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LangfordDave

Vamps With Dollar Store Extension Cords?

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Forgive me if this has been covered before (I couldn't find it in any threads). Has anyone uses female inline vamps on store bought extension cords? I assume my only concerns would be matching polarity and matching the thickness of the wire to the plug? I don't need a long length of wire and STP is pretty expensive around here. By the foot it's cheaper to buy dollar store extension cords.

Thanks,

Dave

Edited by LangfordDave

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Dave:  It's up to you but remember the stuff your getting from the dollar stores are probably considered Lamp Cord and was NOT ment to be used outside. Most SPT wire has a uv inhibitor and can be run outside. I would also make sure of the gauge of wire being used in those cheap cords. This has nothing to do with this post just FYI......My sister was looking for bargains an purchased a  Great priced surge protector from  the so called cheapie stores and her entire 2nd floor of her house burnt down because of the great price she got on that cord ...The fire martial told her the wire gauge on that cord was equivilient to speaker wire wire.

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UV - Here in the NE its not that big of a deal, very low and light sun.  Yes, most of the SPT and dollar store cords are rated indoor use only.  Previous statement still applies.  To me and most of us here, it just doesn't matter that much.  They are not out there that long.

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I'm in Canada, UV isn't a big issue here in December either.  I'm more concerned about water - it rains for most of winter in my neck of the woods.  I checked the dollar store extension cords and they are 16 gauge SPT 2 and I will be using GFCI outlets.  

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"most SPT wire has a UV inhibitor and can be run outside"......................not so sure this is an accurate statement.

Guess I should have stated most vendors on PC have that kind of wire...I get mine from CDI and they do state it does. Also UV rays are prevelant even on a cloudy day.

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My sister was looking for bargains an purchased a  Great priced surge protector from  the so called cheapie stores and her entire 2nd floor of her house burnt down because of the great price she got on that cord ...The fire martial told her the wire gauge on that cord was equivilient to speaker wire wire.

 

I'm sorry to hear that about your Sister's house!  Maybe what she bought was just a power strip and not a surge protector.  (Of course it could have been poorly made or defective or who knows what!)  I have read in the past about some people using speaker wire to make cords even though it's not rated for AC power.  I would not be comfortable with it but I never heard of anyone having problems because of it.

 

TED

Edited by TED

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Dave:  It's up to you but remember the stuff your getting from the dollar stores are probably considered Lamp Cord and was NOT ment to be used outside. Most SPT wire has a uv inhibitor and can be run outside. I would also make sure of the gauge of wire being used in those cheap cords.

 

"most SPT wire has a UV inhibitor and can be run outside"......................not so sure this is an accurate statement.

 

I agree with you.  "SPT wire" is just a slang term for lamp cord.  I would say that most lamp cord (or zip cord or "SPT wire") does NOT have the UV inhibitor!

 

Guess I should have stated most vendors on PC have that kind of wire...I get mine from CDI and they do state it does. Also UV rays are prevelant even on a cloudy day.

 

What is your basis for that statement?  I think that CDI is the only vendor that has the zip cord with the UV inhibitor.  (I believe Paul special orders it from the factory with the UV inhibitor added.)  Most of the vendors are just selling plain lamp cord (aka: zip cord--sometimes referred to as "SPT" or "SPT wire").  The wire from CDI is SPX with the X indicating that it has the UV inhibitor in the insulation.  (There could be another vendor selling zip cord with the SPX insulation but I haven't seen one.)  I believe it is correct to assume that any zip cord with an SPT rating does not have UV inhibitor in it which would of course include all the "indoor" household cords.  Maybe someone with a better knowledge of the ratings will expand on this.

 

TED

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Ted just to inform you about the comment you made about speaker wire not being AC rated it is very wrong.I have been working with audio systems for over 30 years and as you may not know amplifier outputs are AC power, so saying that speaker wire is not AC rated is incorrect in fact most speaker wire is OFC which means (oxygen free copper) which is alot better quality wire than SPT and more expensive, and in fact most of my extensions on my display  use this kind of wire and some are 10 years or older and still look brand new.

Edited by Godney

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Ted just to inform you about the comment you made about speaker wire not being AC rated it is very wrong.I have been working with audio systems for over 30 years and as you may not know amplifier outputs are AC power, so saying that speaker wire is not AC rated is incorrect in fact most speaker wire is OFC which means (oxygen free copper) which is alot better quality wire than SPT and more expensive, and in fact most of my extensions on my display  use this kind of wire and some are 10 years or older and still look brand new.

As long as it's rated for the voltage it's perfectly safe.  (300V for 120V systems)

 

Keep in mind most of the dollar stores I've bought absorbed water through the insulation and became a GFCI nightmare.

 

 

 

Maybe what she bought was just a power strip and not a surge protector.  (Of course it could have been poorly made or defective or who knows what!) 

The only difference between a power strip and a surge protector is the surge protector contains a single MOV.  I stopped using all power strips anymore because they make little contact with the prongs on a plug and almost caught fire a few times.

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I won't join the the technical argument, but in general, it's best to get your vampire plugs from the same place as you get your cord to be sure it fits and works..  I, like many here, get it from CDI because it works.

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I won't join the the technical argument, but in general, it's best to get your vampire plugs from the same place as you get your cord to be sure it fits and works..  I, like many here, get it from CDI because it works.

 

This one I cant argue with! ;)

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I have over a mile of regular extension cords & see no need to make my own.  When on sale these are far cheaper than building them - unless you buy in bulk... even then it would probably be even.  I know some have special needs - runs with multiple female plus, I do not.  So I have an extra foot of cord here and there - no big deal.  Extension cords are cheap enough I don't worry about it.

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TED I believe your slightly off on your statement. SPT 1 is not UV rated SPT2 is uv rated the number indicates the level of insulation.

for refferance this is one place i have seen it explaned.

http://www.christmasdesigners.com/blog/notes/understanding-the-difference-between-spt-1-and-spt-2-cord/

if you look when your buying your SPT cord it will either be SPT 1 or SPT 2 and 18 or 16 ga. this is where a lot of people get confused the smaller gage the power power it will handle. if it is SPT1 thinner insulation vs SPT2 which will have a thicker insulation on the wire. so  in return if your buying plugs and you have SPT2 wire you need SPT2 plugs with longer teeth to pierce the wire and make a good contact. so it is better to match your SPT rating on your plugs and wire for this reason.

Edited by Mcas4380

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SPT-2 IS NOT UV rated!  Sure,it has thicker insulation than spt-1,but it is not  UV ,rated,period. Now, spt-1W and spt-2W IS moisture and sunlight resistant rated.......no W in the designation,then no UV rating.

 

See here for more info on the meanings of all these letters  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ul.com%2Fglobal%2Fdocuments%2Fofferings%2Fperspectives%2Fregulators%2Felectrical%2Fnewsletters%2FW%26CMG_April2007_Final.pdf&ei=zDt5UsjWMIq3sATx2IDoDw&usg=AFQjCNHEg58sLI4AzGnvftxBtoMQanpNcA

Edited by merrymidget

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Ted just to inform you about the comment you made about speaker wire not being AC rated it is very wrong.I have been working with audio systems for over 30 years and as you may not know amplifier outputs are AC power, so saying that speaker wire is not AC rated is incorrect in fact most speaker wire is OFC which means (oxygen free copper) which is alot better quality wire than SPT and more expensive, and in fact most of my extensions on my display  use this kind of wire and some are 10 years or older and still look brand new.

 

Thank you for posting the clarification.  I thought maybe I was missing something!  I can't quite remember exactly what it was that caused people to be leery of using speaker wire.  (Apparently it was NOT the AC power thing!)

 

TED

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TED I believe your slightly off on your statement. SPT 1 is not UV rated SPT2 is uv rated the number indicates the level of insulation.

for refferance this is one place i have seen it explaned.

http://www.christmasdesigners.com/blog/notes/understanding-the-difference-between-spt-1-and-spt-2-cord/

if you look when your buying your SPT cord it will either be SPT 1 or SPT 2 and 18 or 16 ga. this is where a lot of people get confused the smaller gage the power power it will handle. if it is SPT1 thinner insulation vs SPT2 which will have a thicker insulation on the wire. so  in return if your buying plugs and you have SPT2 wire you need SPT2 plugs with longer teeth to pierce the wire and make a good contact. so it is better to match your SPT rating on your plugs and wire for this reason.

 

I don't claim to have it exactly right but SP1 and SP2 have to do with the thickness of the insulation not UV protection.  I agree with you about the plugs.  If you mix up the sizes you will not get a proper fit.

 

SPT-2 IS NOT UV rated!  Sure,it has thicker insulation than spt-1,but it is not  UV ,rated,period. Now, spt-1W and spt-2W IS moisture and sunlight resistant rated.......no W in the designation,then no UV rating.

 

See here for more info on the meanings of all these letters  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ul.com%2Fglobal%2Fdocuments%2Fofferings%2Fperspectives%2Fregulators%2Felectrical%2Fnewsletters%2FW%26CMG_April2007_Final.pdf&ei=zDt5UsjWMIq3sATx2IDoDw&usg=AFQjCNHEg58sLI4AzGnvftxBtoMQanpNcA

 

I think you are right.  The information you provided the link to notes the use of "W" and "X" relating to outdoor use.  (I have not yet read it in detail to understand it completely.)

 

TED

Edited by TED

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TED I believe your slightly off on your statement. SPT 1 is not UV rated SPT2 is uv rated the number indicates the level of insulation.

for refferance this is one place i have seen it explaned.

http://www.christmasdesigners.com/blog/notes/understanding-the-difference-between-spt-1-and-spt-2-cord/

if you look when your buying your SPT cord it will either be SPT 1 or SPT 2 and 18 or 16 ga. this is where a lot of people get confused the smaller gage the power power it will handle. if it is SPT1 thinner insulation vs SPT2 which will have a thicker insulation on the wire. so  in return if your buying plugs and you have SPT2 wire you need SPT2 plugs with longer teeth to pierce the wire and make a good contact. so it is better to match your SPT rating on your plugs and wire for this reason.

 

Part of my previous reply to this did not get posted so let me try again.  I read the information at the "Christmas Designers" link you provided.  If you read it carefully what they say (paraphrased) is that the SP2 is better for Sunny locations because the thicker insulation will last longer when exposed to UV rays.  They do NOT say that SP2 has UV inhibitor.  Here is the exact quote, "The only situations we find that SPT-2 is necessary is when the cord will be out during the summer months. UV is the #1 enemy of lights and electrical cord and by having insulation that is twice as thick, you’ll get more life out of the cord."  This may very well be true.  Logically it makes sense that even if the insulation breaks down when exposed to UV rays thicker insulation would last longer than thinner insulation.

 

I also want to point out that some of the information at the "Christmas Designers" link appears to be wrong.  They state that SP2 will not handle more AMPS than SP1 because the copper wire inside is the same gauge.  Of course the thickness of the wire is very important but there are other factors.  Thicker insulation changes the thermal properties.  More Amperage creates more heat.  Thicker insulation can withstand more heat.  I don't claim to have all the answers on this but the bottom line is that SP2 IS rated for a higher load than SP1.

 

SPT-2 IS NOT UV rated!  Sure,it has thicker insulation than spt-1,but it is not  UV ,rated,period. Now, spt-1W and spt-2W IS moisture and sunlight resistant rated.......no W in the designation,then no UV rating.

 

I still think you are correct!

 

TED

Edited by TED

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Hi Ted,

 

This issue of current rating of SPT-1 vs. SPT-2 seems to come up each year.  Every table I can find that shows the ratings, show that both are rated at 10 amps.  Here is an example.

 

http://www.southwire.com/ProductCatalog/XTEInterfaceServlet?contentKey=prodcatsheet381

 

I think most applications used by people here would be fine with either.

 

Dennis

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Hi Ted I would like to start out by saying I'm not trying to prove you wrong or anything like that this is just what my i think. what you say about SPT 1 and SPT 2 with the same gage wire holding more amprage  may be true but could the insulation level make that much of a differance? wouldn't it be better to stick to the gage of the wire for amperage increases? I have been able to find both 18ga and 16ga in SPT 1 and SPT 2. I personally wouldn't want someone thinking just because they have thicker insulation on a wire they should hook more up to it. you need to pay attention to the Gage of the wire as well. if you notice in Dennis post they offer both an SPT 2 in both 16 AWG and 18 AWG and the 16AWG will carry 3 more Amps then the 18 AWG. my point is simple the SPT rating of the wire doesn't offer enough differance in amperage to be a selling point for anyone if that is all your basing it on.

 

They may offer some sort of UV protection in some wire but i always thought that was the reason for the thicker insulation was more UV protection.

 

Mike

Edited by Mcas4380

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There is no difference in ampacity between SPT-1 and SPT-2.  My supply house carries sunlight resistant and water resistant SPT cable, although I don't know too much on it.  Been using it on light strings for a few years now with no problems.

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