Ceiling mounted extension cord for garage?


Old 01-30-05, 11:19 AM
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Ceiling mounted extension cord for garage?

I have a 2 year old home and for some reason it only has 2 outlets which are located above each garage door opener. So I was going to try and get one of those extension cord reels that mount on the ceiling next to the outlet and then I can unwind the cord when I need to use it. This would be easier than running outlets all over the garage for the limited use I need the outlets for... I mainly only need to run a shop vac and maybe a space heater from time to time, so I think the extension cord will suite my needs as the least expensive option. Can anybody recommend an extension cord that comes on a reel that can be mounted on the ceiling? do they make them so the reel automatically rewinds itself when you are done using it?

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Old 01-30-05, 12:28 PM
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I have not bought any of these devices, although I have used them. I offer the following thoughts.

Extension cords are not meant to be used as permanent wiring. If you only these for occasional use, you fit the not permanent category. However, I would be cautious about this. If you do install this, there won't be anything stopping you from pulling this cord over so you can plug in your rechargeable clippers, or your rechargeable flashlight or whatever. Using one of these for this permanent does not fit the not permanent category.

These devices are designed so that the cord can hang down to a level where you can reach it. At this level, the cord may get in your way. You will then need a step ladder or chair to reach the cord. This in itself could be a hazard.

Often, the ceiling receptacles for garage door openers are not GFCI protected. There is no requirement that they be, and doing so causes headaches. However, you will want GFCI protection for whatever you use these for. Working in your garage is not time to not have GFCI protection. Plan on buying a cord reel with built in GFCI protection, or on replacing the receptacles with GFCI receptacles, or on at least using a short GFCI device at the end of the cord reel.

With all that said, my advice is to install a new circuit to the garage and then several receptacles where you might want them. This would be the best solution to your problem.
Old 01-30-05, 01:54 PM
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Check the hardware store in the Go Shopping part of this site or check Sears.
You want a retractable cord reel. Most have around 30" of wire and can be plugged into the receptacle and mounted on the ceiling.

I have two, a very old one which I rewired, and a new one. Neither one has G.F.C.I. protection. I am going to take racraft's advise and change the Receptacles to G.F.C.I. so I don't accidently "fry my bacon".
Old 01-30-05, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by squale
I mainly only need to run a shop vac and maybe a space heater from time to time, so I think the extension cord will suite my needs as the least expensive option.
This sentence is of concern. It may seem petty but these two items, especially the heater, are heavy draw items and using them on extension cords is highly inadvisable. If you do decide to go this route do not skimp and get a cheap unit with thin cord. Get one with at least 12 or 14 gauge cord and keep the length as short as is practical.
Old 01-30-05, 08:24 PM
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I was thinking this one,, what do you guys think?///

Old 01-30-05, 08:47 PM
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The one you mention says 15 amp rating, but does not mention the gauge.
40 feet is really too long an extension for any type of heater, unless the cord was very heavy ( 12 ga. ) and it does not look like it.

Most heater manufacturers caution agains using any extension cords.
Old 01-31-05, 07:36 AM
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Everything about this is a bad idea. We know that you are not easily deterred, however, so just do it. But don't ask us to bless a bad idea.
Old 01-31-05, 09:09 AM
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Is there not a danger of serious heat build-up in a tightly coiled extension cord, especially if the draw is heavy?

I'm thinking this would be a very bad idea, no matter how heavy the gauge of wire. I guess the exception would be if when the heater is plugged in that almost all of the cable were unwound off the reel.
Old 01-31-05, 10:53 AM
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An extension cord should ALWAYS be fully unreeled when used. Heat build up is a concern. They should also NOT be used for devices like vacuums and heaters. Those are 2 of the biggest items not to use extension cords with.

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