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Can I Run off a 14awg Power Bar Plugged Into a 12awg Extension?

I was having some problems with my PC skipping frames with my cursor moving across the desktop or moving the camera around in games. Eventually I diagnosed the problem as dirty electricity narrowed down to a 16awg extension cord.

 

Where my PC is located I need to run a 30ft extension and it worked great for a couple years, but it looks like the gauge overheated or something.

 

I plan on replacing this cord with ideally a 12awg extension, but I want to make sure the equipment is plugged into a surge protector bar... All the surge protectors that I found rate the cord as 14awg - is it okay to mix the two? Or should I just run a 14awg extension with the power bar?

 

Running with a 1000w Corsair HX, RTX 2080TI, Ryzen 5 2600x btw

Appreciate any input

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How did you deduce that this extension cord was the problem? I have a hard time believing that this issue is the fault of the mains connection because of how ATX power supplies work. There is extensive filtering and protections built in to your power supply that make rock steady voltage rails. In addition, I imagine if there was an instability in the output of your power supply, you would observe much more violent glitches (hard crashes and resets is what I would expect).

 

To answer the actual question, 12AWG and 14AWG refers to the cross sectional area of the wires in these cables. The lower the number, the larger the cross section, the lower the resistance, and thus the larger the power handling capability. What size you need really depends on what you are powering on the other end of the cable, but iirc 14AWG cables are good for 10A or 1200W continuous load. I pulled this number out of my ass so definitely check it before you take it as truth. If you want to understand wire sizing in general (well, it's more about American breakers but covers current handling of wire) I recommend this video from Technology Connections

Spoiler

 

 

ASU

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Thanks for the response, I deduced that the extension cord I was using is the culprit by moving the pc to an outlet that is running a different PC well. I know the extension is 16awg which is good for about 7 amps or up to 840watts or so which is lower than I should have been using for my PC, monitor, printer and peripherals but didn't consider this too well when I got it set up. 

 

Thankfully I didn't have too many issues, the main one being the frame skipping in games or with the cursor that I mentioned... But there were other issues that I left out including long load times for applications, a couple dll files going missing and slow start times. Everything is working well now that I have it plugged in elsewhere though. (Also did a fresh reinstall of Windows to make sure the system files are good now.)

 

I want to use 12awg to have a buffer going forward but not sure if it's ideal to have a 14awg power bar plugged into it, or just go full 14awg.

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A 12AWG extension cord, is basically the same caliber as the cabling running in your walls.
If you're plugging a powerbar onto it and it's a higher AWG, it will be fine.
Ideally, you'd want to plug it directly in a wall socket, but if you can't do that, a 12 AWG extension is the next best thing.

16 AWG cable can certainly overheat, simply because of the amperage usage of a full load PC. Though it should be capable of handling up to 10A without overheating, if that (cheaper cables do much less).

Spoiler

image.png.f9cb94212aeef373f0fc0bdd7b523fcb.png

 

Don't use anything lower than 14AWG for a computer (actually higher... wire gauge can be confusing, basically don't use 16, 18, 20...). Mine, with everything plugged onto it, can draw over 10A easily according to my power meter (granted, most of that is the printer, lol)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3600 / GPU: Radeon HD7970 GHz 3GB(upgrade pending) / RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB DDR4-3200
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18 minutes ago, TetraSky said:

A 12AWG extension cord, is basically the same caliber as the cabling running in your walls.
If you're plugging a powerbar onto it and it's a higher AWG, it will be fine.
Ideally, you'd want to plug it directly in a wall socket, but if you can't do that, a 12 AWG extension is the next best thing.

16 AWG cable can certainly overheat, simply because of the amperage usage of a full load PC. Though it should be capable of handling up to 10A without overheating, if that (cheaper cables do much less).

  Reveal hidden contents

image.png.f9cb94212aeef373f0fc0bdd7b523fcb.png

 

Don't use anything lower than 14AWG for a computer (actually higher... wire gauge can be confusing, basically don't use 16, 18, 20...). Mine, with everything plugged onto it, can draw over 10A easily according to my power meter (granted, most of that is the printer, lol)

Thanks for the input! I figured it would work okay to go with 12awg + the power bar but wanted to make sure. 

I'm going to go that route to make sure the extension going up to the power bar is okay this time. Right now I'm just renting where I am so definitely works better than doing any rewiring.

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