Is it a good idea to roll up mains cables?

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Offline turnipsock

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Is it a good idea to roll up mains cables?
« on: 22/08/2008 00:23:55 »
I see a lot of people rolling up the cables to their PC and Monitors into neat little coils...is this a good idea?
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Offline LeeE

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Is it a good idea to roll up mains cables?
« Reply #1 on: 22/08/2008 00:41:00 »
If it stops people from tripping up over them, yes.  Although they'll act like a coil, the power that's dissipated from them is negligible - if it were appreciable you'd notice it in your electric bill.
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Offline JnA

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Is it a good idea to roll up mains cables?
« Reply #2 on: 22/08/2008 01:34:47 »
Years ago, long before this internetty arrived, an electrician told me to never roll up in use cables into a coil... heat                                                                                                                                 - fire hazard.

I suspect this is not such a big problem with computer cables.. or maybe they have better insulators now.

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lyner

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Is it a good idea to roll up mains cables?
« Reply #3 on: 22/08/2008 15:29:26 »
Many mains extension cable drums have a thermal cutout nowadays to avoid the effects of high current through the cable when it's coiled up tightly. Heat dissipation is a factor in 'high power distribution' systems. But you need several Amps to get a lightly coiled extension lead warm. Do the experiment; if it feels warm then uncoil it.

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Offline Bored chemist

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Is it a good idea to roll up mains cables?
« Reply #4 on: 22/08/2008 16:00:42 »
We once ran a couple of fan heaters via an extension cable in the lab. After a while we noticed the smell of overheating rubber from the cable. We had not taken account of the fact that the cable was only rated for the current we were drawing when it was fully unwound. With all the cable trying to dissipate heat inside the case of the cable reel it got rather hot.
However, with the relatively small power that a PC takes I think the risk from tripping over cables is much bigger than the risk from overheating them.
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