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O/T wiring into a 20 amp circuit


Mar 24, 2005
I have an Appleton Reelite retractable extension cord that I was going to hard wire in to my shop 20 amp circuit. The label on the reel says 6 amp 250v. The extension cord says 18/3 gauge wire. The cord is about 40 feet long. The female plug on the business end of the cord is a Hubbell and says 15a. 125v. Is it safe to install that extension cord into a 20 amp circuit?
I should add the rest of that circuit is 12 gauge wire.
No - replace the 18 awg with at least 14 awg preferably 12 awg reel. The 18 awg is too small to be useful in a shop for an extension cord. About the only thing I would use it for is lights.
Thanks for the reply. That reel also came with a drop light on it, looking on google.
I wonder if it was originally a light and got changed to a recepticle.
Another question. If I wanted to turn it into a drop light, could I use it on a 20 amp circuit, everything else the same as I wrote above. It would have a 100 watt equivalent of a LED bulb in it.
You would most likely avoid any code issues if you used a plug and receptacle to connect your retractable drop light reel to your 20-amp circuit, rather than hard-wiring directly to the reel. I know electrically it is not really different, but I believe the code assumes that everything hard-wired to a circuit is appropriately sized to be protected by the breaker (e.g. 20 amps in this case), where-as it is recognized that appliances that get plugged in to receptacles might not be (and are not required to be...).