Extension Cord Wattage Chart: How Many Watts, Amps Cords Handle?

We deal with a lot of extension cords. 10 gauge, 12 gauge, 14 gauge, and 16 gauge are the most commonly used extension cord sizes. In many cases, we are interested how many watts can a certain AWG extension cord handle, and how many amps it can handle.

Examples:

  • Watts: How many watts can a 16 gauge extension cord handle? If you check the extension cord wattage charts below, you can see that 16 AWG extension cord can handle 1,430 watts (25-feet and 50-feet cord), 1,100 watts (100-feet cord), and less than 770 watts (150-feet cord).
  • Amps: How many amps can a 12 gauge extension cord handle? The wattage chart also tells you how many amps can the extension cord handle; we talk about extension cord amp rating. If you check the chart below, you will see that 12 AWG extension cord can handle up to 18 amps (25-feet and 50-feet cord), up to 15 amps (100-feet cord), and up to 10 amps (150-cord).

You will find all the wattages and maximum allowable amps in the 4 extension cord wattage chart below. Why are there 4 of them? As you might have notice, the amount of electrical power (watts) and electrical current (amps) an extension cord can handle depends:

  • Primarily on wire size (AWG gauge). Bigger wires (lower AWG number) can handle more watts and amps. Example: In the #1 chart for 25-feet extension cords, you can see that a 16 AWG cord can handle 1,430 Watts and up to 13 amps while a bigger 10 AWG cord can handle 2,200 watts and up to 20 amps.
  • Secondarily on extension cord length. Longer cords can handle fewer watts and amps because the cord itself is an electric resistor, lowering the overall output (due to voltage drop). Example: A 25-feet long 14 gauge wire can handle 1,650 watts and up to 15 amps while a 150-feet long 14 gauge wire can handle at most 770 watts and 7 amps.

As you can see, the length of the extension cord matters. Extension cord amp rating and how many watts can a wire handle depend on the length. Therefore you should consult these 4 extension cord wattage charts to check for watts and amps, categorized based on wire length (25 ft, 50 ft, 100 ft, and 150 ft):

25 Feet Extension Cord Amp Rating + Wattage Chart

Device Amps: Extension Cord Size: Maximum Wattage (At 110V):
Up To 13 Amps 16 AWG (Light Duty Cord) 1,430 Watts
14 To 15 Amps 14 AWG (Medium Duty Cord) 1,650 Watts
16 To 18 Amps 12 AWG (Heavy Duty Cord) 1,980 Watts
19 To 20 Amps 10 AWG (Extra Heavy Duty Cord) 2,200 Watts

50 Feet Extension Cord Amp Rating + Wattage Chart

Device Amps: Extension Cord Size: Maximum Wattage (At 110V):
Up To 13 Amps 16 AWG (Light Duty Cord) 1,430 Watts
14 To 15 Amps 14 AWG (Medium Duty Cord) 1,650 Watts
16 To 18 Amps 12 AWG (Heavy Duty Cord) 1,980 Watts
19 To 20 Amps 10 AWG (Extra Heavy Duty Cord) 2,200 Watts

100 Feet Extension Cord Amp Rating + Wattage Chart

Device Amps: Extension Cord Size: Maximum Wattage (At 110V):
Up To 10 Amps 16 AWG (Light Duty Cord) 1,100 Watts
11 To 13 Amps 14 AWG (Medium Duty Cord) 1,430 Watts
14 To 15 Amps 12 AWG (Heavy Duty Cord) 1,650 Watts
16 To 20 Amps 10 AWG (Extra Heavy Duty Cord) 2,200 Watts

150 Feet Extension Cord Amp Rating + Wattage Chart

Device Amps: Extension Cord Size: Maximum Wattage (At 110V):
Up To 7 Amps 14 AWG (Light Duty Cord) 770 Watts
8 To 10 Amps 12 AWG (Medium Duty Cord) 1,110 Watts
11 To 15 Amps 10 AWG (Heavy Duty Cord) 1,650 Watts
19 To 20 Amps 10 AWG (Extra Heavy Duty Cord) 2,200 Watts

With all these chart in mind, hopefully, now you have a clear answer on how many watts can extension cords carry and what are the maximum allowable amps for each extension cord (accounted for length as well).

4 thoughts on “Extension Cord Wattage Chart: How Many Watts, Amps Cords Handle?”

    • Hello Cora, presuming you have a 110V circuit, you can get up to 3,300 watts. You would need 8 AWG wire. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  1. Have a new electric grill. Techwood Grill-model TWBG-01S. Grill is 1600 watts,120 volts. Apt outlet in living room is on 15 Amp service circuit. Kitchen has 20 Amp circuit. I prefer the living room outlet as it’s cord will be much shorter-25 foot. The kitchen hook up would need to be a 50 foot cord. What gauge cord should I use? With such high wattage I was in fear that the 1600 was too much for the 15 Amp circuit. Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    • Hi Geraldine, alright, we can calculate the amps like this: 1600W/120V = 13.33 Amps. Now, a 15 amp break can handle 12 amps (80% NEC safety rule). So, you will definitely need a 20 amp breaker (can handle 16 amps). The 1600W is too much for 15 amp circuit. I would try the kitchen hook up, despite the 50 ft cord. Hope this helps.

      Reply

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