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Old 06-12-2007, 08:32 PM   #1
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Extenstion Cord


Hello,
I have a GFCI in my garden area and I just hooked up an extension cord from it to a water pumps cord. Should I be concerned where male and female ends join together and could be exposed to rain water or from splashing from a hose? Is there some type of waterproof cover that I can place over it? I am using a temporary fix of plastic wrap, sucured with ties to keep water away from it.
Both cords are rated for wet locations. But I am not so sure about where they connect.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:18 PM   #2
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Is this a temporary set-up? This is not acceptable for permanent connection. I would not consider it safe.

The connection between the cords will get wet and trip the GFCI.
I do not know of a product that would cover this.

For permanent use, add a GFCI protected receptacle within reach of the pump cord.

This should have been my first question - What is this water pump for? Not a pool I hope.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:25 AM   #3
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John,
The pump is used for supply water to a waterfall fountain. it is an aquarium pump rated for both external and internal use (in water).
I believe another GFCI is a bit overkill. It appears I need to shelter the connection and there is room under the fountain, where wind driven rain would have difficulty reaching it and it would not lay on any wet surface. I can do this if I purchase a longer extension cord.
Or I can look for a weather proof box to attach to the underside of the waterfall fountain or on the wall and both connectors would be protected from water.
The existing GFCI has its trap door open most of the time because I have another device plugged into it and wind driven rain could trip it. but to my memory, it has not happened yet.
My original thought was a "What if scenario" if a child pick up the connection and the GFCI did not trip. I check it every season and it tests ok.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:50 AM   #4
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As John stated, an extension cord is for temporary use. You will still need a GFCI protected outlet for a direct connection to the pump.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:12 PM   #5
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any outlet outside should have a cover that will fully close when something is pluged in. These are called "in-use" covers. They will prevent rain from getting in and tripping.

In a residential setting, ALL 120v receptacles MUST be GFCI protected. (There are a few, rare exceptions, but they don't apply here.)

Add an outlet within reach of the pump cord. Be safe.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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<any outlet outside should have a cover that will fully close when something is pluged in. These are called "in-use" covers. They will prevent rain from getting in and tripping.>

I'll look into getting a cover but for me to run a new line to install a GFCI, when the pump is only 20 feet away would require me to tear up my finished basement to run wire through at least 6 or 7 joists and who knows what other damage I must create to run the circuit. I plan to run a longer extension cord to an area under the fountain and secure it so that water would have difficulty reaching it, plus wrapping the connection up with plastic wrap and duct tape. After all, these GFCI's are supposed to work when there is another unintended path created.
Thanks for the imput.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:15 PM   #7
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some brands of duct tape are conductive....
hire an electrician, for the neighbor's kids safety.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:14 AM   #8
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You can add a GFI closer to the pump by extending the circuit from the existing GFI using APPROVED wiring methods.

Just like a broken record. Extension cords are not approved for perminent wiring methods.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:41 AM   #9
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Thanks,
I'll check mine with a tester. I went to Lowe's home center and a electrical clerk said that what I am looking for is available but that the store does not carry it. So I am off to a commercial electrical supply house today, to ask about it. If it does not exist, then questions will arise as to why code and the manufacturers cannot come up with a device that will meet approval. Afterall, how many people have tamper proof electrical cords in their home? Safety can only be carried so far; theres always a bit of risk in almost everything we do.

The alternative is to:
(A) Do too much damage to run another GFCI.
(B) I or the electricain would have to run approximately 45 feet of
romex going through about 10 joists that are drywalled and then
run conduit across the cement patio or under it to reach the
water pumps cord.
We are talking an all day job here and maybe more. Will I or the electricain be able to match the paint and texture of the repaired ceiling? Not likely. How much will it all cost?
I live in a row house and theres no other way to run the circuit.
Unless I can find a weather proof box for the extension cord, then common sense will win this one. Thanks All.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:14 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=jwhite;49034]You can add a GFI closer to the pump by extending the circuit from the existing GFI using APPROVED wiring methods.

Just like a broken record. Extension cords are not approved for perminent wiring methods.[/QUOTE

It will not be pemanent. The pump and all cords will be put away 5 months out of the year. The pumps cord is too short to reach the wall where the GFCI would be logically installed. So conduit would have to be installed across my cement patio (not acceptable) or under it to reach the pump cord.
I know the cord is not approved for permanent install and I will check the cord each season for damage. We are talking hundreds of dollars of work and I am not going to spend it to tear up my home. However, your suggestion is a good compromise and I will give it a lot of consideration.

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Old 06-14-2007, 07:52 AM   #11
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7 months use *is* permanent. I'm sorry that you don't like the correct/safe way of getting power to the pump.

As to your question about code and manufacturers; the answer is: code is don't use an extension cord. That's why receptacles are spaced the way they are; so you don't need an extension cord.

I don't understand why you can't run permanent wire along the same path that you want to run the extension cord.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:38 AM   #12
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You can tap conduit under the patio without pulling it up.

You can run proper wire along the outside of the house. No need to tear up the inside. Having an extension cord going across the patio permanently isn't just an electrocution hazard, and a tripping hazard, but it looks sloppy too.

This isn't a big project, and you asked how it should be done. The answer is you should run a new receptacle from the existing one.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:09 PM   #13
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<You can run proper wire along the outside of the house. No need to tear up the inside. Having an extension cord going across the patio permanently isn't just an electrocution hazard, and a tripping hazard, but it looks sloppy too.>

Nate,
If the pumps cord is touching the ground compared to an extenstion cord doing the same, what is the differance in hazard between the two. The pump is on top of the mulch in my garden and its cord is running along side of the neighbors fence to my Front wall, where it connects to the extension cord. Then it runs up the wall a few feet and then runs parrallel to the GFCI. The male and female ends of both cords are encapsulated using a 3M 82-A Series Power Cable Splice Kit. (no water can enter)
I am not trying to fight anybody on this; I just don't understand where the hazard is when both the extension cord and the pumps cord appear to be near identical material.
The pumps cord has just as much chance to deteriorate. And if something were to go wrong with the wires, the GFCI will trip. So would you please explain the theory of why its a hazard, a bit deeper?
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:22 PM   #14
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Nate & Jwhite,
I am considering having another GFCI installed as recommended. but the contractor will need to drill down into the concrete patio, then run the wire under it for about 7-1/2 feet towards the garden. He then can dig a hole in the garden using what ever tools are needed to fish and run the wire.
Does this sound like a difficult job? What can I expect to pay on average for this work including materials?
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:18 PM   #15
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I never do bids without seeing the job first.
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