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Old 12-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


Here's my problem. I have an electric starter on my snow-thrower. There are no exterior outlets in the back of the house. (I rent and landlord doesn't want to install a new one)

There is a GFI outlet in the basement. Could I run an outdoor extension cord from the basement, through the aluminum sheet that holds the dryer vent, into the crawls space under the back porch?

I was thinking about using a length of PVC pipe with a cap drilled out to run the cord through on the closed end, and some sort of weather proof cap on the other end.

I would seal off the hole in the aluminum at the house and the end cap with marine putty or plumbers epoxy.

The only other option I have is to leave the back door open while starting the snow thrower, and bring the cord from the porch to the snow thrower.

As you may have already guessed, there is NO garage. I'm using a blue tarp to cover the thrower.

Jeff
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


No. If just using to start the snow blower if you are unable to do so manually, just open the window, throw the cord out to start the snow blower, then pull the cord back in and close window. Otherwise, if you have a garage that you store the snow blower in, shouldn't there be an outlet in there, or at least a light that you can change the fixture out to one with a outlet.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


I'm with gregzoll, extension cords are for temporary use and should not be run through walls in a semi-permanent fashion.

Do you have any exterior lights in the back yard? You can buy little adapters that screw into a light socket and provide an ungrounded 2-prong receptacle you can plug your snow thrower into. Even if your snow thrower has a 3-prong grounded cord, I would consider using a "ground cheater" adapter to be safer (still not entirely safe of course, but safer) than running an extension cord through walls.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


I guess I was creating a much LARGER and more complicated solution to a smaller problem. Unfortunately, I often end up with larger solutions to simple questions. Changing a toilet wax seal has ended up with replacing all the water lines.

Jeff
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:24 PM   #5
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


Here is what someone in my family did for his snow blower and holiday lights (also rented a house). Landlord wouldn't do a thing for him.

He made a nice 12ga SOOW extension cord (extra hard usage, usually for commercial use, weather resistent, 10x tougher then the cheapo ones with a thick jacket) bought about 20ft long enough for his use, and dropped it through an unused window. He took a small square dowel and cut it down to length for his window and notched a hole for the cord, so he can close the window over it and not have a cold house

He plugged it into the GFCI in his kitchen.

On the outside, he mounted a weatherproof gang box to his wood deck post with a GFCI outlet installed, and an outdoor cover, with a watertight compression strain relief.

He uses this for the snow blower, Christmas lights, and yard work.

When he decides to leave, he takes it with him.

Safer than using a inky little 16ga cord and having it lay in the snow.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by tylernt View Post
I'm with gregzoll, extension cords are for temporary use and should not be run through walls in a semi-permanent fashion.

Do you have any exterior lights in the back yard? You can buy little adapters that screw into a light socket and provide an ungrounded 2-prong receptacle you can plug your snow thrower into. Even if your snow thrower has a 3-prong grounded cord, I would consider using a "ground cheater" adapter to be safer (still not entirely safe of course, but safer) than running an extension cord through walls.
Although, using the light socket method, most fixtures are only rated for 60w, maybe 100w max. My snow blower, when using electric start, kicks in at 1,200watts to start. After a few starts, it may cause damage to the light fixture due to the high draw.
It's also not GFCI protected, or grounded. Kinda pushing it especially in the snow.

It would honestly be safer to run the cord through the window when needed, and plug it into a GFCI. If you want to leave it in the window for the season, then do so, but unplug it when not in use. <RE-READ THAT! That is the key point to doing it in a safe way. If your not going to remember to unplug it when it's not in use, then drop it out of the window.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Exterior Extension Cord Problem


Has nothing to do with the watts, it is the amps. 1250 watts is only around 11amps, and when starting a snow blower, it is not a continious load, just long enough to help crank the motor.

Watts is the energy expended. That is why lighting fixuters are rated for a certain wattsge, due to the heat or btu expelled from the light bulb.

Think of it like being on a treadmill. You generate heat by the energy you are using.
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Last edited by gregzoll; 12-06-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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