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How many amps can the cigarette lighter take?

15 posts in this topic

Thanks in advance

What amps can the cigarette lighter handle?

Would it easily handle 15 amps?

Cheers

Ed

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I doubt it would "easily" handle 15A

I wouldnt think the connector could be rated for much over 10A personally, and wouldnt even feel to great about pushing 10A thru it. The standard wiring will probably be rated for about 10A max too...

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If you need to supply 15A to it, how about you wire in a (suitably fused and suitably current-rated) separate supply to a new socket, direct to the battery ?

!google ohms law

V=IR and all that stuff.. :)

That said, P=VI, and 15Amps and 12 Volts only equals 180watts. That doesn't seem like an awful lot.... So I had a look at what sort of power a typical inverter might supply. Was surprised to find most are around 150W.

You might find this useful:

http://www.dcacpowerinverters.com/inverterguide.htm#10

Bottom line: run a separate (fused and rated) line if you need 15 amps - and you should ditch the cigarette lighter as a conduit as well as I doubt that would be up to it. Sparks and fires could be involved.

How about some nice Anderson Connectors ?

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how much current does the fag lighter element actually draw, bearing in mind it is a direct short circuit until it pops out?

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From TSD who's bought, tested and melted every cig lighter plug on the market (and some that aren't) the max you can reliably stick down one is 8A continuous with a good quality plug and the pointy tip filed down slightly. Realistically I reckon 4-5A is about the limit of most of them. The wire to the socket is usually nothing bigger than 1mmsq which means absolute max ~15A if the plug would take it.

For anything serious I'd look at small Andersen plugs or similar.

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Agree with the above - they are usually a poor connection designed for intermittent use only and not suitable for anything other than low powered devices.

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In case you were wondering it is for a travel kettle which is supposed to draw about 165 watts

Seems a bit pointless if the cigarette lighter can't handle it.

I will wire a new wire direct to the battery with a 10 amp fuse in and see how i go.

That leeds me to ask which is the positive feed on a cigarette lighter? the tip or the edge?

Thanks for all the help

Ed

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Mudstuff do ones rated at apparently 16 amps, just run a new (fused) supply to them :)

I've got those Sutar ones in my 110, really solid pieces of kit and far better constructed than a regular fag lighter socket.

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i bought a 15 amp cigarette lighter type socket for one of our tractors last year, and it has coped fine with powering the eleccy hydraulic control thingy on the feeder, along with the high power scales and the LCD screen aswell.

mikey

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From TSD who's bought, tested and melted every cig lighter plug on the market (and some that aren't) the max you can reliably stick down one is 8A continuous with a good quality plug and the pointy tip filed down slightly. Realistically I reckon 4-5A is about the limit of most of them. The wire to the socket is usually nothing bigger than 1mmsq which means absolute max ~15A if the plug would take it.

For anything serious I'd look at small Andersen plugs or similar.

"Your tax dollar at work" :lol:

It's a few years since I did this, so my memory may be wrong on exact detail, and there may be better stuff available now. At the time I was looking for a good quality plug to fit a standard in-car cigarette lighter socket. I was looking worldwide, and I bought and tested to destruction every likely candidate I found.

I never found a plug that was capable of a reliable 15A. (By reliable, I mean a continuous 15A for many hours without problems).

The sockets usually have a decent amount of metal, and using fat wiring helps conduct heat away, in short they aren't usually the problem.

The plugs normally have a spring in them which doesn't conduct heat well, and looses it's temper when it heats up, making the problem worse.

Good quality plugs will have a flexy copper braid up the middle of the spring, or some other method of preventing the current travelling through the spring.

If there is an inline fuse, that will get pretty hot running near it's rated current, and that can destroy the spring and/or melt the plastic body.

The plugs with the removeable red cap (converts them to a DIN style plug, if you didn't know) all appear to be a copy of the Hella design, and most share the same design flaw. They are usually a fraction too long, so when you plug them in to a 'real' cigarette lighter, they have a tendency to pop out on every bump. Filing off the tip a bit lets them seat on the spring which holds the ciggy lighter before it pops out. Obviously this doesn't apply if you use the accessory sockets, rather than a cig lighter socket.

Farnell sells a '15A' copy of the Hella plug which has a solid centre pin where the fuseholder normally is. They heat up less, having no fuse.

Marinco makes a decent plug and socket combo (each half is compatible with 'normal' versions, but offers a splash seal and a twist lock when used together.)

Either of those is reliable at 8A, maybe more if you use fat wire and are lucky.

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I will wire a new wire direct to the battery with a 10 amp fuse in and see how i go.

You'll be popping fuses for a pastime then....

I = P/V = 165 / 14 = 12A approx = bye bye 10A fuse.

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Cig sockets are variable. I got a cheap one from Ebay that arrived with a label saying not suitable for cigarette lighters!

Fortunately it was only going to supply a satnav charger.

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