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Thread: Why can't I run a compressor off an extension cord?

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    Why can't I run a compressor off an extension cord?

    It has a warning. Why?

    The 1.5m it comes with is useless.

    How do I safely get more length out of it?

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    Inactive Member kwakas's Avatar
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    meh, I'd just use an extrension cord anyway, but tie them together so they don't accidentally come unplugged.
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    How do I safely get more length out of it?
    something my missus says ALL TOO OFTEN

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    I use mine with a 20m extension cord all the time. Never had an issue.

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    Just do it dude, never had any issues here
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    Just be sure to match the guage of the leads. If they are using 1.5mm there is a reason for it.
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    Its your standard warning...

    Like "don't iron this shirt while wearing it"
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    don't insert screw driver into penis.
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    Just making a bit of a guess here, but what is the current rating for your compressor at full load?

    I'm thinking for a decent sized compressor it will require a current that most regular extension cables could not handle (for long periods of time). So firstly I'd say damage to your cable for extended use (possibly fire). Secondly, if you've got a long cable with a large current, you'll have a reasonably large voltage drop over your extension cord and a reduced voltage across your compressor might not sit too well.

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    Generally wont have a problem but cheap mass produced cords can drop voltage. I got a good lead made up to run compressor and welder just in case. But if you only use it for basic stuff I wouldnt worry too much.

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    It's a heat/safety/fire issue.

    Compressors draw quite a bit of current, often up to the full 10 amps a standard wall socket will deliver. The longer the wire used the more heat generated, and the more chance of it overheating etc.

    Run it for a while, and if the extension lead gets hot to the touch, go to Bunnings and get a 15Amp rated extension lead, it will have a thicker gauge wire, and should solve your problem
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    Quote Originally Posted by barfridge View Post
    go to Bunnings and get a 15Amp rated extension lead, it will have a thicker gauge wire, and should solve your problem
    Except for the whole," you got to file the earth pin down" thing...

    But yeah that will make it safer...
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    If you are that concerned, buy heavy 3 core cable (probably 1.5sq mm or better), buy 2 10A plugs @ $3 and follow the instructions in the package.
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    I have seen a extension lead on a roll up thingo melt at a party cos it wasnt unrolled. Cut down a 15 amp extension lead to what length you need and it should be sweet
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    Quote Originally Posted by barfridge View Post
    It's a heat/safety/fire issue.

    Compressors draw quite a bit of current, often up to the full 10 amps a standard wall socket will deliver. The longer the wire used the more heat generated, and the more chance of it overheating etc.

    Run it for a while, and if the extension lead gets hot to the touch, go to Bunnings and get a 15Amp rated extension lead, it will have a thicker gauge wire, and should solve your problem

    As BF says it is mainly there in case you start running them for a long time, they do draw lots of load when running for long periods and can overheat the lead and plugs, possibly even melting them
    Mainly if you are using cheap household leads which aren't rated for the high amperages involved in commercial equipment


    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Except for the whole," you got to file the earth pin down" thing...
    But yeah that will make it safer...
    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticEnd View Post
    If you are that concerned, buy heavy 3 core cable (probably 1.5sq mm or better), buy 2 10A plugs @ $3 and follow the instructions in the package.

    As above either get a 15a lead and file down the earth or I think you can even buy them now with 10a plugs or if you are confident enough do it yourself (bearing in mind it should be done by an electrician - But hey )
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwakas View Post
    tie them together so they don't accidentally come unplugged.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwakas View Post
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    as has been said before - it's got to do with standard 10amp cable being under rated for long distance..

    you need some heavy duty 15A cable, wire it with 10A plugs..

    You'll find that a 10a cable gets real hot on the earth wire.. and the 15a wont.. ( to the point the insulation burns off and it gets like jelly.. that's a bad sign.. )

    Cos it's a compressor, it's like a fridge - and cycles on and off - high load with high surge draw for short periods of time..

    There's a reason why power cable of better quality is more pricey.. it's an investment, and get an RCD if you dont have one on your home too..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eukanuba View Post
    You'll find that a 10a cable gets real hot on the earth wire..
    wtf...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barfridge View Post
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