How many amps can an extension cord handle?

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asked Jan 22 in Other-Home/Garden by Ru776gtr (760 points)
How many amps can an extension cord handle?

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answered Jan 22 by Shawn (87,800 points)
Most outdoor extension cords can carry between 15 amps to 20 amps.

Although some carry less amperage depending on the AWG of the extension cord.

To tell what AMP rating your extension cord is you look for the AWG number which is on the outside jacket of the extension cord and is imprinted into the cords insulation.

The higher the number AWG the thinner the wire and less amps it can carry and the lower the AWG number the thicker the wire and the more amps the extension cord can carry.

A lower AWG number indicates a thicker wire and a higher capacity.

The lower the AWG number, the higher the extension cord's capacity is to carry more amps.

Gauge is typically listed along with the number of conducting wires in the cord.

For example, a 14/3 cord contains 14-gauge wire and has three wires inside.

So if you have a 14 AWG extension cord it can carry up to 15 amps and a 12 AWG extension cord can carry up to 20 amps.

However the length of the extension cord also lessens the amps you can carry with the extension cord as the longer the extension cord the less amps it can carry.

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