Making extension cords

A couple of years ago I bought an expensive 12 gauge extension cord to power my tools in the backyard (my large “workshop”. It worked for a while, but now it suffers from the usual issue – an inability to being wound up  in a proper fashion. I have never liked the cord… which got be to thinking if there is a better way? What about making extension cords? So, having bought some 14/3 waterproof wire for an LED lamp rewire, which turned out to be too big (go figure), I decided to turn this into a small extension cord.

The wire I’m using is made by Southwire (made in USA), and I bought it at HomeDepot by the metre ( 14/3 is C$2.49 a metre). It’s a rubber coated and water-resistant. It is somewhat overkill, as it is also flame and ozone resistant, but its core characteristics are high flexibility, and abrasion resistance. Plugs for the ends, C$9.98 and C$6.98.

Putting it together is super-easy, and a good task for someone who wants to try some simple electrical work (there are like a million tutorials online). It takes about 10 minutes to make. Just make sure you follow one of copious tables on the net to choose the right gauge wire for the length of extension cord you want to make.

End result? a water resistant, kink-free extension cord. I obviously wouldn’t leave it outside in the rain because the plugs are not waterproof… but then I wouldn’t leave anything electrical out in the rain (or snow). Next, I’m going to make a 25 foot, 12 gauge cord to replace the super-annoying one.

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3 thoughts on “Making extension cords

  1. jefski says:

    SJOOW is a good quality insulation, and Southwire is a good brand. I’ve worked with both for decades, and I’ve also made up a few cords like this. There’s a helpful little detail that someone showed me years ago: install the plug and outlet on the end of the cord that matches the arrangement of black-white-green. It’s not a big deal and the cord will work fine if you don’t, but considering how little length of wire and space there are to work with, it just makes it easier to line up the wires with the right connection points.

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