extension cord used outside underground

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Old 03-03-10, 02:31 PM
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extension cord used outside underground

I have a few bug zapper lights , 50 to 100 feet from the house. Instead of running the cords across the lawn, I am thinking of running the cord(s) through a garden hose and then putting the hose just under the top soil . this only a temporary set up, but it has to be better than leaving the cord on the lawn for kids to trip over etc. PLUS I wont have to coil the cord(s) for lawn cutting. Before you jump down my throat yeah I know there is codes etc. and I have done the proper underground wiring for a little pond . Just looking for thoughts and to start a conversation .
 
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Old 03-03-10, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by willywhy View Post
I have a few bug zapper lights , 50 to 100 feet from the house. Instead of running the cords across the lawn, I am thinking of running the cord(s) through a garden hose and then putting the hose just under the top soil . this only a temporary set up, but it has to be better than leaving the cord on the lawn for kids to trip over etc. PLUS I wont have to coil the cord(s) for lawn cutting. Before you jump down my throat yeah I know there is codes etc. and I have done the proper underground wiring for a little pond . Just looking for thoughts and to start a conversation .
instead of extension cords why not use UF cable? Or even run it into a box with a weatherproof cover and GFI in it.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 03-03-10 at 07:07 PM. Reason: removed comment about improper use of cord ends
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Old 03-03-10, 03:18 PM
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If you're going through the trouble of trenching, might as well do it right with a 12" deep narrow trench, #12/2 UF-B cable and an outdoor box and cover. Use short stubs of conduit for entrance/exit from the trench.

I don't think there's any NEC issue with burying an extension cord as it is not premises wiring, but it's certainly against the intended use and listing of the cord. I don't think the garden hose adds any protection.

In any case, make sure all outdoor receptacles are GFCI protected.
 
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Old 03-03-10, 03:50 PM
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With your avatar and the I think you have been banging your head too much. None of what you suggest is safe.

If you going to bury something anyway, why not do it right? As Joe suggested, get some UF. IF you GFCI the circuit before it enters the ground it only needs to be buried 12".
 
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Old 03-03-10, 03:57 PM
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Does it really only need to be 12" deep? Years ago I saw somewhere that the ends should be in pipe with box etc. and then cement where it goes in to the ground, I dug 18 to 20 + inches, when I did the pond. I guess on this project alone I went over code, I think.
Thanks Guys!!!
 
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Old 03-03-10, 04:14 PM
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If the entire cable is GFI protected you only need it 12" deep. Without GFI protection the minimum is 18", unless under concrete.

UF cable is not for use with plug ends.

This is a nice setup, no need for a wood post that rots or assembling a weatherproof box.

19.5" Low-Profile Enclosure with Built-in Cover
 
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Old 03-03-10, 04:44 PM
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pcboss U R THE BEST

As I said above you are the best!!!! I saved the link to my home repair file.
THANKS
Willywhy
ps
Only 12" deep still scares me when running 120 volt. I am by no means an electrical engineer, but I really respect the juice, when something is remotely out of my comfort zone I call the professionals in.
 
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Old 03-03-10, 06:30 PM
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That's why the cable must be GFCI protected. If you hit it will a shovel, you should be safe. If no GFCI depth is 18" or 24" depending on circumstances, which is quite a bit deeper than typical landscape digging.
 
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Old 03-03-10, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by willywhy View Post
Only 12" deep still scares me when running 120 volt. I am by no means an electrical engineer, but I really respect the juice, when something is remotely out of my comfort zone I call the professionals in.
This coming from the person that wanted to use a garden hose and an extension cord buried under the sod.

Yes, the cable is only required to be 12" deep if the entire circuit, at the point it enters the ground (or before), is protected by a GFCI. The circuit also can not be over 20 amps.
 
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Old 03-04-10, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
This coming from the person that wanted to use a garden hose and an extension cord buried under the sod.
What a great idea: Electrical service and irrigation in one step! (Kidding! I'M KIDDING!)

Seriously ... will the bug zappers run so often that they need permanent wiring?
 
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Old 03-04-10, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
What a great idea: Electrical service and irrigation in one step! (Kidding! I'M KIDDING!)

Seriously ... will the bug zappers run so often that they need permanent wiring?
Probably not, but going back to the OP.

I have a few bug zapper lights , 50 to 100 feet from the house. Instead of running the cords across the lawn, I am thinking of running the cord(s) through a garden hose and then putting the hose just under the top soil . this only a temporary set up, but it has to be better than leaving the cord on the lawn for kids to trip over etc. PLUS I wont have to coil the cord(s) for lawn cutting. Before you jump down my throat yeah I know there is codes etc. and I have done the proper underground wiring for a little pond . Just looking for thoughts and to start a conversation .
I think hes probably gonna stick with his extension cord and garden hose idea. Personally i wouldnt even use the garden hose, just get some heavy duty 10 gauge extension cords with the GFI's built into them.
 
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Old 03-04-10, 06:54 PM
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Hmmm, didn't think about also running water through the hose!!!!
But seriously the three lights will be / are on from about mid May through Sept. or even beginning Oct. The little blood suc k ers are bad here, I use spray, have a hand held propane fogger, if I am having company over I sprinkle the mosquito beater on the lawn. the neighbor across the street has very poor drainage almost a little swamp ALWAYS WET 100' by 200' area, she and I are on heavily wooded acreage. The bug lights hang from trees. I wear a hooded jacket to cut the grass unless it's real windy. I even have a small 10 watt zapper in the walkout basement for when the little stingers get in the house. I will be taking the advice and will bury the cable as "pcboss" suggested in his link. This will also provide permanent outlets for the holiday displays.
T. Ironhand you got to admit putting the cord through a hose is better than leaving it lying around.
When I finish the first one I'll have to post how much work it was, just for the rest of us rookies.
 
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Old 03-04-10, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by willywhy View Post
T. Ironhand you got to admit putting the cord through a hose is better than leaving it lying around.
The hard part is getting the cord end through the hose.
 
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Old 03-04-10, 08:12 PM
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Make or buy 1 or 2 bat houses and let them feed on the skeeters. Not kidding.
 
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Old 03-04-10, 08:28 PM
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Bats are the perfect natural solution but bats are also somewhat particular as to where they will roost during the day. It could be as much as a year or two before they accept the bat house (or maybe never just depending) and if they do accept it you will have the problem of bat**it all down the supporting structure and on the ground. If that is acceptable then I fully support using the bats.
 
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Old 03-04-10, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Yes, the cable is only required to be 12" deep if the entire circuit, at the point it enters the ground (or before), is protected by a GFCI. The circuit also can not be over 20 amps.
Just to clarify, this means that the circuit must be fed from a GFCI circuit breaker, or the UF cable must be attached to the LOAD side of a GFCI receptacle at the house BEFORE it goes underground. Simply having the GFCI outlet at the zappers will protect you if you grab the plug while it's wet, but it will NOT protect the cable, so you would not be protected if you hit the cable with a shovel.

Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
Seriously ... will the bug zappers run so often that they need permanent wiring?
You wouldn't believe what a difference they make when the area is wet. The way my yard is laid out, I have 7 neighbors whose property butt up against mine. We all have zappers, and we all run them dusk to dawn spring to fall. There aint a bug to be found in our little niche..

Originally Posted by willywhy View Post
Hmmm, didn't think about also running water through the hose!!!!
But seriously the three lights will be / are on from about mid May through Sept. or even beginning Oct. The little blood suc k ers are bad here, I use spray, have a hand held propane fogger, if I am having company over I sprinkle the mosquito beater on the lawn. the neighbor across the street has very poor drainage almost a little swamp ALWAYS WET 100' by 200' area, she and I are on heavily wooded acreage. The bug lights hang from trees. I wear a hooded jacket to cut the grass unless it's real windy. I even have a small 10 watt zapper in the walkout basement for when the little stingers get in the house. I will be taking the advice and will bury the cable as "pcboss" suggested in his link. This will also provide permanent outlets for the holiday displays.
T. Ironhand you got to admit putting the cord through a hose is better than leaving it lying around.
When I finish the first one I'll have to post how much work it was, just for the rest of us rookies.
They're spendy, but those propane powered skeeter traps work wonders. Basically it uses a chemical attractant that mimics sweat, plus moving heated air, so to mosquitoes it looks like a meal. So they go for it, and it sucks them in.. It's also got sticky sheets all over it, so it gets the ones that just land too.. The A friend of mine has two, and he has to empty them literally every day.

Originally Posted by furd View Post
Bats are the perfect natural solution but bats are also somewhat particular as to where they will roost during the day. It could be as much as a year or two before they accept the bat house (or maybe never just depending) and if they do accept it you will have the problem of bat**it all down the supporting structure and on the ground. If that is acceptable then I fully support using the bats.
But don't forget, bat $#it is a great fertilizer.. Collect it and work it into the garden! Another great natural insect predator is the Purple Martin (bird). You can get 'condos' for them - something you should do very soon, because right now is the time when they are migrating north to nest.. Their entire diet consists of flying bugs, and they eat many times their weight in bugs each day.
 
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Old 03-05-10, 02:35 AM
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Batman's favourite!
 
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Old 09-09-10, 10:44 PM
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Well I.m about done

As I said, I 'd get back to you when done. 2 of the longer runs are temporary. I dug about 5 inches down and used hose pieces where the EXTENSION CORDS come up through the ground by a couple of feet, next to the trees and by the house. They plug into GFCI's. These I plan to redo next year the right way. Today just in time for the ground to be reseeded I finished a shorter run, 40'. I dug at least 18 inches (2 shovel blade deep) getting past the first 6" was the hardest part, lot of rock and clay. Used a cement block to put a 90 bent 3/4" conduit in at the tree end, sticking up 2'. at the house, conduit up the side till it goes in. cable used is 10/2 w grnd. Friday the electrician will check my work and hook it up to the power box with a GFCI breaker (about a month ago he came by to find a intermittent power loss [turned out to be a broken outlet] and I told him what I was doing and he offered advice).
To do all this this digging etc. was about 30 hours, doing a couple hours a day when weather permitted (very hot or rain) Spent about $75.for parts, plus breaker and electrician costs ALL IN ALL its satisfying doing it yourself.
I just did a quick scan of the posts since I last logged in, The neighbor with the wetlands has had a bat house since the late 90's no bats yet. Couple of you need to lighten up a bit. THANKS TO THE REST OF YOU for providing input without adding insults.
Willywhy
 
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