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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I got a paddle safety switch for my table mounted router. It was advertised as being a 20 amp switch rated for 3-1/4 hp routers, which mine is. When I got it it came with a lead to plug into an outlet and a short lead with a female plug to attach to the router and both leads were 14 gauge wire. Will that wire handle a 20 amp load?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 10:43 PM
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14 Gauge is rated 15 Amp for short lengths. For longer lengths, one then needs to compensate for voltage drop, by going to larger gauge wire.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 10:53 PM
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Hi Ells

Yes,,,but I can't wait until the elec. math wiz guys get a peek at this post..and take it apart.... LOL..just for kicks take a look at the size of wire on your 3 1/4HP router


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Originally Posted by Ells View Post
I got a paddle safety switch for my table mounted router. It was advertised as being a 20 amp switch rated for 3-1/4 hp routers, which mine is. When I got it it came with a lead to plug into an outlet and a short lead with a female plug to attach to the router and both leads were 14 gauge wire. Will that wire handle a 20 amp load?

Ells



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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 11:22 PM
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The rreason the manufacturers use lighter gauge wire is because it's cheaper than using the correct size wires and your router will probably never be run at the faceplate amperage anyway. If it is run close to the max it will probably be for a very short period. If was run near max for a sustained, the voltage drop on the line would cause even more current to flow caused by the reduced counter EMF generated in the motor due to the lower speed which would cause more voltage drop... over and over 'till something gives. In my experience what would happen next would probably be the prongs melting in the wall socket.

Conclusion: Don't try to run your electrical power tools with undersized wire (including under sized extension cords)with anything near the name plate power rating.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 01:15 AM
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The reason that manufacturers get away with smaller wire and plugs is because they get the whole assembly tested as a unit, and different standards are used for those evaluations. The NEC was written for general purpose applications where the whole assembly is not evaluated by an independant agency. Because there's less certainty of the load, the NEC is more conservative.

That's the reason Delta can get away with shipping their 5hp Unisaw (20A motor) with a NEMA 6-20 (20A) plug and 10ga flexible cord, although telling you to hook it to 40A protection which means you have to run 8ga from the breaker to the outlet to meet the NEC code requirements.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 04:33 AM
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Match the cable on the switch to that of your router. I had trouble finding a suitably rated switch for my DW625, but got a good one in the end.
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