Using extension cords with electric roasters

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by hungryhippos »


I have been roasting on a Behmor for over four years and have outgrown it for three years. Been saving up to buy the next machine for the last couple of years and I may be ready to get either an Aillio Bullet or a Kaleido m10. Been reading about both on the forums for a while now.

My question is, I will most likely be roasting in my garage and will be forced to use an extension cord for either machine. Has anyone done this before? How much power loss is expected? How do you compensate?

Thank you in advance!

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#2: Post by Marcelnl »

use the heaviest gauge conductor and shortest length and you should be fine unless your garage is already at the end of the 'line'

Start off by measuring live voltage and look up voltage drop calculator what you should aim for.

Warning; live voltage is what it says, live voltage...caution
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#3: Post by ira »

Use the shortest cord and biggest conductor you can find. 12ga is the most common you'll find and that's the same size or bigger than what's in the wall. Mostly that is because people try to use what's at hand and try with 16ga or 18 ga and those will drop the power or catch fire. I always used an extension with my Behmor and never had an issue. Heck, you could put a bigger power cord on a Behmor and pick up a bit of power as the one it came with always get warm. Met all the UL and CE rules, they're allowed to get a little warm, but you don't want the extension cord to add to that.

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#4: Post by yakster »

I built my own extension cord out of heavy gauge wire and plugs from the hardware store, it was either 8 or 10 AWG, I don't remember, and I plug into the washer / dryer 120 V outlet and connect to a Variac to be able to boost the voltage up a bit to compensate for any voltage drop. This setup was for my Behmor and I use the same setup for my Bullet.

I've been planning on a dedicated 20 V run from the breaker to my roaster bench, I also am considering roasting from my solar generator which would avoid the need of extension cords but I don't know how many batches I'd be able to roast from the solar generator.

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#5: Post by Nunas »

As heavy a gauge as possible, as others have said. However, you also want to keep it as short as possible. So, either make up a cord of appropriate length, or if buying a ready-built cord, cut it down to as short as practicable. Also, consider cutting the cord down on the roaster, if it's not as heavy gauge as your extension; I did this with my Quest M6.

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#6: Post by ira »

Though, try it first. If it's fine with a 25' 12ga cord, no point it fixing what's not broken. I won't buy anything but 12ga cords for my garage and shop, but that's mostly in case I need to use them with a circular saw or some other high powered tool or connect some together to make a longer one. But most of the time they are serious overkill.