400' run on 12 g wire.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ballvalve, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    Nut neighbor wants to run 400' of 3/4 conduit for a 120v outlet to plug in a very occasional skil saw or battery charger on a campsite.

    Looks like 12 ga gives him 106 volts. Maybe a 15 watt porch light also. Does'nt want to pay for 10 ga. Would that be viable?

    I suppose we must assume he would be also using a 50' cheap cord at the end of that 400 foot run.

    Its a straight easy run, so I suppose the next guy could easily replace that wire.
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Hopefully his Skill Saw is hand operated...
  3. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    He is an absolute fool!
    WHY wire it with the thought of replacing it later? Why not just do it correctly from the start??

    You want to know what "correct" is?? #6 would be OK. #8 would be marginal. #10 is unacceptable. #12 is unthinkable.
    This is using only 12A also. A typical circular saw is probably 15A. And not taking into account the added 50' cord.


    If I were you I would not touch this.
    A) Are you insured/licensed/qualified to do electrical work for others?
    B) You are putting YOUR name on this if you do. The fact that he was too cheap to do the right thing will be forgotten.
  4. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    a typical ciruclar saw is 7.5a-10a from all the corded ones i've owned.. heck, my jobiste/portable 10" tablesaw draws way less than 15a. i agree 12 ga is incorrect.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  5. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Well, the Makita 5007 is a typical saw on almost every job site I have ever been on. That is a 15A saw.
    http://www.makita.com/en-us/modules/tools/ToolDetails.aspx?ID=349751
    Homeowner plastic Skil saws might be 7-8 amps.
  6. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    wonder what a homeowner may be using on a CAMPSITE? probably plastic skilsaws :)
  7. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Does it really matter? Considering the application, using 15A as a base for figuring VD is safer than using 8A.
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    If his skil saw was battery operated, the charger probably would do fine on 100 volts. My first choice of skilsaw is a gas chainsaw anyway. I do have a few 300' 10 gauge extension cords that seems to run anything just fine. And brush motors run on about any voltage with reduced power.

    Seems like he could live with 10 as a bare minimum. They are screwballs, and very minimalistic - already have a few solar panels there. I know he could at least get a shave at this outlet. I can talk him into 10, but 8 will be against his "religion".
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Well, in the OP you specifically state he would use a Skil saw or battery charger. So that is a big "if". Just a battery charger will have dramatically less VD than a 15A saw.



    Wow! You'll talk yourself into anything, won't you?
    You're can't be serious about the motor thing, can you??
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  10. mar3232

    mar3232 Member

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    2 parallel runs of 12 guage but NOT just one
  11. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    I believe most table saws use regular AC squirrel cage motors, not brush motors, and the high starting current would be high enough to pull the voltage down across such a long run of #12 to a damaging value to the motor if it did not spin up to normal speed promptly. Possibly enough to trip the breaker, if not the thermal overload in the motor assuming it has one. Loading it down trying to cut a piece of wood might not work out too well either
  12. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    a campsite normally does not need electricity.

    If you need to run a saw at your campsite then next time, cut the wood before you go camping in the backyard.


    Enjoy the camp out.


    DonL
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    Location:
    northfork, california
    At least his porch lightbulb will last 15 years.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    The long service feeds (that are often undersized) at camps/cottages very often suffer from low voltage to begin with and then the same voltage drop on the return (neutral) can be a source for annoying stray voltages as well.

    Tell him to go cordless and sneakernet the charger back at the camp.
  15. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    The NEC does not address voltage drop as that is a design issue
  16. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

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    Not code compliant.
    You can not run parallel less than #1
  17. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    i've read that before too. why is that? i don't understand why you cannot parrell and be compliant.
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    quote;
    2 parallel runs of 12 guage but NOT just one

    And that would cost a LOT MORE than a #10 wire because you would have to also have separate neutrals. #10 would be adequate, lthough there would still be a sizable voltage drop.​
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
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