I have a 100' extension cord from the junk, and I wondered if there is
a way to tell what gauge the wire is. The ends are molded on so I
can't see the wire.
I only know that it is a lot heavier than my current 100' extension
cord, but I don't know what gauge that one is. Also, sometimes they
make things thicker and maybe heavier just by adding more
And it has W-8 embossed on one end.
I searched on W-8 'electric cord' and got two good hits but they
were just about cords being recalled, and they said they cost between
6 and 90 dollars depending on length and gauge. So I guess W-8
doesn't tell me anything.
Is there any way to know?
If you've got an accurate ohmmeter, you can do as the above. Otherwise,
go to a hardware store and look at what they've got that's equally fat
with the same sort of insulation That may give you some indication of
the wire gauge.
Measuring the resistance of the 100-ft cord would give you the
following example readings:
12AWG, 0.1619 ohms
14AWG, 0.2575 ohms
16AWG, 0.4094 ohms
18AWG, 0.6510 ohms
Unless you have a milli-ohm meter, you might have a hard time getting
an accurate reading. Something else to try would be to measure the
voltage drop by connecting a 1500W space heater to it. The approximate
voltage drop based on the formula V=I x R would be:
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