Anonymous asked in Home & GardenOther - Home & Garden · 1 decade ago

Need help with an extension cord?

The electrical work on this house is sub-par, and it's not possible for me to run high draw appliances from the same room, so the only choice I have is to use an extension cord and pull the power from (literally) across the house. Hiring a contractor to re-do the wiring is not possible, so I need to know if there is an extension cord that can handle what I need it to do?

Summer Time: 5400 BTU Air Conditioner

Winter Time: 2000 watt personal space heater

What gauge wire would this require, and do you know of any retail outlets or online websites that sell this kind of item? Cost isn't too much of a concern, as long as it is reasonable for the length (25' is ideal)


The house wiring isn't subpar per-se, the outlet that I run the existing cord off of is rated for the load (but as you all say, and I am aware of, the stress put on the outlet by using such a method) is in a part of the house that was remodeled within the last 10 years. The room where I am using these appliances would only be used one at a time, and only while I am here, I never run them (or leave them plugged in) when I am not at home. I appreciate the feedback.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Just out of curiosity, are these going to be run to the same room?

    Rewiring a whole house can be expensive, yes, but better than the alternative, if your home has old wiring, that is a fire hazard.

    But you may not need to rewire the whole house at once.

    Do you have room in your circuit box for additional circuits?

    And, do you have a basement where you can easily run the wire?

    You could actually do much of the 'physical labor' ...aka... 'grunt work' ... yourself, to run a line or two, and hire an electrician just to come in and do the final connection. He would inspect your work to make sure it is safe, and up to code. There are those of us who understand a tight budget, hehehe, and are willing to work with folks.

    If you do not have a basement, or attic where you could easily run the additional wire, you can always run it around the outside of the home in conduit.

    If you do not have room for additional circuits in your existing circuit panel, you can run the new wiring to a 'sub panel' which could be placed anywhere you need it.

    I have extensions cords for my work... they can get expensive really quick, hehehe...Ive paid well over $100 for some of my heavy duty cords to run my tools. And, youve got to remember, not only are you putting a draw on the cord itself, but also any electrical oulet you are plugging them into (which can be a hazard if, as you mention, your house wiring is sub-par to begin with).

    With that being said, I would also recommend an 8 or 10 gauge cord for this application. Right now, you can get an 8/3 cord, 25 long for about $75 on ebay.....thats about the same price you would pay for a whole roll of 'romex' wire (about 200 to 250 ft), and the supplies to run the circuit. For the same price you will pay for a single short extension cord... you can literally get enough wire to run several circuits. A 'contractor grade' extension cord, 10/3 at 50 foot is running about $70. 12 gauge cords are considerably less expensive, but would not be heavy enough for those two items you mention.

    Now... a 12/3 roll of 'romex' wire would be heavy enough for what you want... you see, the typical household wiring is made differently from extension cords, and can carry a heavier load. Extension cords need to be flexible, so the "wire" inside it is made up of many strands, whereas the 'romex' wire you would use in the walls... is made of solid will not heat up like the multi-strand wiring of an extension cord. Romex right now is running anywhere from $40 to $80 per roll, depending on where you live, and that's for 250ft of wire.

    You can purchase a 100 amp circuit panel box for about $50 to $70 dollars.

    So, you can purchase a single extension cord right now, or you can spend just a few dollars more, and get enough supplies to run 10 new circuits.

    I would ask a few electricians to come in, take a look at what youve got now, and give you some recommendations. Ask for an estimate...ask them if you can do part of the work to lower the cost (can't hurt to ask, and estimates are free).

    By the way, just for convenience sake I pulled all the prices I've mentioned here off of ebay, to which you would need to add shipping charges... spend a little time shopping at local outlets, and I think you may be able to beat those prices.

    Good Luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Just to reiterate what everyone else is saying, I am using a heavy duty 25 ft 12 ga extension cord for 8000 btu portable AC (~9 amp) OR 1500 watt heater (typically 700 watt on setting 1) on a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

    But that 12 ga cord is rated 15 amp and your 2000 watt heater would need a cord (and circuit) rated for 20 amp. So you would need at least 10 ga cord.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you must run this off of an extension cord..get at least a 10 guage extension cord..that is what I use to run my airless spray rigs and compressors..Do not run more than 1 item at a time on this cord though..

    Source(s): On an extension cord and wiring the smaller the number of the guage, the thicker the wiring not use a 12 or 16 guage..they have smaller wiring in it and will heta up fairly easy
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