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Rick
Rick , General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
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i have a treadmill that has an 18 amp motor. I live in an

Resolved Question:

i have a treadmill that has an 18 amp motor. I live in an apt. The treadmill keeps tripping off on the 16 amp outlet. is there a way for me to test the electrical outlets to find out how much amperage they put out and / or is there a way to fabricate an extension cord that I could plug into the dryer 30 amp outlet and use that to power the treadmill?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Rick replied 3 years ago.

Rick :

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your issue

Do you have any 20 amp breakers in your electrical panel?

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

the switch indicates 20 amps but am not sure they can be trusted. that's why i asked if there was some way to test the amp3erage of the actual outlet

Rick :

No you can't test the amperage of a circuit. If the breaker says 20 amps then that circuit should handle an 18 amp load. You just need to determine which outlet is served by that breaker. And no you can't use the dryer outlet because it's 240 volts and your treadmill is 120 volts

Rick :

There is no reason not to "trust" the circuit rating the wiring in your place must have been inspected when it was installed

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

can i trust that if the switch says 20 amps it's actually 20 amps? also, what kind of extension cord would I need to use to connect treadmill to outlet? would be 15 to 25 feet. also is there going to be a power drain or anything because of the extension cord that i need to take into account?

Rick :

The voltage drop over 25' is minimal. You just need to be sure to use an extension cord with 12 gauge wire

Rick :

I answered your first question above

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

Also, what happens if there's other appliances on that breaker? microwave, coffee maker, etc? should i unplug them all to insure the treadmill will have sufficient power and won't trip off

Rick :

Yes you won't be able to use anything else on that circuit while you use the treadmill since you're about at the max load for that circuit at 18 amps

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

thanks. if i rate your replies now does that stop me from reopening question if there should be anything else i need to know after i try things out?

Rick :

This thread doesn't go away and I'll answered related follow up questions after you rate me.

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

thx. appreciate it

Rick :

You're welcome

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

pls reply to question so I can rate replies

Rick :

Which question?

JACUSTOMER-h65zto4l- :

this question. we're in chat mode. i can't rate your service

Rick :

Please try again

Rick :



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Rick, I am now using the 20 amp outlet with a 25 ft 12 gauge extension cord. I ensure that the treadmill is only plugged in appliance on circuit when I use it. Treadmill doesn't trip off but power cord is still very hot after 60 minutes of use. Is this cause for concern and, if so, what should i do about it? Thanks for your help

Expert:  Rick replied 3 years ago.
Are you sure it's a 12 gauge cord? I have my doubts since it might get warm even very warm but it shouldn't get "very hot" for an hour after you stopped using the treadmill. Very hot would mean to me too hot to touch it. As long as you don't put anything on top of the cord it shouldn't be a problem. Or you could try a 10 gauge cord but 12 gauge is rated for 20 amps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

after using treadmill for 60 minutes the treadmill power cord is hot to the touch. can still touch it, it's just very, very warm or "hot". the extension cord is only warm. the extension cord is 12 gauge. it's a ridgid, label says12 gauge, 15 amp, 125 volt

Expert:  Rick replied 3 years ago.

If anything the extension cord should also be what's "hot" if it's undersized. It sounds like the cord from your treadmill might be slightly undersized but what your plugging it into is not undersized given your description. Cords can heat up when the appliance they serve is running for an extended period of time and the amperage it's drawing is near the rating for the cord. If you can touch it it's really not that hot since pain threshold is around 110 degrees. If you're concerned you can try a larger 10 gauge extension cord but I doubt it will make much difference.