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Subject:  Looking for Electrical Suggestions

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Cheshire Ma USA

I have 2 each heating cables that are listed at 400 watts each and 3.33 amps each. I have a 50 amp hot tub service outside of my house with a 6/3 wire cominig out of it. I would like to put a temporary wire/cord from the house to the garden [200'] to a small panel with 2 GFI outlets. What size wire and box should I get? I do not have an unlimmited budget. This will only be used for when the heating cables are needed, then rolled up and put away in the shed until the following year.

3/21/2020 3:09:50 PM


Walhalla, ND.

If I were you I’d start with a 100ft 10 gage extention cord around $100 depending where you buy it. Then go to 100ft 12 gage extension cord. Always start your heaviest gage at the source of your power. In other words don’t initially start with say a 100ft of 14gage then 100ft of 12gage.
I hope this helps. I have run 4- 400watt heaters at one time exceeding 200 ft with 12 gage extension cords without tripping a 20amp breaker.

3/21/2020 3:40:55 PM


Syracuse, NY

Else, check out this example cord - if you have 125 volts available and use 400 watts X 2 (or, 125V X your 3.33A) X 2 and the cord itself is capable of 1875 watts comfortably and you'd be using less than half of that capability, i think you'd be good;

this is all because i got interested because it's something i THINK i know about, but, DO check out the voltage drop calculator link below as well---you'd also have to find a multi-outlet cord OR a double-outlet adapter, about a buck and a half, and i do NOT know about GFIs (Ground Fault Interrupters);


PS---i did the 10-gauge for additional capability,
but a cheaper, 12-gauge would suffice;

...and for VERY interesting reading that i also learned from quite a bit:


i've always thought that if i ever needed to do anything like this, i'd buy the cheapest ones i could find and gang them up X 4: a 4-outlet box or garage outlet AS my power supply to my 4 cheap cords (probably 1500-1875 watts capability each) all the way, many feet, to a box at my end point where i'd have the otherwise supply cord there REPLACED by another 4-outlet box - it'd be all about getting the power THERE, lol---

3/21/2020 9:16:20 PM


Cheshire Ma USA

Thanks for your input with the cords, I did try heavy duty cords [not sure of the gauge] several years back and I had the connections all where turning black and starting to melt so I haven't tried that again, as well as my electric bill doubled in that month. Seemed like the wire and plugs couldn't handle it and there was alot of line loss. I was thinking hard wiring at least the 200' to the first greenhouse, then use 10 gauge cords.

3/22/2020 7:46:56 AM


Spokane Washington

Would recommend hiring a licensed electrical contractor or at the very least pull an electrical permit and do it yourself. Most inspectors will help with advice (or at least flag any violations) in the electrical service you build. Hate to hear someone got electrocuted growing pumpkins!

3/22/2020 4:09:34 PM


Cheshire Ma USA

Thanks Gad, but that were the budget kicks in.

3/23/2020 1:44:13 PM


Walhalla, ND.

DKrus- If you look on the cord you should see a print that tells what gage you have. Most extension have this imprinted on the cord. Many extention cords ou there are 16 or 14 gage, stay away from those. Those small cords will produce the too hot conditions your referring to most especially at 100ft plus with a heavier load. I only use a minimum of 12 gage. The higher the number the smaller the wire. Don’t think that a cord that’s bigger around on the outside is heavier wire on the inside. More often than not it’s because of all the insulation used.

3/23/2020 2:31:41 PM


Springfield, VT

Since you are working with resistive loads the wire size can be smaller but the output from the heating cables will be less. All you are doing is increasing the resistance and decreasing the current and output power. If you were powering a pump motor voltage drop becomes a real issue since motors will increase current draw if voltage goes down. A buck/boost transformer could be used to raise the voltage if small wires are used but there is a cost to that also.

3/24/2020 8:19:39 PM


Syracuse, NY

yeah - NO plug-in connections 'along the way'; those are the weakest links here - i had not stated clearly that between point A and point B would be straight wire, and i'll bet that before there were cord ends, they probably used binding posts!
i'll leave it alone, now, but i can't imagine that it CAN'T be done by simply using additional wires - after all, does a wire twice or more as thick, or twice as many or more of them, carry more juice? uh-huh. so, once that tipping point is found, and it's a straight shot, what's to stop it?
anyway, good luck and yeah, don't get shocked - eg
PS---if nothing else has come from my rant, i do recall now there are
terminal strips that, once the cords might have their ends removed, would
practically make a straight connection a reality - no more sliding-type connections. gl

3/25/2020 3:14:19 AM


Cheshire Ma USA

Thanks pumpkin pal and Wilber, I was told a solid copper wire without plugs is much better the wound wire that is is standard cords.

3/28/2020 10:27:03 AM

Total Posts: 10 Current Server Time: 5/28/2020 5:29:19 PM
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