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Thread: Need a source for electrical wire ( cord )

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Need a source for electrical wire ( cord )

    I've been getting my electrical wire from a source I don't feel comfortable mentioning right now. I'm not mad at them but the problem is they have some miss marked wiring and that could cause trouble. They've offered to give me a store credit, but it would cost me shipping and I don't feel like spending that.

    Here is the deal. Last February I bought some 18-2 SPT-1 and 18-2 SPT-2 electrical cord. The 18-2 SPT-2 is good and the wire is the correct 18 gauge.
    The SPT-1 however must be miss marked because the wire is much smaller than the 18 gauge should be.

    Here are some pics of the wires:
    Name:  Outside sewing 9W7 001.jpg
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    The brown wire is 18-2 SPT-1 bought from a Lowes I believe.
    The first black wire is 18-2 SPT-1 from an old sewing machine motor.
    The second black wire is 18-2 SPT-2 from the supply I bought in Feb.
    The third black wire is NOT 18-2 ( more like 20-2 ) SPT-1 from the batch I bought in Feb.
    If you look close you can see that all the wires except the bottom one are 18 gauge, the bottom one is smaller.

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    Here is a closer comparison view of the wires. This is the second and third black wires shown in the first pic. In this pic you can clearly see the thinner wire is marked 18-2 and yet is thinner than the other wire this "IS" 18 gauge.

    Now, I'm not whining or ranting I just thought I'd post this in case others decided to do their own wiring. It never occurred to me to check the wiring gauge of newly purchased wire, especially when it was marked as what I ordered.

    I've been taught to never put a smaller gauge wire between the load and the power source than the wire the load uses.
    Nother words the sewing machine motor is wired with 18 gauge wire, so don't rewire it with 20 gauge wire. I do not know if it would cause problems or not, but I won't do it.

    I can use this thinner wire for rewiring sewing machine lights but I can't use it for controllers or motors. Not sure what I'm gonna do with it as I have 30' left.

    Does anyone know of a source of 18-2 SPT-1 BLACK electrical cord?

    Oh, for those that don't know, the SPT-1 and SPT-2 designations refer to the thickness of the insulation around the wire, not the wire itself. You can see this in my first picture.

    Joe
    Last edited by J Miller; 05-09-2013 at 05:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Jenny at Sew-Classic. Or, you can buy black extension cords from radio shack which is what I do.

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Radio Shack has black cords? I will check them out, but last time I was in one all they had was cell phones and computer things. No electronics any more.

    I just received an email from the supplier of the cord with the thinner wire. They told me that 20 gauge was rated up to 2 Amps and that few sewing machine motors were over 1.5 amps with most being under 1.0 amps. So there would be no problem using it.
    Perhaps I'm a bit paranoid, maybe.

    Joe

  4. #4
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    I think you should be sent what you want - if it's available.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I think you should be sent what you want - if it's available.
    I agree, but the seller does not have any correct 18-2 SPT-1 at this time. So that's why they offered a store credit rather than an exchange. They have told me they will be trying a different supplier in the future. So I'll try them at a later date.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Joe

    I'm not saying what I did was right ... but when I replaced the foot pedal on my Spartan with new wiring to the motor, and new wire from the motor to the wall plug ... I purchased a "Small appliance" cord from Menards. These cords had a standard 3 prong plug on one end and an "appliance plug" on the other. I simply snipped the appliance plug off and used the wire. I admit to not running that particular machine a whole lot to know if there is a problem ... yet.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Sue,

    I've used appliance cords too. I don't use the grounded though. The package of brown cord in the first pic is for lamps and appliances.

    I "try" to keep the machines looking as close to original as I can.

    Joe

  8. #8
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    What about Grainger, or a local electrical supply like Locke, CED/American Electric, or a store that specializes in lighting?

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I had forgotten them. My wife actually got some year before last, I'll see if she remembers what it was she got.

    Joe

  10. #10
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    Joe, have you checked with Home Depot and Lowes, they have a lot of wire you can buy in bunches or right off the real at HD too. And as someone said, a lamp store or electrical suppy house. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Carol,

    The brown cord in my first pic came from Lowes. I haven't been able to find any black cord except one place that newbiequilter58 reminded me of with her post.
    All they've had is the brown, and clear, and occasionally green cord.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Carol,

    The brown cord in my first pic came from Lowes. I haven't been able to find any black cord except one place that newbiequilter58 reminded me of with her post.
    All they've had is the brown, and clear, and occasionally green cord.

    Joe
    Green cord? Hmmm ... I have a machine that has a green cord and I was loath to change it because I didn't think I could get a green cord. Cool! I'll have to check Grainger to see if it's the right green.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  13. #13
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I think the green cord was for Christmas time, but I'll keep my eyes open for it anyway. I've got a couple green machines too.

    Joe

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    It sounds like you've already checked, but my local Lowe's had a round black wire in the extension cord section that I used to replace the worn out(and then taped!?!-it made me nervous just to look at it) original wire on my White Rotary.

    I can't remember the gauge but it was within the draw of the machine. It was 3 wire so the ground is unused and I could use the plug already attached.

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    For the fun of it I also have links to reproduction fabric wrapped electrical wiring. I've "kinda" been looking for a complete machine ( complete with all the original connectors ) to rewire. Or, a set of Chicago plugs to use on my Free Sewing Machine Co.
    Long Bobbin Rotary that was jury rigged eons ago. If I could get a good set of those plugs I'd rewire it as the OEM wiring was.

    Joe

  16. #16
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    Joe,

    What is a "Chicago plug"?

    Cathy

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    For the fun of it I also have links to reproduction fabric wrapped electrical wiring. I've "kinda" been looking for a complete machine ( complete with all the original connectors ) to rewire. Or, a set of Chicago plugs to use on my Free Sewing Machine Co.
    Long Bobbin Rotary that was jury rigged eons ago. If I could get a good set of those plugs I'd rewire it as the OEM wiring was.

    Joe
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  17. #17
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Cathy,

    The Chicago Plug is a round plug with two male prongs that fit into a matching round plug with two female receptacles.

    Here is a pic of the machine and it's original Chicago Plug wiring:
    Name:  Original wiring harness.JPG
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    Joe

  18. #18
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    Joe,

    Thank you. I wasn't familiar with that name and googling didn't come up with it.
    WOW! That wiring looks nasty.

    Cathy

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Cathy,

    The Chicago Plug is a round plug with two male prongs that fit into a matching round plug with two female receptacles.

    Joe
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  19. #19
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mizkaki View Post
    Joe,

    Thank you. I wasn't familiar with that name and googling didn't come up with it.
    WOW! That wiring looks nasty.

    Cathy
    It was. Every time I tried to use the machine I got a buzz from it. I rewired it and updated it a bit and it works great.

    Joe

  20. #20
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    Speaking of buzz: The old cords weren't polarized. If you got a buzz, the cure was to unplug it, rotate the plug, and then plug it in the other way.

    Today's extension cords are all polarized. So, if you are rewiring using an extension cord, how do you orient the wire so that the polarization is correct? There is a ridge molded into one wire of a two-prong cord, isn't there? Where does it connect to on the motor? Or the block, because the machine that I need a cord for is the pink Brother and only the poser cord from that motor/light receptacle to the wall is bad. The wires on the motor and light themselves are good.

  21. #21
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    MadCow333,

    I found this somewhere when I was having computer trouble and couldn't download or print it. So I hand copied it. It's helped me a bit, hope it helps you.
    Name:  Elec Wiring Info001.jpg
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    I'll have to try that unplug, rotate, and plug back in the next time I get a buzz.

    Joe

  22. #22
    Senior Member Vridar's Avatar
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    Joe, just curious. Does the smaller wire have larger individual strands? If so, could a smaller bunch of larger individual strands rate as high as a larger bunch of lesser diameter strands? Just asking. I know a solid copper wire rated the same as stranded wire is smaller in total diameter. Sounds confusing, but I hope it comes across as I desire. Kind of like a 12 gauge is a 12 gauge whether one is 6 shot or 8 1/2 shot. It takes more of 8 1/2 shot than 6 shot to make the same 12 gauge. This analogy probably doesn't equate but is my way of explaining what I'm trying to get across.

  23. #23
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vridar View Post
    Joe, just curious. Does the smaller wire have larger individual strands? If so, could a smaller bunch of larger individual strands rate as high as a larger bunch of lesser diameter strands? Just asking. I know a solid copper wire rated the same as stranded wire is smaller in total diameter. Sounds confusing, but I hope it comes across as I desire. Kind of like a 12 gauge is a 12 gauge whether one is 6 shot or 8 1/2 shot. It takes more of 8 1/2 shot than 6 shot to make the same 12 gauge. This analogy probably doesn't equate but is my way of explaining what I'm trying to get across.
    Vridar,

    Honestly, I don't know. What I do know is I've got lots of wire from decades old to new and most that is marked 18 gauge looks to be the same diameter regardless of how many strands it has. I've never actually measured it though. The other gauges follow suite as well.

    And I do understand your 12 gauge analogy.

    Joe

  24. #24
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    MadCow333,

    I found this somewhere when I was having computer trouble and couldn't download or print it. So I hand copied it. It's helped me a bit, hope it helps you.

    Joe
    Yes, that's very useful. :-)

  25. #25
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    Have you tried Codale electrics: http://www.codale.com/ They're a wholesale electric supply company that my dad used when he worked for a the power plant. They do purchasing from them. I'm sure they have what you need and what you might need in the future.

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