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# 200 feet of extension cords, is it to much?? - Page 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akane

If I put a 16 followed by 2 12s and plug in 2 heated buckets and 2 250w heat lamps the lamps will dim but if I reverse it and put the 16 last the lamps will not dim when everything is plugged in because the first 2 cords get more power to the last one than the smaller cord could get to the other 2 if reversed.

No, it really doesn't work that way.  If you saw that in actual practice it was not because of the order of cords, but because of a bad connection someplace that was corrected when you swapped the cords around.

You can model the three cords as three resistances in series going to the load, and three resistances in series completing the circuit back to the power supply.  It doesn't matter what order you put the resistances in, the sum of the resistances is always the same and the sum of the resulting voltage drops is always the same.  You cannot reduce the total voltage drop by rearranging the cords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac in abilene
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akane

If I put a 16 followed by 2 12s and plug in 2 heated buckets and 2 250w heat lamps the lamps will dim but if I reverse it and put the 16 last the lamps will not dim when everything is plugged in because the first 2 cords get more power to the last one than the smaller cord could get to the other 2 if reversed.

No, it really doesn't work that way.  If you saw that in actual practice it was not because of the order of cords, but because of a bad connection someplace that was corrected when you swapped the cords around.

You can model the three cords as three resistances in series going to the load, and three resistances in series completing the circuit back to the power supply.  It doesn't matter what order you put the resistances in, the sum of the resistances is always the same and the sum of the resulting voltage drops is always the same.  You cannot reduce the total voltage drop by rearranging the cords.

Mac is correct.

it matters not in what order the cords are placed in, ohms is ohms.

Fisherman and Chicken Magnate--- Extra-ordinair
Fisherman and Chicken Magnate--- Extra-ordinair

Learn something every day on this site.  My earlier post of incorrect understanding stands corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderkat

Wow!!  I followed this thread almost right up to the end.  At that point, my brain shorted out, and my head caught on fire!!!

I know what you mean but, I think I am understanding what everyone is trying to say and I now understand about the watts divided by voltage equals amps.

I may go with the cord in bulk I just need to see how to plug it in without kicking the breaker box.  Maybe DH knows someone that can help us.   I can't wait to get this done.   I'll let you all know how it goes.

I printed out some of the information so I have it.

Thank you all so much I have learned a lot.

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it matters not in what order the cords are placed in, ohms is ohms.

Um, yeah, in theory. But in practice every tradesman plugs the heaviest cord into the source, and puts smaller gauge cords closer to the tool (load).  One reason is the heavier cord may have to carry the load of several smaller cords downstream. Also, if you've ever overheated a cord (I have a "slinky" cord from using it to run a compressor and chopsaw - I should have gotten a different cord but I was lazy. Now I just use it for droplights) you will notice that it always happens at the end where it's plugged in, less so at the tool end, and not at all in the middle.

4 legal hens and one "ninja"
4 legal hens and one "ninja"
Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDad

Um, yeah, in theory.

In actual practice too...

But in practice every tradesman plugs the heaviest cord into the source, and puts smaller gauge cords closer to the tool (load).  One reason is the heavier cord may have to carry the load of several smaller cords downstream.

Obviously that would be correct, but not what we were talking about, nor given in the example..  We were talking about a single run made up of multiple extension cords, without any branch circuits.

Also, if you've ever overheated a cord (I have a "slinky" cord from using it to run a compressor and chopsaw - I should have gotten a different cord but I was lazy. Now I just use it for droplights) you will notice that it always happens at the end where it's plugged in, less so at the tool end, and not at all in the middle.

Technically It shouldn't, unless you leave it coiled up where it's plugged in or have a bad connection at the receptacle.  Every foot of a cord has a given resistance and at a given current will produce the same heat as any other foot of the cord.  They will heat up at any points of high resistance, such as dirty plugs or poor splices.  If you see the first few feet burnt it's because of a poor connection at the receptacle and the heat migrated up the copper wire. Don't assume your commercial cord is not spliced.  I have one of those 100' Yellow Jackets that developed a burnt spot.  I cut it open and found a poorly made barrel splice inserted by the manufacturer.

Running 12 gauge cords from the house is pretty safe.  It's hard to overload them because you can really only plug them into a 15 or 20 amp protected circuit.  They will carry 20 amps all day long, as long as they aren't coiled up or laying on a hot surface.  How far you can run a given gauge of cord is another story.  As long as you don't overload it, a long run won't burn up, but will have a certain voltage drop that may or may not affect your appliance.  The higher the load the more the voltage drop.  It doesn't really matter if a light bulb is operating at 100 volts as long as it's putting out sufficient light for your purpose.  Other appliances may not fare too well at lower voltages and may be damaged.

We just ended our dependence on long runs of extension cords on our farm.  Last night I finished burying 10-2 underground feeds to our pastures and the chicken coop.  The run to the chicken coop was 60 feet and to the pastures about 200.

Jim

That will make life allot easier.
Nothing like power in the coop.

Have not read all posts.   The main thing here is to know how may amp the heater is pulling. Then make sure the breaker protect that size.   ALSO NEVER USE A CORD that can NOT carry the amps of the breaker.   Like a 16 gauge wire should Never be use with a 20 amp breaker,or fuse.

THE THING THAT PREVENT FIRE, IS THE FUSE OR BREAKER TRIPS BEFORE THE MAX. Amp. OF THE WIRE.

"THE COUNT"

"Live Like You Were Dying"

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac in abilene
Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDad

Um, yeah, in theory.

Running 12 gauge cords from the house is pretty safe.  It's hard to overload them because you can really only plug them into a 15 or 20 amp protected circuit.  They will carry 20 amps all day long, as long as they aren't coiled up or laying on a hot surface.  How far you can run a given gauge of cord is another story.  As long as you don't overload it, a long run won't burn up, but will have a certain voltage drop that may or may not affect your appliance.  The higher the load the more the voltage drop.  It doesn't really matter if a light bulb is operating at 100 volts as long as it's putting out sufficient light for your purpose.  Other appliances may not fare too well at lower voltages and may be damaged.

Very good point most breakers in home will protect 12 gauge, but not 14 and 16 gauge.   The thing about votage drop is not that great over 200 feet.

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• 200 feet of extension cords, is it to much??
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