Why is electric cord thicker than it used to be, and do they make little switches for thick cord.

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Why is electric cord thicker than it used to be, and do they make little roller switches for thick cord?
The first question is philosophical and the second is practical.
Lamp cords and fan cords etc. are thicker than they were years ago. I don't think the copper is thicker but the vinyl is? Why did they do that? The old cords were fine (and variious designes of quick-attach plugs, receptacles, switches, etc. were suited for the old thickness) .
(I haven't rewound my 78 year old fan yet, but I do like the $5 dollar one I just bought. It fits on the windows sill and I want to put the same roller switch on the cord that the other fan had, so I only have to raise my arm to turn the fan off.)
But the cord is so thick, the only inline switches that will work are the 2 or 3" long ones. going by what I've found so far
I've been to Home Depot and I've looked online. I've looked on Ace and Lowe's web pages.
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Can't you use a small knife to enlarge the holes at the ends of the rotary switch that you have, and mash down on the cord for the internal electrical connections.
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On Fri, 31 Aug 2012 21:52:44 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

I don't think so.
I was going to use a soldering iron tip to melt away what I didn't want, but there is no leeway. Right next to one of the two entrances is one of the two alignment pins, and part of the structure of the case.
Plus the needles that pierce the insulation don't seem long enough to do so. And this new vinyl seems tougher than the rubber from older electric cord. I'm not sure the pins will make it in at all.
I don't think it can be mashed, partly because it's not rubber, but I thought about shaving the wire to make it thinner. If I could do a good job, on one side and the outer edge of both conductors for about an inch each, that would solve all the problems, but I'm sure i will make big nicks all the way down to the copper. I'd use a new blade, but I don't think that's enough.
Maybe I can do it. Is there some clever way to do a good job of shaving?
BTW, do razor sharp replaceable blades get dull just sitting around for 5 or 10 years?
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I like Heybub's idea of replacing the power cord with a thinner one as long as it is safe and a newer cord should still be ok. Otherwise, shving the cord down seems reasonable, us a new blade and go slowly.
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micky wrote:

Replace the supplied wire with two-conductor zip cord.
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wrote:

Hmmm.. Maybe so. I don't like idea of opening up a brand new thing, or of cutting off most of the cord and splicing, but maybe that's what I should do. . Thanks
Maybe I should shave the cord like Bob suggests and if I do a bad job, then I can change the cord.
BTW, it also comes with a small ceramiic fuse (like a glass fuse) in a little compartment in the plug. I wonder why they have that. I guess US style plugs are used all over north and south America. Does that mean they think some places don't have normal fusing, or do they think their fan is likely to short?
Thanks everyone.
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while the branch circuit breaker may be 15 amps the max current the fan for instance may ever pul is 2 amps.
so they fuse the item to prevent a fire........
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wrote:

Well that's good. The plug is barely bigger than other plugs.
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micky wrote:

Often one has to modify a new item to get it to conform to the buyer's wishes: Mud flaps on a Corvette, for example.
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outlet that you want and plug the fan cord into it. That way you can make it as long as you want, route it conveniently - maybe even more conveniently than before.
Tomsic
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micky wrote:

I can't say I've noticed any change (not saying there isn't). You are using standard lamp cord? The stuff with two vinyl/rubber encased wires joined in the middle? What gauge? Can you use a smaller gauge?
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

It's what came attached to the fan, and to a lot of things these days.
It's thicker. It doesn't bend as easily**. I think it's denser or at least not as soft as traditional zip cord. It might last longer, but the traditional stuff easily lasts 30 years.
**So much so that I'll have to reroute the cord... because when I roll over and maybe push on the cord, I've knocked the fan off the sill. With the older "rubber" cord, the cord just bent and the fan stayed where it was.

Yes, the stuff is like that.

I don't know. It's a little motor that spins a 4" blade. Couldn't be more than 30 watts. So I assume it's 14 gauge.

If I cut the cord off, I can use a smaller wire. .
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wrote:

Some other thick cords are those that go to power supply bricks, even for laptops and smaller things than that. Those cords carry less than an amp, but for some reason t hey're a lot thicker.
The cord on this fan isn't black but clear I think, but because of what's inside and maybe reflection, it doesn't look like copper inside but more black.
I may have seen stuff like this on lamps for sale, but I'm not sure.
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wrote:

inside and replace with decent zip cord.
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On Sat, 01 Sep 2012 16:53:11 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Maybe that's the best idea. Thanks.
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On 8/31/2012 11:49 PM, micky wrote:

This is prolly what you need:
http://www.frys.com/product/3210591
Heavy duty in-line rocker switch, 10A, 120Volts AC, with insulation piercing terminals. Current Rating: 10A@125V AC Dielectric Strength: 300 Volt Terminal Material: Brass Terminal Type: Screw Wire Type: Flat or round cords Flat:18/2 & 16/2, SPT-1, SPT-2, HPN Round: 18/2 type SVT, up to 9/32" O.D.
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Maybe. Thanks. It's a switch I hadn't seen before.

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"micky" wrote in message
Why is electric cord thicker than it used to be, and do they make little roller switches for thick cord?
The first question is philosophical and the second is practical.
Lamp cords and fan cords etc. are thicker than they were years ago. I don't think the copper is thicker but the vinyl is? Why did they do that? The old cords were fine (and variious designes of quick-attach plugs, receptacles, switches, etc. were suited for the old thickness) .
(I haven't rewound my 78 year old fan yet, but I do like the $5 dollar one I just bought. It fits on the windows sill and I want to put the same roller switch on the cord that the other fan had, so I only have to raise my arm to turn the fan off.)
But the cord is so thick, the only inline switches that will work are the 2 or 3" long ones. going by what I've found so far
I've been to Home Depot and I've looked online. I've looked on Ace and Lowe's web pages.
I use remotes on things. Item plugs into attachment that plugs into outlet. Remote then turns it on and off. Wife is disabled and this works great for her. Google for where to buy. WW
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wrote:

Thanks. I went through all the switches at a few stores, and I did see a couple of those. It's a possibility.
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On 8/31/2012 10:49 PM, micky wrote:

Don't you know that everyone in America is gaining weight and fatter than we were in years past? ^_^
TDD
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