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Using Extension Cord with Chest Freezer

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by ttaM, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. OZ-T

    OZ-T All of those moments....will be lost.....in time

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    I have those in 8 gauge cab tire :)
     
  2. wileyC

    wileyC Well-Known Member

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    my guess is the reason they discourage the use of extension cords is the same reason hairdryer manufacturers use caution labels about using near water - i.e. they don't like getting sued by stupid people :D

    ...probably this is because undoubtedly some people in need of an extension cord for an appliance would just go by a cheap lamp cord and use that = potential disaster, since the gauge (or diameter) of the conductors is too small for the intended currents and thus could become to hot and a fire hazard...

    my rule of thumb would be to get the appliance cord w/ the same guage and capacity as the NM (i.e. romex) cabling supplying the outlet it will be hooked into. this way it's just an extension of the circuit behind the walls that is designed to work w/ a breaker. so, look at the guage and current rating (in amps) feeding the outlet, and go w/ that size in your extension cord, and make sure it's UL/CSA rated, and you should be fine... :)
     
  3. joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

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    I repair freezers and such for a living.

    A chest freezer has only one electrical load, the compressor. When running, the compressor is only going to pull 2 amps. However, when starting, the compressor will instantaneously pull 15+ amps.

    In the event of a compressor failure, when the compressor is TRYING to start, but can't, we are talking about locked rotor amperage of 20-25 amps for several seconds at a time. Circuit breakers don't trip instantaneously. In the event that the temperature protection device on the compressor fails, and the compressor keeps trying to start at locked rotor amperage, you're relying on the house breaker to trip and save the day. If it does not, the weakest link in the system will burn up.

    Go by the 20 amp rated cord, in the shortest length possible. Most circuits are 20 amps now, with 12gauge wire and 20 amp breakers. Don't pile a bunch of potentially flammable stuff around the freezer. Especially don't set the end of the extension cord, with the freezer plug pushed into it, on anything flammable, like carpet. That connection is more likely to get hot than the actual cord, and I have seen scorched carpet from that.

    Ideally, you'd add an outlet for the freezer, and eliminate the extension cord. But I feel it's a small risk with a good heavy cord, and some common sense.
     
  4. joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Yes. You'd be surprised (maybe not:rolleyes:) how many fools plug a microwave (12amps plus) into a two prong lamp cord, with the grounding prong on the microwave bent out of the way. 4,000 volt transformer inside, and they eliminate the ground:eek:.
     
  5. ttaM

    ttaM [OP] 4.8.15.16.23.42

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    I ended up getting the 12g 15ft. It's on a dedicated breaker as well, so I feel pretty good about it.
     
  6. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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