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Thread: Tiger Shark Question

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    Tiger Shark Question

    We are thinking of purchasing a Tiger Shark for our Complex Pool and I was reading on their website that "using an extension cord can cause safety hazards and may cause damage to your cleaner." Anyone know why they say this and/or use one with an extension cord and not have problems? I have used numerous products with extensions cords all my life and never had one "damaged" simply by using an extension cord.

    The reason I ask is that our pool maintenance room is the only place with a GFCI plug and by my measurements, this distance will "eat up" about 18 feet of the 55 foot cord for the Tiger Shark to use in our pool and thus not be able to reach the very end of the deep end of our pool.

    PS: Second year Pool Manager and first time posting here. I just found this site a few weeks back and love all of the info and helpful insights from fellow pool owners/managers.


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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Tiger Shark Question

    YamonJon, welcome to TFP!
    I can't answer your question with any certainty, sorry! I would think that as long as there is no chance the connection between the extension cord and Tiger Shark cord will fall in the water, it would be OK. I don't know how much juice it pulls, but you'd need a robust enough cord to handle it.

    There are some electrical wizards around here somewhere...
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Central Illinois

    Re: Tiger Shark Question

    I'm no electrical wizard, but I can speak to some of the hazards that go with using extension cords.

    When you send electricity from point A to point B through a wire, you will lose voltage due to the resistance of the wire itself. Think of it like losing momentum when you ride a bicycle into the wind. The farther you travel, the more energy you lose. It is the length of the cord that matters here, not the distance you're covering with the cord. If you use a 100' extension cord to cover a 10' span, you're still making that electricity travel 100 feet, and losing voltage accordingly.

    If you lose enough voltage in transit, you can cause damage because the thing you're trying to power is demanding more power than can be delivered. For example, think of connecting your pool pump to intakes in the pool with 1/2" pipe, or a garden hose, or something smaller. If the plumbing can't deliver sufficient water fast enough, you'll do bad things to the pump, right? So in order to use extension cords safely (in ANY application) there are two things to keep in mind: 1) Use the shortest practical cord to get your power from point A to point B, and 2) make sure the gauge of the cord (i.e. the diameter of the conductor wires inside) is sufficiently large to keep up with the demand at the load end.

    I've never seen a Tiger Shark in person, but from the pictures I see on the web I suspect it's powered similarly to my Blue Diamond, which uses an outboard power supply plugged into the 120 volt AC power source, with the robot being plugged into the power supply. The power supply is really a transformer that converts power from 120 AC (standard household current) to 12 or 24 volt DC for use by the robot. This is not a power-intensive process. In my opinion (and please remember that I am NOT an expert), this is not a terribly heavy electrical load.

    Most of the cheap, orange extension cords you see in home centers are 14 gauge (sometimes even 16 gauge, smaller wires still), which is sufficient for powering average sized hand tools, smallish motors, etc. When you want to power something bigger, like air compressors, power washers, table saws, things with larger motors, you need a heavier cord (12 or sometimes even 10 gauge).

    If you want to learn all the gory details, google on the term "voltage drop". You'll get more than you ever wanted to know. Power loss associated to voltage drop is very uniform (i.e. for a given conductor diameter, you will lose a constant amount of voltage over a given length). For example, say that for a given wire length and gauge, you'll lose 10 volts to voltage drop. If you are sending 100 volts down the line, you're losing 10% of your voltage. If you send 1,000 volts down that wire, you're losing the same 10 volts to voltage drop, but it's now only 1% of your total voltage. Transmitting 10,000 volts costs you only 0.1%, and so on. This is why power companies use transformers ramp the voltage up incredibly high, to tens of thousands of volts, when transmitting electricity over long distances, and then use different transformers to bring voltage back down to consumable levels at the other end. This is also why you need to get the heck away from power lines when they are on the ground.

    If you only need to cover 20 feet with the cord, I suspect a 25', 14 gauge one will do you just fine. Try it, and keep track of the condition of the cord. If it starts to feel warm after powering the robot for a while, look for a heavier gauge cord. And of course, make sure that you're only using the cord across a dry surface. It's a pool deck, after all... but if the pavement is wet, keep the cord off it.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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