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Thread: Extension cord for treadmill, ok?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Default Extension cord for treadmill, ok?

    I just got a new Reebok treadmill.
    The manual says that I should not use an extension cord.

    But the only location that I can put the treadmill is out of reach of the outlet.

    Can I use some sort of heavy duty extension cord? Anyone have any recommendations?
    I have an appliance extension cord (12 gauge, 9 ft long)....will that work?

    I realize I can have an electrician come in a put in another outlet....but I would rather not do that.

    Thanks for the help.
    mike

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Using a sufficiently-heavy extension cord is not going to cause any damage to the treadmill, but it still could be a safety issue in more ways than one ... with pets, children, people stepping on and off or getting to and from ...

    I will use a cord when I need one, but I also try to never need one.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If the cord has large enough conductors, you should be okay. Your situation is one reason why current building codes require so many outlets in a house...there would be an outlet close enough where you didn't need and extension cord!

    The problem comes where some people would put in an extension cord designed for a lamp...maybe something like 18g wire, and it could overheat and cause a fire...the voltage drop on a high current device would also potentially overheat things like the motor windings.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I wouldn't cut the cord if it's new, that would probably void the warranty. I use heavy duty short extension cords when needed
    One on a double hot plate, another on a heater
    Never permanent
    Don't run it under a rug
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  5. #5

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    I would add a new outlet. Extension cords just aren't safe for things like that at all. You might be running for your life.

  6. #6

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    Short heavy duty extension cord - no problem. But what about your house wiring? If your treadmill is rated at 1500 watts or more you should go with a new dedicated circuit just for the treadmill.
    -rick

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    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    NO wonder people die early. They want to refuse to use mfg instructions.
    Cars give out early. Why do people want to go aganist mfg. instructions for safety all the time? Do they just not care?
    Things break. Warranty's voided! Why ask for others opinions when you already have the info you need from the mfg? Just to get away with something for convience. Dont touch that hot burner. Oh I didnt know I would get burned.

    Yes you may never have a problem with doing what you are wanting. But you never know. Best to follow Mfg. guidelines!

  8. #8
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    You can be 100% sure that a new outlet costs $***.
    Maybe you are 5% sure that your voided warranty will be discovered over the life of the warranty. How much does 5% of a warranty on a new treadmill cost?

    Decision Theory 101

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses....

    I am going to use a 12 gauge, 9 ft cord. That is the heaviest gauge (and shortest) I could find at the local stores.

    I am going to plug it in to the washing machine outlet, so it will be on a dedicated 20amp breaker by itself. Obviously, I will use the treadmill when the washer is NOT in use. Plus, I will unplug the washer when using the treadmill.

    When the treadmill is not in use, it will be unplugged....so there are no issues of someone falling over the cord.

    I don't have the expertise to cut the wire and add length....plus, it would definitely affect the warranty I am sure.

    Thanks for the help. now it's time to get running...

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ?

    quote; Splice a longer cord of the same or larger AWG # into the existing cord. It's cheaper to buy an extension cord of the right gauge and cut the ends off, than to buy cable.
    You can probably double the length this way, but you'll compromise its tensile strength somewhat.
    You'll need solder, an iron, heat shrink tubing and a candle or gas flame to shrink the tubing.


    That may be the most useless advice in a long time.
    1. Cutting the cord might void the warranty, it would in most cases.
    2. He was intending to buy the correct gauge extension. If he has the correct cord, he also has the connections to plug it into the wall and treadmill.
    3. Why do something that might "compromise its tensile strength", needlessly.
    4. What if does not have an iron, solder, tubing, or a gas flame? I suppose he could find a candle somewhere. And what about some matching color electrical tape to wrap around the shring tubing?

  11. #11
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Splice a longer cord of the same or larger AWG # into the existing cord. It's cheaper to buy an extension cord of the right gauge and cut the ends off, than to buy cable.
    You can probably double the length this way, but you'll compromise its tensile strength somewhat.
    You'll need solder, an iron, heat shrink tubing and a candle or gas flame to shrink the tubing.


    That may be the most useless advice in a long time.
    1. Cutting the cord might void the warranty, it would in most cases.
    2. He was intending to buy the correct gauge extension. If he has the correct cord, he also has the connections to plug it into the wall and treadmill.
    3. Why do something that might "compromise its tensile strength", needlessly.
    4. What if does not have an iron, solder, tubing, or a gas flame? I suppose he could find a candle somewhere. And what about some matching color electrical tape to wrap around the shring tubing?
    OK. . .not a fan of Decision Theory. . .!

    My problem is the contact impedance of using an extension cord, but if all the plugs grip the sockets firmly, I guess it'll be OK.
    Besides, maybe this thing only pulls about 1hp; that is not a lot of current at 120v so impedance may not be that important.

    I've lengthened many cords over years and not had a problem, but not cords designed for outdoor use because splicing this way compromises weatherproofness. Didn't match the colors, though. . .

    If there are awards for bad movies, bad books, etc., I don't see why I shouldn't be nominated for a "bad post award."

    And, speaking of decisions, if my bad posts outweigh my good posts by some unacceptable margin, throw me off this forum.
    It is not my place to make that decision, but it might be yours.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 02-08-2009 at 12:51 PM.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codeone View Post
    NO wonder people die early. They want to refuse to use mfg instructions.
    Cars give out early. Why do people want to go aganist mfg. instructions for safety all the time? Do they just not care?
    Things break. Warranty's voided! Why ask for others opinions when you already have the info you need from the mfg? Just to get away with something for convience. Dont touch that hot burner. Oh I didnt know I would get burned.

    Yes you may never have a problem with doing what you are wanting. But you never know. Best to follow Mfg. guidelines!
    Most instructions I've read in the last ten or twenty years appear to have been written by the legal department, not the engineering department.

    Go read your car warranty. Most manufacturers specifically disclaim any warranty of "merchantabilty or suitability for a particular purpose". So, no warranty that your car is suitable for transporting a few human beings on paved roads. That's something to put your blind faith in!

  13. #13
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Mr. HJ, I should thank you forcing me to question how much importance I should place on a post like yours.

    Regards, and good luck to Cookie!

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ?

    Well, I read a report by emergency room doctors last week and one of them said, "Avoid anyone called Dude, or Some Fella", probably Some Guy also, because they are the ones who shoot you or start beating up on you. One good post can cover for a lot of bad ones. Just be sure you do have a good one now and then.

  15. #15
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedL View Post
    Most instructions I've read in the last ten or twenty years appear to have been written by the legal department, not the engineering department.

    Go read your car warranty. Most manufacturers specifically disclaim any warranty of "merchantabilty or suitability for a particular purpose". So, no warranty that your car is suitable for transporting a few human beings on paved roads. That's something to put your blind faith in!

    You miss the whole purpose of the post!
    The manufacture does know the best way to maintain your equiptment.
    Also to tell someone to do something that the MFG specs and the UL listing espically in writing leaves you open to liabel yourself if something happens.
    Do what you want but when it blows up in your face ( Metaphorically ) Who do you want to blame?

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