Proper Gauge Wire for Equipment

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Forum topic by CoalFired posted 11-19-2014 04:04 AM 1470 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1527 days

11-19-2014 04:04 AM

I’ve purchased 2 tools off craigslist/kijiji in the last year and both have aftermarket cords installed by the previous owner.

I have a General T350 with a 12 gauge cord that’s approximately 10 feet long, and I have a DJ20 Delta Jointer that says it’s a 16 gauge wire that’s about 18 maybe 20 feet long.

My question is should I be trusting the previous owner with this? Do you think I’m at risk of blowing a motor??

Here’s some pictures of the machines and the following cords.

Thanks for any help in advance!!

4 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3367 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 11-19-2014 04:11 AM

Need to know the current draw of each item before a proper determination could be made, unless an internet search was made. Just sayin’.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3213 days

#2 posted 11-19-2014 08:49 AM

I assume the machines are 240V to run those cords.
The 12 guage is probably ok. It is good for at least 20 amps; actually more.
But, I’d upgrade the 16 gauge though. It’s only good for about 11 amps.

Being they are SO cords and are rated for 90 degree centigrade operation they will take a heavier load than typical house wiring of similar gauge, but you don’t need to worry so much about the cord as the machine it is attached to. And, 16 gauge is a litle light for anything over a 1 hp motor. You could have voltage drop and that is not good for your motor.

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2316 days

#3 posted 11-19-2014 01:10 PM

Check for the ampere rating on the machine. Size the right gauge to the machine.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5244 posts in 2735 days

#4 posted 11-19-2014 01:20 PM

Check for the ampere rating on the machine. Size the right gauge to the machine.

- JohnChung

What he said, I’m guessing that’s a 3HP table saw, and #12 would be plenty for it. The jointer almost certainly needs a heavier cord. It doesn’t hurt to go heavier than needed (maybe #12) but my Delta Unisaw and MT Delta planer with 3 HP motors have factory installed #14 wire, but bear in mind the factory cords are probably only 8’ long or so. They are both on short extension cords, but the extension I use is #10 SOOW cord.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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