Mains cable coils

Gives hot-wire a whole different meaning


It used to be a cable. Now it’s modern art.

That’s why it is recommended to always fully unspool/uncoil power cables before plugging in. It is a good idea to never leave cable on the drum when doing events..

You’d be surprised how many people don’t realise that can and does happen, even with a quite small load.
There are usually two power ratings on the cable nameplate, one for the rolled-up cable and one for the unrolled cable.
The rating for coiled cable is just a fraction of the unrolled cable rating.

Because people for reason or another do not always unroll the cable, for safety you should use cable spools that have a built-in overheating protector that cuts power when the coiled wire starts to get hot. Those overheating protectors are common in extension cable coils in Europe.

Here is one over heating protected coil example. The red one is resettable overheating tripping device that can be reset (like breakers).


Here is another example:

Let’s suspect the cable can handle 16A not coiled without problems. The safe rating when coiled might be only be 4A. If you try to push 16A through coiled cable it will melt sooner or later. I think 8A will make it already very hot
The long-term allowable operating temperature of cables: PVC insulation is 70°C

More information on the coiled cables in my earlier post


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