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Old 09-10-2017, 10:56 PM #1
.research
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Question Wiring gauge

Hi! Long time lurker (10ish years...wow its been a while), finally getting my own grow together and need a lil help.

Lil background first just for fun....

I have been planning on growing in a 4x4 tent in my bedroom for almost a month now and have been googling and searching like mad trying to negate any unpleasant surprises. Finally I'm ready to drop a few bucks to get started and then my roommate moved out and suddenly i have an insulated shed thats 10x12 with a 6 foot minimum ceiling available to me! SO... back to the drawing board, I might as well utilize the available space. I'm thinking about doing dual 600w doughnuts or maybe 315w CMH. I've got some auto seeds to get a quick harvest to replenish my stash, but then plan to start doing sativa leaning strains after I'm back into my comfort zone with respect to my bud levels.

My problem...

There's no power out to my shed so I'm gonna have to run an extension cord out there... I have plenty of 10ga extension cords and can run up to 3 out there on different circuits (really don't need that much power.... yet ) I've always heard that running high amperage circuits like heaters or grow lights I suppose, is a bad idea on extension cords because of the power drop from the cord length. I'm pretty sure that most homes are wired with something smaller than 10ga (I don't really know but it seems like a place to save a buck when building a house).

My question...

Would it cause significant issues for me to run 1000w of power 50' on a 10ga extension cord for grow lights, pumps and fans?

I'm open to suggestions or critiques. Thanks to anyone who offers input.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:13 PM #2
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I wouldn't do it. I had just a 1200 watt space heater going to my shed on a 50' extension cord and it got hot as shit. Only did that 2 days as I was afraid of fire. There was also a noticeable power drop on the heater. Wouldn't get near as warm as it did plugged straight into the wall. It's just not worth worrying about if it will work or not. Do it right and no worries
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:18 PM #3
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I have heard the same thing about extension cords but I don't know how a 10g extension cord would be any different than running 10g Romex (or whatever outdoor equivalent they have).

I guess the idea situation would be to run line a few inches underground to the shed. Or, conduit.

One thing I did just think of. Not sure where you live but certain outdoor weather would degrade an extension cord rather quickly.

I'll say one thing for sure. The electrical is definitely NOT the place to skimp on your growroom design.

A small room is going to need 10 or 12 amps.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:40 AM #4
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I appreciate the answers guys, I think I can email a friend and kinda fudge the situation (he's a cannabis hater, and I haven't talked to him in years...), tell him its for a heater or something. If he responds I'll let y'all know his opinion is. I figure I'm probably going back to plan A and keeping a tent in my bedroom, or maybe plug a 1500w heater in to a 50 foot cord and stand around with a fire extinguisher and multimeter and see what happens. I doubt homeowners insurance will cover it if I burn this place down so safe is definitely the goal.
Thanks again guys
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:20 AM #5
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U can get extension cords made for running generators in 8guage, prob 6 also..
run u like $100 for a 50'.. at least the one for my gen was about that much if I recall
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:39 AM #6
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This isn't the best answer but it does give a fairly simple explanation.

If you are running an entire grow room, you definitely need to consider amp/watts/etc and use the proper gauge. If you were just running a light bulb 50' away it would be different. An entire grow room is a lot of amps.

https://www.thespruce.com/wire-size-...length-1152899

This forum had some nice topics as well. This one hits home pretty close.... storge shed, 50' away. LOL

https://www.homesteadingtoday.com/th...ze-wire.52094/
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:07 AM #7
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If your serious about growing, I'd install a dedicated 240v circuit in your main panel and run a sub panel off that to the shed so you can branch off and run 240v (lights) and 120v (everything else). Hardest part is the digging.

I know it's going to be fairly expensive, but its a lot cheap then having to upgrade again later down the road because you want to go bigger in the shed. I agree with the do it right the first time sentiment. It took me a lot of money and time to figure it out the hard way.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:28 PM #8
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Extension cords are only for temporary use (30 days max). What you want is a 40 amp subpanel installed by an electrician. Call a couple out to get some quotes. Tell them you are putting an arc welder and/or air compressor in the shed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:29 PM #9
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I needed a 120 yard extension cord to do some outside work.

Bought some larger single-strand copper wire from a friend who works at the scrap metal place for $8.

Then used some 18 gauge for most of the 100 yard run.

I spliced the single-strand and the 18 gauge into a power strip, so it still has the breaker.

BUT I'm only running a water pump - maybe 300 watts. Probably spending 50 watts heating up the wire.

For 1000 watts + ... definitely need some bigger wire - even for 50 feet.

I would also add ... you need to be at home for the first 24 hours of operation for a burn-in period. So you can walk around, feel the cords, see how copacetic everything is.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:07 AM #10
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10 gauge wire will not safely run a 1000w ballast .1000w ballast usually consume around 8.3 amps ran on 120v and half that ran on 240v. The safe size for that ampage is a 8wg wire which is rated for roughly 10 amps which will give you some wiggle room for fans pumps and controls
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