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is there any reason an extension cord cant be used for this?

is there any reason an extension cord cant be used for this?

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  #1  
Old 10-05-12, 08:06 AM
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is there any reason an extension cord cant be used for this?

i want to put 2 or 3 soffit lights up ..bulbs will be about 13 watts each..nothing else on the line and it will have both an on off switch override as well as a dusk to dawn sensor.

100 ft extension cords are about 20 bucks...UF cable is more than 20 bucks...is there any reason i cant just snip off the ends and run the extension cord thru some 1/2 inch pvc and use that instead of UF?

to run less than 50 watts of lights i cant see what the problem would be but i figure i better ask anyway.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-05-12, 08:14 AM
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Yep, you can't do this because extension cords are not allowed for permanent use, they are for temporary use only.
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-12, 08:44 AM
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well i'm only temporarily using the light...at night

are the wires inside inferior or something? in conduit just trying to imagine what would go wrong
 
  #4  
Old 10-05-12, 08:48 AM
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Geez, I didn't see the conduit part the first time through your post - you're also not allowed to cover an extension cord, they can't go through a wall or conduit or anything like that.
 
  #5  
Old 10-05-12, 08:54 AM
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Also, extension cords use stranded wire while the UF would be solid wire.
 
  #6  
Old 10-05-12, 08:56 AM
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Would it work? Yes. Would it be legal? Definitely not. Electrical codes are based on absolutes, no matter how much common sense you try to apply.
 
  #7  
Old 10-05-12, 10:02 AM
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hi guys -

I think this is a related question. My understanding has always been as you folks say, extension cords are for temporary use only. I been thinking (for years now) of a getting one of those garden fountains with a pump.

I notice that at every garden center they have these fountains with pumps all over the place and they are all powered with extension cords. All over the ground outdoors!

Why are they allowed to do that? Isn't it just as dangerous there?
 
  #8  
Old 10-05-12, 10:09 AM
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I guess they figure the displays are temporary.
 
  #9  
Old 10-05-12, 10:25 AM
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Guess that makes sense mitch. I've seen the same displays out for years! Seems like a loophole to me - but what do I know? LOL
 
  #10  
Old 10-05-12, 10:43 AM
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Ninety days is the limit by code or so I have read.
 
  #11  
Old 10-05-12, 10:52 AM
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Ninety days is the limit by code or so I have read.


Good to know! Thanks Ray.
 
  #12  
Old 10-05-12, 01:39 PM
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Codes are in place for a reason. If you do enough research, most (if not all) code requirements are based on some form of disaster that happened likely multiple times. Most of us have survived for years without arc-fault breakers... but there are some who haven't because of fires. Before that, there were many who survived without ground-fault devices in bathrooms... but a whole bunch of people didn't.

NM-B wire (which should be used for soffit lighting) meets a whole bunch of requirements that extension cord wiring doesn't. If you're going to spend the time to do it, you really should do it right. Invest your time to read a book or two and follow up with questions here. If you don't have the time or interest to learn the correct way to DIY, I'm sure you can find a reputable electrician who would be happy to do it correctly for you.

I don't mean to sound preachy... but having been in a (likely) electrically caused house fire, I feel pretty strongly about doing things right. (note that I was young enough that it certainly wasnt my fault)
 
  #13  
Old 10-05-12, 03:28 PM
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The rubber or plastic coating degrades over time if used outdoors excessively.Even if you have it covered in pvc conduit the,moisture will degrade it after awhile.UF wire has more rugged coating then any extension cord you'll ever see.
 
  #14  
Old 10-06-12, 05:27 AM
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UF is pretty expensive. Since you were intending to use conduit anyway, just pull individual conductors (#14 THHN/THWN).
 
  #15  
Old 10-06-12, 05:49 AM
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Since you were intending to use conduit anyway, just pull individual conductors (#14 THHN/THWN).
#14 THHN/THWN conductors in conduit are fine as long as the lights are being fed from a 15 amp circuit. If you have a 20 amp circuit you should use #12 conductors.
 
  #16  
Old 10-06-12, 11:45 AM
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Ninety days is the limit by code or so I have read.
590.3(B) (2008) limits temporary installations to 90 days for holiday lighting and power. (Tell that to the people who leave the Christmas lights up all winter. ) Otherwise, it is allowed for the length of construction. 590.3(A)
 
  #17  
Old 10-06-12, 05:52 PM
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100 ft 12/2 ufb is 85 bucks at lowes..50 ft of 12 thhn is 17...so 100 ft of all 3 would be 102..cheaper for the uf

i also plan on doing the rear of the house someday but i gotta figure if the 250 ft is 143 is something i would do now for planning purposes.

i did just win the lottery yesterday so this wont be as draining as it was to be initially

Shop Utilitech 23-Watt White Dusk-To-Dawn Security Light at Lowes.com

if anyone can send me a pic of what electric box id use to mount this to the soffit id appreciate it..the soffit is all wood underneath so i was planning on surface mounting a box then the light on it
 
  #18  
Old 10-06-12, 08:13 PM
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You'd mount it to a round bell box.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]4064[/ATTACH]

Source: Buy.com
 
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  #19  
Old 10-07-12, 08:18 AM
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Considering the investment you'll have in both material and your own labor on this project, I think I'd find a better fixture.

Ballast and lamp are rated for start at 20F
In my area, the light wouldn't even work for most of the winter. It also has a 23 watt compact fluorescent lamp. I doubt you'll get much light from it.
 
  #20  
Old 10-07-12, 09:37 AM
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Wall-Mount 1-Light Outdoor Oil Rubbed Bronze Dusk-to-Dawn Lantern-BPN1691P at The Home Depot


is the GU 24 bulb in the above fixture the same type as in the 23 watt one i posted in the previous post (i dont know if there's a difference between that CFL and what issue you are saying i may have with the new fixture)? i have the above fixture outside my garage for over a year now and it always works. and i'm not looking to put together a bottle ship under the light, just light things up a bit

i have 2 of the above lights outside my garage and you could easily read a book lol.. was shocked how bright 2 13 watters are.

23 almost seems too bright for what i want. just some downlight to the house
 
  #21  
Old 10-07-12, 12:34 PM
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is the GU 24 bulb in the above fixture the same type as in the 23 watt one i posted in the previous post
It's hard to tell as the Lowes fixture didn't have any lamp information, but they are both compact fluorescent lamps. The Home Depot fixture doesn't list ballst information either, but since you say you already have two that work fine, it'll probably also work well for you.
 
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