I am a hvac tech, but my question is I have 2awg stranded and my plug is 6awg, will it matter much if I cut some strands to fit my plug? the plug is 60amp 250vac for a piece of kitchen equipment if the matters.

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    I'm a bit confused about exactly what you are referring to - people often get plugs, receptacles, outlets, etc. mixed up. Do you actually mean the cord coming from the appliance and ending with a plug with prongs? Or do you mean the receptacle (which accepts a plug) which is wired back to the breaker? The first actually makes more sense (I answered based on the second) but not clear why a 60A appliance would include 2 AWG wire. On the other hand, if it is the appliance you can likely disconnect at the appliance and replace the entire cord+plug. Sep 15, 2019 at 16:47
  • yeah, its a new power cord and new plug going to a commercial fryer and plugging into a wall receptacle. the customer damaged the power cord and plug, so the company I work for ordered a new plug and power cord, the wires in the power cord are like 2 awg stranded and the new plug looks like will only take 6 awg. I would have to cut a bunch of strands off to make fit in the new plug. im not a electrician but was always told not to cut strands off can cause issues, but my boss is telling me it wont be a issue. im thinking it would cause or could cause voltage drop or decrease resistance.
    – user107060
    Sep 15, 2019 at 16:54
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    Then what we really need to know is the model # and the electrical specifications of the appliance. That will tell us (a) the minimum requirement for cordage and (b) what type of receptacle it should be plugged into and (c) (provided the manufacturer specified and the specifications available publicly online) what type of connection is inside the appliance for the cordage. Sep 15, 2019 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Yes, it matters a great deal.

Cutting off extra strands will create a big safety hazard, yes. Yes, it will affect the resistance of the connection. It will cause a voltage drop and localized heating, which may melt the plug. It could also cause arc faulting, which could ignite grease or flour residues.

But also, the plug has a built-in strain relief. It is designed to clamp #6 cable, not #2. It won't be able to clamp #2, which in practice means the strain relief just won't be used, and any pulls on the cable will yank on the connections directly. That would be bad even if the terminations were proper!

The NFPA and UL don't make these rules to be a pain. They do it because experience has proven things blow up if they don't.

There are some other problems. Plugs/sockets larger than 60A are very unusual, which means cordage larger than 6 AWG is very unusual. I have a strong suspicion this is not cordage, but in fact is building wiring. Don't use building wire intended for in-walls or underground, in an application where a flexible cord is normally used. Building wiring can't handle the flexing and motion of cords.

Trying to use #2 here is wrong. Anyone with an experienced eye will spot a #2 cable going to a plug. They could get written up on a walk-through. If this shows up in an investigation of an injury or fire, you could really be in the soup, because the boss will swear he didn't tell you to do that.

I know you have something "on order", but the correct cable is readily available. It's simply 6/4 or 6/5 cordage (3-phase+ground with or without neutral; number of wires = number of plug pins) and they cheerfully sell it by the foot. Most likely there's an electrical supply house within 2 miles who stocks it.

And it's cheaper to boot. Significantly cheaper than #2.

Super easy to do it right, so do it right.

  • the power cable and plug was damaged by the customer, the plug was never repaired before, the company I work for order a new plug and cord, but the new cord wont work in the new plug, im assuming they ordered me the wrong cord for the new plug. my question is would cutting strands off to fit cause a voltage drop or decrease resistance? yeah im not a electrician nor play one on tv. im wondering for my own knowledge, ill do what my boss wants, hell its not my company
    – user107060
    Sep 15, 2019 at 16:46
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    @user107060 Except this is professional trade work. A chaffeur is responsible for hitting someone even if he works for a company. An architect is responsible for a building falling even if he works for a company. So working for a company doesn't help. If your supervisor was an electrician, then yes, liability would transfer to him, but he isn't. So it seems to me like it lands on your shoulders. You could ask on law.se to be sure. Sep 15, 2019 at 19:10

The proper way would be to pigtail to the proper wire size. I would expect a device rated for 60 amps to handle at least #3 awg wire. But the proper way to make the connection is to pigtail to 6 if that truly is the max wire size, I do question the plugs rating because 60 Deg table is the correct size #6 is rated for 55 amps so there is no room for a continuous load (one that operates more than 3 hours) this requires the wiring to be 125%. (Most kitchen ranges are listed for 30-50 amps) would you mind providing the type and model of the equipment? I love Polaris connectors as one option

  • its for a commercial fryer for a chain restaurant, the plug is 60amp, 250vac, 3ph and the wire is 2awg stranded. the fryer says 60amp 250vac 3ph, apparently the customer shorted out the old plug and so I have to replace the plug and the wire. so I cant use a splice kit( like the idea of it) so if I cut strands off to fit the plug will it cause a issue or potentially cause one? like voltage drop, decrease of resistance, etc?
    – user107060
    Sep 15, 2019 at 16:06
  • Since none of this information was in the original question it should be edited into the question. In every state I have worked a license would be required to work on commercial installations (even for the owners in all but 1) and cutting the strands is a code violation. if you don’t have room to splice a new junction box will need to be added and at that point the wire size can be reduced. What is the actual load of the fryer? This should be on the name plate. It may be in kw or amps and the voltage would be helpful to properly size the wiring.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 15, 2019 at 17:45

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