide to do something like wiremold. However, it's important to note that many of the 14 AWG cords are not actually rated at 15 amps, but rather 13. Which may not be an issue, based on the starting (as well as running) amperage of the freezer. Length would not be more than 15 feet.


Rifleman
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p1a
reply to AKA06
Code up here calls for a separate 15 amp circuit for the freezer only.

TheMG
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reply to Ivybridge_I7
said by Ivybridge_I7:

Think ohms law, voltage drop across the resistance of the copper in the extension cord (from end to end, three wires. The bigger the gauge of wire, the less voltage drop) means a increase in current, therefore heat

Volts/ resistance =current

While that may be partially true from a purely theoretical standpoint, it is most certainly not applicable here.

The extension cord is of low enough resistance that it does not act like a current limiting resistance in the circuit, since the effective resistance and impedance of the load connected to it is significantly higher than the resistance of the extension cord.

A decrease of resistance of the extension cord will cause a small decrease in voltage drop across the cord, but a very minimal difference in the amount of current that the appliance will draw. In fact with motor/compressor loads, the current can actually go DOWN as the voltage at the motor is increased. A motor that is being overworked, such as a motor which is powered with insufficient voltage, can draw large amounts of current. Actually this also goes true for most electronic devices since they have regulated power supplies which will continue to deliver a constant power to the device regardless of input voltage fluctuations therefore the higher the voltage at the load, the lower the current.

Since less voltage is dropped across the cord and the current remains relatively the same due to the connected load, the amount of heat dissipation in the extension cord is LESS with a thicker (lower AWG number) extension cord.


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reply to AKA06
Extension cords are a TEMPORARY solution and should never be used permanently.
The NEC specifically prohibits the use of extension cords "as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure." (see 400.8)

There are many good reasons for this. The main reason being - extension cords notoriously cause fires.

Really, how expensive is it to have the job done right?
It always amazes me as to how much trouble people will go through to avoid doing something right. All in the name of saving a few bucks.
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AKA06

join:2011-02-10
reply to AKA06
Has anyone suggested they were not?

TheMG
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reply to nunya
Totally agree that extension cords should not be used as permanent solutions.

said by nunya:

The main reason being - extension cords notoriously cause fires.

And the reason why it happens, most of the time, is not due to overloading but rather due to physical damage and deterioration over time. Wiring inside a wall is protected. An extension cord running along a floor or a wall is exposed and prone to damage and wear.

Extension cords used permanently tend to be neglected, damage and wear goes unnoticed, until a fire occurs.

An extension cord you use on a temporary basis, if there was any significant damage, you'd see it next time you go to use it, and you should always inspect cords for damage before using.

An extension cord used as a permanent solution, since it's always in use, when are you going to inspect it and notice any damage? Likely never.

I am personally aware of several incidents involving permanently installed extension cords that arced out due to concealed damage over time. One incident occurred in the garage of a house two doors down, luckily the fire was contained to the garage but the smoke damage wasn't, and it could have gotten far worst.


Gbcue
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reply to Waterbug
said by Waterbug:

If you don't want the extension cord to be the weak link in the electrical chain, make it the same wire guage as the wiring to the wall outlet. If the wall outlet is on a 15 amp fuse or breaker, use a 14 guage extension cord. If the wall outlet is on a 20 amp fuse or breaker, use a 12 guage extension cord. A 10 guage extension cord is overkill, unless you're going over 50 feet.

Keep in mind the wall wiring is most likely SOLID wire. I've yet to see a solid wire extension cord as most are of stranded wire.
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Hydraglass
Premium
join:2002-05-08
Kingston, ON
said by Gbcue:

said by Waterbug:

If you don't want the extension cord to be the weak link in the electrical chain, make it the same wire guage as the wiring to the wall outlet. If the wall outlet is on a 15 amp fuse or breaker, use a 14 guage extension cord. If the wall outlet is on a 20 amp fuse or breaker, use a 12 guage extension cord. A 10 guage extension cord is overkill, unless you're going over 50 feet.

Keep in mind the wall wiring is most likely SOLID wire. I've yet to see a solid wire extension cord as most are of stranded wire.

That's not really a concern -- I've run tonnes of stranded wire in walls, solid is actually "the cheap way" - standard T90 Nylon is almost always stranded and is the mainstay of commercial wiring through conduit/emt (you would be hard pressed to pull several solid wires through conduit around 270 degrees of bends.)

The problems with extension cords are -- the jacketing isn't rated for hard/extra hard use, the connectors on the ends are rarely built with the amount of material in contact with the appliance's plug that a standard outlet puts in contact with the plug prongs such that they can heat up with heavy loads, and as others have said, they are subject to damage.

Now on the other hand I have an extension cord I made myself, with a heavy duty Leviton commercial plug on one end, is made of 32 feet (10M) of #12/3 SOOW extra hard duty rated power cable, and has a heavy duty utility box on the end with strain relief connector and commercial 15A receptacle in it with metal face plate. I would feel comfortable leaving that cord plugged in for 20 years with a freezer plugged into it. I generally use it for my compressor, battery starter/charger, circular saw, and radial arm saw. As far as I'm concerned that cable is better than anything the electricians installed in my walls when they built the house 15 yrs ago.


whizkid3
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reply to Ivybridge_I7
said by Ivybridge_I7:

voltage drop across the resistance of the copper in the extension cord (from end to end, three wires. The bigger the gauge of wire, the less voltage drop) means a increase in current, therefore heat

Unfortunately, you've either got that backwards, or have worded it very confusingly. As TheMG See Profile said,

The larger the wire, the less heat dissipated from the wire. The right formula is:

P = I^2 x R

Heat is measured in watts, as it is a measurement of power. Lower the resistance with larger wire, and you will lower the power dissipated from the wire as heat. The load regulates the current draw. Any change in the total current draw of the circuit is negligible, as the resistance in the wire is minuscule compared to the impedance of the load. Think of the current in the above equation as a constant. Your wording would be correct, if one was talking about the heat dissipation from a toaster coil, which is not in series with any significant load.

That being said, an extension cord is not the solution to the problem of not having a receptacle where you need one. Extension cords are for temporary use. Leaving an extension cord in place permanently powering a load on the floor in one's basement is asking for trouble.


Ivybridge_I7
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reply to TheMG
said by TheMG:

While that may be partially true from a purely theoretical standpoint, it is most certainly not applicable here.

The extension cord is of low enough resistance that it does not act like a current limiting resistance in the circuit, since the effective resistance and impedance of the load connected to it is significantly higher than the resistance of the extension cord.

A decrease of resistance of the extension cord will cause a small decrease in voltage drop across the cord, but a very minimal difference in the amount of current that the appliance will draw. In fact with motor/compressor loads, the current can actually go DOWN as the voltage at the motor is increased. A motor that is being overworked, such as a motor which is powered with insufficient voltage, can draw large amounts of current. Actually this also goes true for most electronic devices since they have regulated power supplies which will continue to deliver a constant power to the device regardless of input voltage fluctuations therefore the higher the voltage at the load, the lower the current.

Since less voltage is dropped across the cord and the current remains relatively the same due to the connected load, the amount of heat dissipation in the extension cord is LESS with a thicker (lower AWG number) extension cord.

But you are talking about inductive and capacitive (start up capacitor) loads running on 120 AC R.M.S.(170 peak) You have no way of knowing the total resistance across the extension cord two wires (hot-neutral) that are in series from the circuit breaker to the load. The inrush current just from the inductive load of the motor starting, could be over 15 amps for a few seconds. Those two wires of the extension cord are the weak point in the circuit chain. You need to measure the total series resistance across both the hot-neutral wires and the longer the cord, the more voltage drop and in theory more heat being dissipated.

I still thing that spending the money and doing it right with a dedicated (15 amp) outlet using a romex or BX from the circuit breaker is the best way to go.
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Ivybridge_I7
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reply to whizkid3
said by whizkid3:

The larger the wire, the less heat dissipated from the wire. The right formula is:

P = I^2 x R

Heat is measured in watts, as it is a measurement of power. Lower the resistance with larger wire, and you will lower the power dissipated from the wire as heat. The load regulates the current draw. Any change in the total current draw of the circuit is negligible, as the resistance in the wire is minuscule compared to the impedance of the load.

Okay you would be right if you where talking about D.C. and the voltage drop is fairly constant across the extension cord.

We are not talking about direct current here

We are talking about A.C. where the load sees a voltage that goes from 0 to 170 volts peak (120 R.M.S. times 1.414) on the first half of the sine wave and then does the opposite going from 0 to -170 Peak on the other side of the sine wave. That's 340 volts peak to peak voltage. Now the voltage doesn't stay the same and varies during the 60 cycles. When the load is light on the outside transformer, the voltage could go as high as 130 voltage AC R.M.S (183 Volts peak or 366 peak-2-peak) Because A.C loads uses the average 120 AC (root means square) of the peak, the voltage drop across the extension cord is not 100 percent constant and will change as the load and line voltage varies over time.

Don't mix up Alternating current with Direct current when it comes to how they relate to loads. This is is why Phasor Algebra is used in the calculation of Alternating current induction and capacitive loads.

Ohms law can only be used as a base to do simple load and voltage drop calculation, but in reality it doesn't show the big picture of what is real happening in the A.C. circuit.
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whizkid3
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said by Ivybridge_I7:

Okay you would be right if you where talking about D.C. and the voltage drop is fairly constant across the extension cord.
etc....

No, I am right and know that I am; because I do voltage drop calculations for AC circuits every week and get paid to do them and take full personal liability for mistakes . There is absolutely no need to start talking about peak-to-peak, vs, RMS, phasors, etc. Heat production is steady in AC wiring and averages are just fine for what we are doing here. Yes, loads fluctuate, and hence so does the voltage drop and the heat output. But when you design a circuit or component thereof (like a wire size), you size it for the maximum load. You do it once. Although the instantaneous energy transfer differs, the heat exits the wire and its insulation in a much slower, steady fashion.

Phasors? I don't need them. Phasor diagrams and algebra were developed for people who don't have the education and steady practical experience in advanced engineering mathematics. When I need something I can just derive it using calculus or Euler's equations. Phasors are just a way of explaining complex math for people that can't do it. Phasors are a practical tool. But they are not needed for understanding such a simple subject as voltage drop. AC or DC. Any electrician worth his or her salt, can easily do design voltage drop calculations simply by using some tables in Ugly's. They don't need phasors, And they know that increasing the size of the wire, decreases the voltage drop and heat disipation. Its basic. Sorry for being blunt, but you seem to have just enough knowledge to be dangerous, but absolutely no real experience in sizing wiring for voltage drop. (Or you would have never said something so backwards in the first place, as "The bigger the gauge of wire, the less voltage drop". Its simply wrong.

Thanks for explanation, however, of the 'big picture' of what 120V AC does and what a sine wave is. I work with AC voltages from 120V to 138kV. The voltage drop math and results are the same. Sorry, but when it comes to electric power, I think you may be mistaking me for someone who is easily baffled by BS. (By the way, I don't use simple Ohm's law for voltage drop. My calculations include the reactive effects of the wire and its raceway if its in one. Most of the time, however, Ohm's law, is perfectly sufficient, unless its a long run in steel conduit.)


Ivybridge_I7
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said by whizkid3:

Thanks for explanation, however, of the 'big picture' of what 120V AC does. I work with AC voltages from 120V to 138kV. The voltage drop math and results are the same. Sorry, but when it comes to electric power, I think you may be mistaking me for someone who is easily baffled by a bunch of BS.

No B.S. my good friend , I just know A.C. theory when you apply it to parallel and series circuits. Induction and Capacitive loads are a very interesting subject, more on the engineering level. I am sure you would at least take in consideration the inrush current when the compressor motor starts. You know the electromagnetic flux that actual starts the motor when the current level is at it's peak.
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whizkid3
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4 edits
said by Ivybridge_I7:

I am sure you would at least take in consideration the inrush current when the compressor motor starts. You know the electromagnetic flux that actual starts the motor when the current level is at it's peak.

No, actually inductive inrushes of motors or transformers are never taken into account for heat dissipation from wiring. They are extremely short term effects, that happen infrequently and contribute nothing to be concerned about when one is concerned about heat.

Inrush is, however, taken into account for voltage drop and wire sizing calculations to ensure there is enough voltage available to start a motor. They are also taken into account for designing protective relaying, and fuse & breaker sizing to ensure that the inrush will not trip the circuit's protection. But we are talking about bigger stuff here. If it were a grave issue to be concerned about here, the manufacturer wouldn't put a NEMA 5-15 plug on the end of his little appliance. Bro, we are talking about sizing a short extension cord. After a while, experience is the best judge of the need to increase the wire size to accommodate inrushes. The only other realistic choice is to go to automated software, because its quicker than hand-calculating the time-varying inrush effects on voltage drop and heat dissipation using calculus. That is simply not necessary for a small circuit like this. If you have a long run of wire; you go one size up. No big deal.

I do agree. Inductive and capacitive effects are very interesting from an engineering standpoint. Once one learns the 'relatively easy' differential equations behind the physics of L & C, however, they easily see that the math behind this is uniform and the same equations govern many things in the physical world. I am more fascinated by non-linear effects in AC circuits, the frequency domain, Maxwells equations, large scale conceptual design and solving actual (large) construction problems. Voltage drop calculations, IMHO, are rote work that I more often pass off to others. After a while, sizing wire gets as boring as pulling wire.


whizkid3
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reply to Ivybridge_I7
said by Ivybridge_I7:

You have no way of knowing the total resistance across the extension cord two wires (hot-neutral) that are in series from the circuit breaker to the load. ... You need to measure the total series resistance across both the hot-neutral wires and the longer the cord, the more voltage drop and in theory more heat being dissipated.

In the real world, there is no need to know the resistance of the load or the total resistance of the circuit. We know what the circuit is designed to support in terms of maximum load. Voltage drop is calculated using the current draw of the load, not the resistance. The formulas are very easy and even when they are not, there are already published tables of voltage drop based on load size, wire size, what type of raceway the wire is in, and the power factor of the load. No need to reinvent the wheel here, and start deriving voltage drop equations. Pro's that do voltage drop calculations and wire sizing - electricians & engineers - don't waste their expensive time thinking about it. They get it done, using tried and true methods, and its done accurately. After a while, the need to increase wire size dependent on the size of the circuit and the length becomes gut instinct. Experience is the reason I can tell you off the top of my head, the maximum distance anyone would want to run 480V and not step up to 4160 or higher. Or what is the maximum distance to run a 120V, 15A or 20A circuit, before the wire size has to be increased. Only in extremely unusual and rare situations does anyone have to worry what 'may be' plugged into a 120V, 15A receptacle when sizing the wire for the circuit. The same goes for extensions cords. Most of the pro's here don't need calculations to tell you the size that should be used in a given situation. Yeah, to some its fascinating stuff. When you do it often enough; its very easy and becomes boring quickly.

said by Ivybridge_I7:

I still thing that spending the money and doing it right with a dedicated (15 amp) outlet using a romex or BX from the circuit breaker is the best way to go.

Of course. Agreed.

AKA06

join:2011-02-10
reply to AKA06
I appreciate the responses. Well, most of them. I'm not sure I appreciate the pontification a reply or two has displayed, though most were far more helpful. And, I see a debate on the principles of electricity has also developed.

As I already stated once in the thread, this is not intended for permanent use, nor did I once suggest it was.

My actual intention is to move the current dedicated circuit or run a new one. However, that will not be completed right away. That said, that fact really is peripheral to my original question, which was the efficacy of using an extension whose amperage rating was lower than the requirement of the device used (whose actual starting and running amperage should be lower).


Dennis
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said by AKA06:

I appreciate the responses. Well, most of them. I'm not sure I appreciate the pontification a reply or two has displayed, though most were far more helpful. And, I see a debate on the principles of electricity has also developed.

Well keep in mind that a lot of the more knowledgeable people on this subject have also see the results of doing things the wrong way. So their passion really stems from a desire to see no wrong happen....at least that's how I look at it.

I think the consensus has been that a permanent circuit is the best option but if you intend to use an extension cord (and we can't stop you of course) then the best bet is to go for the smallest number gauge (#12 or #10) that you can afford. It's never a bad idea and you can always use them in the future for your generator or something.
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AKA06

join:2011-02-10

3 edits
reply to AKA06
Agreed for the most part Dennis. Some need to temper that "passion" to better see what was asked and not be so presumptious.

I bring up the idea of extensions, but do not claim their permanence, and even those who appropriately suggest their temporary status acknowledge they can be used (temporarily). I'm really more interested in the cable as it relates to it's amperage capacity, to which gauge isn't neccesarily proportional, but I agree, at 12 it seems to be enough (14 may or may not be).

I can take the snarky responses with the helpful, and sort them out. If I must.



Jack_in_VA
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reply to whizkid3
said by whizkid3:

Experience is the reason I can tell you off the top of my head, the maximum distance anyone would want to run 480V and not step up to 4160 or higher.

Really? What about the 2300 volt motor option? 1000 HP 2300 volt motors are very common in industrial plants. How about 13.8 Kv motors usually found on large chillers? Sometimes it's more cost efficient to run high voltage to the site of the 480 volt motors and set a transformer and MCC there. A good design company takes all that into account.

All this OP wanted to do was plug in his freezer. A quality proper sized extension cord would be fine for this. He said it was temporary.

One could make the argument that the POS cords that connect most equipment are extension cords themselves.


Ivybridge_I7
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reply to whizkid3
said by whizkid3:

In the real world, there is no need to know the resistance of the load or the total resistance of the circuit. We know what the circuit is designed to support in terms of maximum load. Voltage drop is calculated using the current draw of the load, not the resistance. The formulas are very easy and even when they are not, there are already published tables of voltage drop based on load size, wire size, what type of raceway the wire is in, and the power factor of the load.
I still thing that spending the money and doing it right with a dedicated (15 amp) outlet using a romex or BX from the circuit breaker is the best way to go.
Of course. Agreed.

I never said that you should sit there and do the actual calculation to figure out the inductive or capacitive loads of the motor in the freezer, only that a good understanding of what is going on when the electrons go through the circuit is important.

Once you have a good understanding of Alternating Current and how it relates to circuit theory you will see them differently. Power Factor (ratio) is also good to know because that tell you how efficient the circuit will be with regards to the efficiency of the power applied.
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Bobcat79
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join:2001-02-04
reply to AKA06
Go to the hardware store and pick up a heavy-duty extension cord (like what would be used with an air conditioner). Just make sure the length isn't way longer than you need. Problem solved.


Jack_in_VA
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said by Bobcat79:

Go to the hardware store and pick up a heavy-duty extension cord (like what would be used with an air conditioner). Just make sure the length isn't way longer than you need. Problem solved.

Good solution to solve the problem. +1

mdrejhon

join:2004-02-02
Toronto, ON

4 edits
reply to Bobcat79
DON'T FORGET PLUG-TO-SOCKET CONNECTOR SAFETY RISKS!!!!

One thing someone is forgetting is if someone must use an extension cord, all aspects of risk minimization must be taken advantage of. Check that the outlet you plug into, is not corroded. Connection points are frequently points of higher resistance and are often the portions that heat the most. Example: Burn marks at old laundry power outlets, scorch marks in a regular household power outlet, or at the end of an old vaccuum plug -- that all happens -- it is surprisingly common if you've visited a lot of houses.

So, if you MUST use an extension cord (and possibly ignore code), use a NEW super-heavy-duty one of high quality brand please, preferably designed for weather resistance for better corrosion resistance, scrub the freezer's original plug with stainless wool to remove its corrosion, and make sure the power outlet you plug the extension into, is pretty clean -- install a new power socket if it shows clear dulness in all of its metal contacts, (Costs less than $5 and under a 15 minute job). Your near term risk will go down dramatically even for temp installs (Probably an over 90%+ improvement). Even if you rewire and install a new power outlet, the condition of the original freezer plug also needs to be taken into account.

Factoid: Ohmmeters have shown lower electrical resistance for high quality two electrical contacts (clean plug/outlet connecitons) over a reasonable fresh extension (say 12-feet-ish) than direct plugs (one contact) of a dull plug in a dull outlet. At least until things starts getting damaged, or starts to corrode, of course (not usually an issue in very clearly temp installs). A single interval of poor contact can have higher resistance than several feet of copper -- AND -- the local heating is FOCUSSED in one junction (intensified) rather than spread over several feet of wire. This also includes old extension cords with old plugs, too.

The risk metric of an extension varies a lot. Those industrial black snakes you see piped past certain passageways of a carnival or rock show (with walk-ramps covering them, people stepping all over them), are ultra-safe extension cables and carry a magnitude or two more power than your household extension cord. In many juridisctions, multiple departments including the power company and the fire department inspect them and approve them before allowing the concert or event to proceed. On the other hand, that 20-year old banged-up lawnmower extension cord, stored in a damp garage, with now-dull-brown plugs and black arc marks on the prongs, and a few scorch marks at the socket end -- that's quite an unsafe extension cord. Clearly, the risk metrics of an extension cord varies all over the map. You electricians already know that.

Regardless if you are an experienced electrician or not, or somebody who wants to temporarily violate code (that's your perogative, I'm not stopping you), this factor must be considered regardless, of any decision made. You know your mom's frayed vaccuum cleaner or toaster plug that becomes hot -- that's local heating caused by a plug that has dull blades that no longer makes a low-resistance contact in the power outlet. And sometimes contact is so bad that arcing occurs. Those things can cause fires, too -- not just a damaged wire. Retired fridges/freezers or "second freezers" are often old, so they are prime candidate for plug inspection too. Freezers are often garage queens, and stuff stored long-term garage can have pretty dull plugs, thanks to the generally harsher garage conditions relative to indoors, too. Still an issue even when you rewire to a power outlet.

Duh! I'm shocked that the experienced electricians in this thread totally neglected to mention this (for *THIS* circumstance), possibly more important, item of safety risk in connectors that also apply in a rewire -- the freezer still has its own weak link in its old plug. For pete's sake, forest for the trees! One needs to focus on the WHOLE CHAIN of common-sense safety risks!