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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4274
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Background Situation: I have a 220v air conditioner which is

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Background Situation: I have a 220v air conditioner which is about 22 feet away from the outlet. It runs for extended periods of time, like 24 hours sometimes. I had been using two heavy duty extension cords. Yesterday after 2 hours of use, I heard a popping sound and smoke came out of the connection between 2 cords which were not in totally tightly. The unit went off.

Question: My landlord (who is a contractor) told me to go to an electrical supply store and have them customize a 10 guage wire with the proper plug receptacle to fit. My question, would that be considered safe or do I absolutely need to go through the major expense of running a new electric line from the basement. I am just a tenant.

Also in general is one long extension cord safer than two shorter ones?

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

I would not recommend an extension cord, particularly that long.

Jason :

10 gauge would be a good size, but would be unsafe to have laying on the floor.

Jason :

Even though it would likely solve the problem, it's just not an ideal situation.

Jason :

I'm a bit curious as to why a new circuit would be at your expense, unless you own the air conditioner.

Customer:

Landlords in NY are not obligated to provide air conditioner service so it's not his problem. What is the issue with it lying on the floor behind furniture along the wall

Jason :

If you have pets or small children in the house, it's a hazard for them.

Customer:

Do you think the smoking was caused by it not being plugged in all the way or that is not relevant? No pets. Do have kids coming over some time. So what is the prob with a kid? stepping on it...pulling?

Jason :

Yes, anything a child can do to it, they probably will. As for the smoke, if it has previously ran for 24 hours with no issue... there are 2 possibilities -

Customer:

It's about $200 to run a line plus holes in the wall...

Jason :

1. The existing 2 cords have been degraded to the point that they were finally damaged.

Jason :

2. The fact that they weren't completely plugged in would not be good for the flow of electricity, and would definitely cause the issue you had.

Customer:

As Jewish Orthodox ppl we don't turn power off or on on the Sabbath, a 26 hour period. Timers did not work with this unit. Only turned it off but not on. We have the Jewish New Year coming up followed by Saturday which would mean having the unit on for three days straight. You see that as a problem even with the heavy cord?

Jason :

I suspect the heavy cord would solve your problem. Just be as safe as you can with how you route it.

Customer:

What do you mean, how I route it, how should I

Jason :

If it's along the wall, behind furniture, that's good. The less length of the cord that is exposed, the better.

Customer:

The reason being...cause exposed cord can_________

Customer:

So 10 guage sounds right? Is this a common item that a electrical supplier would have?

Jason :

Any exposed area of cord is in the way of potential harm.

Jason :

Yes, any electrical supplier will have that size.

Jason :

As for fear of the new cord being damaged, you've had it running this way with two cords together for how long? It'll likely be fine, I just want to make you aware of all hazards, as part of a complete answer.

Customer:

OK Thanks

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