heated outdoor cat house 14-2 into 20amp?

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  #1  
Old 12-23-06, 06:14 PM
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heated outdoor cat house 14-2 into 20amp?

My wife and I have been feeding three feril cats outside. We trapped them and had them spayed at the Animal Rescue Fund and re released them in our back yard. They are very sweet but we can't let them in the house because their used to be 4. (one tested positive for feline lukemia and the vet put her to sleep) We haven't tested the other 3 and already have 1 cat inside that now can no longer be in contact with them. Too bad because they all were good friends and played together. Now it's a little sad because they rub noses with the glass deck doors between them.

The reason I'm writing this is the weather is getting cold and I built them a cedar cat house and put a 40 watt bulb inside. I insulated it and got an out door light that is sealed with a gasket and the house is very dry with a liner inbedded in the roof.(it came as a kit ) I bought 25ft of UFB 14-2 UL wire for out doors and ran it from the light fixture and put a plug w/ground on the end.

I was hoping to run it through my basement window and plug it into my work bench 20amp outlets w/12-2 wire going to a 20amp breaker. I plan to changed the breaker to GFIC first. Now every body said I could plug anything into my 20am 12-2 circuit. How about this line that is 14-2?

PS I am posting this as new thread because the other post has been a while and I'm not sure if anyone will return. (sorry)

I appreciate everyones knowlege and advice.
 
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Old 12-23-06, 06:25 PM
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Usually basement outlets are GFCI protected. If yours is not, you can put in a GFCI breaker, or just a GFCI receptacle. 14 gauge wire is fine for your application. Your bulb will draw less than an amp.
 
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Old 12-23-06, 07:05 PM
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confused

I put the outlets in myself and didn't use GFI outlets and have since learned that I have to or change the breaker to GFIC. I bought one the other day. I'm glad if I can plug the 14-2 in.

So I'm not sure here now.

A On one hand I thought that the weakest link should be the breaker and that the breaker should flip before a thinner wire could overheat. So it would be ok for a 12-2 wire on a 15amp breaker, but not visa versa.

But it seems you're saying that

B a 14-2 wire and a light will only draw the current it needs and the fact that the breaker is larger than necessary is not a problem. What if the light on the 14-2 line is on and I am using the outlets at the same time for something with more pull? Won't that effect the current on the 14-2 line?

which is correct?
 
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Old 12-23-06, 08:01 PM
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If you are using a 20 amp breaker, you should be using 12 wire even if the bulb only pulls one amp. This is to satisfy code. How far is it from the house to the cat house? 14-2 uf shouldn't be used in a plug in situation. You could use a 15 amp gfci breaker or a 15 amp feedthru gfci receptacle. It may be possible to use 12-2 wg SO cable for this application if the conditions are right.
 
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Old 12-23-06, 10:58 PM
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I'm going to put the cat house on a brick patio only 10ft from the house.
I could plug it into the outside recepticals on the deck. They are on the same line as my kitchen recepticles and are already 15 amp GFIC but I would need some kind of cover from weather. The recepticles have spring flaps that are closed but not if something is plugged in. My wife keeps saying why don't we plug it in there? I would like a weather cover. Or I could run it into the kitchen window and go into the same line but that's kind of lame.

But now neither of these solves the issue of not using 14-2 uf with a plug. I didn't know that. What is the reason for that?

I'm not sure I know what 12-2 wg SO cable is. As a matter of fact I'm not sure what UFB 14-2 UL is even though it's what I have. I know what 14-2 is and I thought I was getting wire to be used out doors that had a weather proofing coating. So I'm not sure which letter s correspond to what (UFB and UL)

I guess won't be plugging this in until I have it right.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 06:20 AM
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As I stated in the other post. you cannot use UF cable as an extension cord. If you want to make an extension cord with a plug in the end, and the other end is attached to the light in the cat house, then US SO cord.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 09:34 AM
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Could you not use an outdoor extension cord? Then, weather would not be an issue. They should be readily available this time of the year due to the need for all the outdoor decorations.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 09:39 AM
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You cannot use an outdoor extension cord and modify it. That would be a code violation.

You could install an electrical socket on the side of the building with an in-use cover, and then use an outdoor extension cord. You would wire the socket using UF cable to the light in the cat house.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 03:30 PM
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I have to put a plug on the end because I'm not going to wire it directly to any curcuit. It has to be plugged into a GFIC so the question is do I use 12 or 14 gage. It sounds like if I use 12gage I can plug it in to either line the 20amp or 15 amp line as long as it is GFIC.

I'm going to rewire the light with 12-2 wg SO cable. I'll get it on Tuesday after xmas. Chandler you said this was ok if the conditions were right. What would those conditions be?
 
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Old 12-25-06, 07:25 AM
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Actually for the load you could use #14 or maybe even #16 as long as it is plugged in. If you check the price of SO cable you may find the cost of a good quality _outdoor_ rated extension cord is less. This will give you a molded on cord cap which in my opinion usually holds up better then a DIY cord cap. You'd just cut the female end off and hard wired to your lighting device.

Note: Using an extension cord in this way does violate the UL rating which many feel should never be done. I feel this an acceptable exception but that is my opinion not code.
 
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Old 12-25-06, 07:31 AM
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The conditions require "rain proofness" (if that is a word), using the 14-2 SO is fine if you plug it into the existing GFCI outlet, but you must install a clear code cap on the receptacle to keep it plugged in all the time. This will keep water from rain/snow from getting in and reaping havoc with the wiring and tripping the GFCI.
 
  #12  
Old 12-25-06, 07:52 AM
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I have at least 6 heavy duty outdoor extention chords I use for outdoor yard work and I certainly could spare one. But when reading the tags on the chords they all without exception say "Do Not Use When Wet". So I abandoned that idea.

Although I would only have the lamp in the cat house on when we are home and I'm keeping an eye on it. I would turn it off at night before going to bed (that's late for me).

But I have always tried to do things to code. In each case I have found there is usually a good reason behind the code. But because I am not a professional I don't usually know what the code is before doing some research.

It's not a big deal to get the correct cable tomorrow or a clear code cap to perhaps plug it in out side.

My wife really wanted to give the cats the house by xmas. Good thing it's been warm in NY so far and they don't have calenders.

Thank you everyone and Merry Christmas
 
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Old 12-25-06, 04:09 PM
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Using the weatherproof cap on the receptacle (~$9-13), you can use the cords. The warning it a generic warning because the cord itself will not protect against wetness at the receptacle by itself, nor will it be protected at the business end, except, as you say, it will be in a weatherproof box. That is why we use GFCI receptacles on all our jobsite cords, because at any given time it will rain.
 
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