extension cord for 230 volt air conditioner??

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Installing a new wall sleeve A/C (yes, in October; don't ask) and my life would be made a whole lot easier if I had an extension cord. This is a 230v unit and I can't find a short cord, just a few to 6 feet. I've seen a couple of longer ones, but for $90 or so. Am I missing something?? Is there a reason this is an unusual thing??? Where can I find one??
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higgins wrote:

Hi, You can make one with plugs, receptcles, wire from HD or Lowe but I don't know if it'll cost less than 90 bucks.
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The need for 240V extension cords is sufficiently unusual, that premade ones are pretty rare.
Secondly, heavy appliances are very picky about their power sources, and cabling. A lot of grief has come from undersized extension cords, especially long ones.
It's generally better to extend the in-wall wiring to close enough for the existing power cord.
If you really must use an extension cord, you're best off making one yourself from a set of male/female plugs and a length of the appropriate wire.
Since this is a big appliance, you have to pick the wire with considerable care. The length of the cord matters too.
You haven't told us what the amperage of the unit is, nor the proposed length of cord. Without that, we can't make suggestions.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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higgins wrote:

You can make one. A few feet of #14 SJT wire (flexible cord) and a couple of replacement ends. It'll probably cost you between $15 and $20. Use #12 cord if it's over about 12 feet long.
Bob
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Don't follow this advice! #14 is only good for 15 amps -- we have NO idea what the amperage of your unit is!
Please -- if you're building in an A/C unit, why in the world wouldn't you build in a proper power source for it? Do it right, and avoid a potential fire hazard.
I bet you a cold beverage that your owners manual says not to use an extension cord...
-Tim
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Tim Fischer wrote:

How many 230v air conditioners have you seen that drew more than 15 amps? A 30000 BTU unit with a rather poor EER of 8.5 will draw 15A at 230 volts. The only air conditioners I've ever seen > 30000 BTU had EER's of about 11; a 35700 BTU Friedrich air conditioner draws 14 amps.
Bob
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While you're right, one also has to consider wire length and the 80% rule. While the latter is primarily an issue with in-wall wiring, not extension cords, it's not a good idea to ignore it at these power levels.
Warm power cords make me, um, nervous. Even if they're formally legal.
Secondly, if you don't factor in wire length, you could be in a situation where resistive voltage drop during startup causes damage to an A/C compressor.
It's best not to get into specifics of a solution until you know the specifics of the problem.
You never know, this person might actually be trying to install an A/C that should really be permanently wired, and draws 20A or more.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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My sleeved wall units need to be on 10 ga. minimum wire and at least 20 amp breakers to function properly, 30 amp is more like it. These are the motel type PTAC heat-pumps though, fairly efficent, but the start up load is high.
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Wow, who knew this was a controversial topic. This is why I love usenet...
The full story is that the A/C unit is surrounded by a custom made bookcase.The previous unit was 110v, and the cord snaked through a big hole in the bookcase. I replaced it with a 235v unit. The outlet is nearby, but bulky plug won't fit through the hole. Rather than emptying the bookcase, and possibly pulling the AC unit out to drill a larger hole with a hole saw (as yet unpurchased) I figured I'd try an extension cord. Time is generally more valuable than money in my life. But I'm not spending $90 on an extension cord, especially for a $400 A/C unit.
FYI, the unit draws 9 amps on a 20 amp dedicated circuit, and has an EER rating of 9.
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Assuming it's a molded plug on the A/C cord, cut it off, snake the cord thru the existing hole, and put a new plug on the end.
Or, if it's easy to get access to inside the A/C, disconnect the cord from the inside, run it thru the hole, and reconnect.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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I just bought a 240 volt 4000 watt portable heater (16.7 amps) and the cordset is 14 AWG. According to my wire chart, the 14 AWG can handle the load. The cord doesn't get warm during use. John
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Its REALLY a bad idea to run power cords thru holes in fixed things, they can move about a little damaging wire and its not visible. real fire hazard.
For a in wall AC do it right do it once and get a new outlet.
besides it appears your 120 outlet will have only 3 wires, the AC needs 4 for safe operation, 2 power one neutral and green ground.
do this wrong can be a shock hazard or even cause a fire
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I have *never* seen a 240v air conditioner that needed (or even wanted) a neutral. Have you? They always have a cord with a NEMA 6-15 or 6-20 molded plug.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Yes, I'm afraid I have. I had the misfortune of ending up coping with several that had been shipped to Argentina from a supplier in the US. They were larger through the wall units that were being used to coll equipment shelters. The nominal voltage of the compressor was 230 volts but the fans in those units needed 115 nominal. Obviously they never should have been shipped to a job in Argentina but they were. In order to use them on the Argentine service voltage all of the fan motors had to be changed out.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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me too my old 240 volt 18K BTU window unit. big sucker:)
at the time of purchase I had to rewire to support the unit which I used in my shop. I fix laminating machines for a living. it was a goiod buy at the time a end of season close out. mab did that cool the shop even with 3 mchines running each about 2000 watts of electric heating.
I finally failed a year ago I downsized to a smaller AC with the hopes of whole house air soon....
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hmm, ripping out a custom-made bookcase, spending $500 on an electrician, more on a carpenter for a $400 A/C unit?? don't think so. I'll take the risk of snaking a 1/2 inch wire through what will soon become a 3 inch hole.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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higgins wrote:

well even a pricey electrician shouldnt charge 500 bucks to add a outlet, and its probably not necessary to remove the bookcase either. run new line from main panel or grab it somewhere along the line add workbox and go to new location........
you spent 400 bucks on the AC less than that you can install a proper outlet.
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zxcvbob wrote:

Hmmm, I don't think your advice is proper, are you trying to burn down someone's house?
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Tony Hwang wrote:

. And is something did go wrong insurance might not cover it due to 'improper wiring'?
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higgins wrote:

My choice would be to do it right. After many years of experience I have found that doing it the right way always works out best in the long run. What does the owner's manual say?
If you decide otherwise, I suggest that you first check the electrical requirements for the A/C and then, go to a local electrical supply house (not the big box store, the place real electricians go for their stuff) and trying to pick a none busy time, ask the persona behind the counter for what you need after telling him all the information you have. Bringing the A/C manual would be a good idea.
--
Joseph Meehan

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