220 Volt Extension Cords - Router Forums
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Angry 220 Volt Extension Cords

I have recently acquired a used Delta Unisaw with a 3HP 220 Volt motor and the cord on the saw ends about 10-15 feet from a new 220 Volt dedicated outlet served by a 30 amp circuit breaker. I believe the cord on the Unisaw has the original plug. How long an extension cord can I use and what wire gauge would be required to safely serve the Unisaw? Any help in setting this up safely would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 04:29 PM
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30 Amp breaker requires #10 ga wiring, John. In theory you could probably run the motor with a 12 ga cord, because it's relatively short, but if you're fortunate enough to have a 3HP/220V beast of a motor, why would you want to handicap it with inadequate wiring. Obviously you don't; that's why you're asking!
The motor probably draws 21+ amps?
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 08:47 PM
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There is an old rule in electronics, which is that you can always run bigger wire, but you cannot run smaller wire. In short, it will not hurt a thing if you run "too big an extension cord" to your saw.

My 3hp Unisaw, and the one before it, will run fine on 12 gauge circuits (20 amp), but I ran 10 gauge to them because I'm just that way. I like the "extra amp room"and I believe it's a good practice.

If you are running ten gauge extension cord, you should be able to run it the same as you would hard wire 10 gauge, if not more. I suspect even twelve gauge multi-strand could run a long way. The weak point would be your connections. Simply put, if you are not generating heat in the line, you're okay.

I have a generator I run to a five conductor 8 gauge. I tied leads together and made it into a monster, 100' foot extension I'd run even the Unisaw from. Of course, the gen wouldn't appreciate it.



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Originally Posted by jbullockusanet View Post
I have recently acquired a used Delta Unisaw with a 3HP 220 Volt motor and the cord on the saw ends about 10-15 feet from a new 220 Volt dedicated outlet served by a 30 amp circuit breaker. I believe the cord on the Unisaw has the original plug. How long an extension cord can I use and what wire gauge would be required to safely serve the Unisaw? Any help in setting this up safely would be appreciated.

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.

Last edited by Dejure; 03-12-2014 at 10:00 PM.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 11:34 PM
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I also have a unisaw and would go with the 10 gauge. Your uni came with a plug? Mine didn't. In fact, I think it only came with the wire from the switch to the motor. I don't remember a power wire.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 07:05 AM
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I would use an RV 30 amp extension cord then install a companion wall outlet along with a plug on the saw wire. This RV extension cord is 10 ga, very robust as far as insulation and fairly flexible to get it out of the way It would probably be way too long (usually 20 to 35 feet), but can alternatively be used for a generator or a 30 amp RV if you have one.

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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 09:18 AM
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Dave has a great idea. But, if you're not going to be moving it often, why not just wire a new RV cord direct to the motor and forget the extension cord aspect.

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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 10:13 AM
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That is the best choice dont use the extension you have to make the cord anyway just go straight to the motor and 10 gage wire is more than u probably need but you loose less current on a long run with heavier wire.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 10:33 AM
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I have to vote with the others - a longer cord would be best, if it's a long term install where it's at. Again, each connection is a voltage drop potential.

The RV cord is fine, but you can buy the cord and plug at a big box or an electrical supply and would probably save money. The RV cord will have to have the male end chopped off and they can add a lot to cost.

Your current cord is probably only three conductor, but you can use a four conductor when you replace it, to add a frame ground. Just for reference, both my right and my left tilt Unisaws came with cords and plugs and, as noted, were three conductor.

As I mentioned, I could get by with a 12 gauge (20 amp. That is what comes on the 3hp saws and all it calls for, but ten gauge leaves room for a bigger motor or using the cord on other equipment.

_____________________________________
Comments from the Amazon pages:

From the manual: "A suitable circuit should not be less than AWG 12/3 wiring..." (for 3hp single phase). Such a circuit requires a 20 amp dbl. pole breaker.
Thomas O. answered on October 23, 2013

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220-240 volt and minimum 15 amp circuit. The plug is for a 15 amp 230 volt outlet so that's the minimum. This is for the 3HP motor.
Gauda answered on October 23, 2013

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The 3 Hp saw comes prewired with a 20 Amp 3 prong 220V plug. The saw will draw about 12.4 amps running. Use a 20 Amp 220V circuit with a minimum 12 gauge line wiring.
Mike answered on October 24, 2013

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I run it with 240v dedicated 20 amp double pole breaker. I also use a heavy duty, 10/3, 25 foot extension cord to reach the saw.
GlenT answered on October 24, 2013

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 12:44 PM
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That type saw isn't meant to be moved and I didn't intend to move mine again once I had it set up so I wired it direct to my panel using armored BX cable. Unless you have yours set up so that the cord will never be stepped on then I would recommend that it be done that way. You'll never have to replace it or worry about a short circuit from wires rubbing together.

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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 02:27 AM
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Mine is overkill. 6 gauge wire to one of 4 240volt outlets in my garage (2 30 amp oulets and 2 50 amp outlets). The panel saw I have to a 50 amp and use the same connectors as my welders. For my welders, I have a 50 foot 2 gauge (angel hair) extension cord (600volt). (<-- I picked up the coil at a garage sale for $20!)

I have a 1300# plus saw but opted to run flexible cables that could be disconnected. Why you ask? It's not like I can drag that saw out to the end of the driveway to use, so it's not that...

Because my saw is set in the middle of the garage. There is the working room required to do different things... It moves against a wall (right side) when I need the extra space. When I have to break down sheets, I need to move it from the wall so I can get a full sheet of movement. I havew to move things from behind it if I need full movement of the table.

The much bigger factor is that I have "other" very heavy things I have to get around my saw and I would be not able to get them safety over an armored cable.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
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Last edited by MAFoElffen; 03-14-2014 at 04:25 PM.
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