wiring light to extension cord

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  #1  
Old 11-26-07, 12:54 PM
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wiring light to extension cord

Hi
I bought one of those outside flood lights that have a 65 watt cfl bulb thats supposed to be about as bright as a 500 watt light. It has a black wire and a white wire and is supposed to be hardwired using a box to the housecurrent. My question is can I cut the female end off an extension cord and connect the lights wires to it making an outside light with a 10 foot cord that I can mount anywhere and plug into any outlet.
The cord I am planning to use is one of those extension cords that have a switch on it. This way I can run the cord through a pole and mount the fixture (somehow) to the pole and then plug it into an outlet.
Reason is the shed I plan to put this *manufactured* pole light has NO electricity wired to it and I am planning on using a small generator to supply the electricity.
I suppose I could also wire up the shed with the lights I need and bring all the wires into a circuit box and then feed that box electricity using the generator but by using a cutoff extension cord wired to that flood would allow me to mount it (somehow) to a pole and get it higher than the shed which would illuminate more of the yard and driveway.
So, question is ... It should work providing I make sure the black wire is attached to the hot side (narrow plug) of the polarized plug and the white wire to the neutral wider leg of the plug. Do they make pole mounting kits with or without a box to be able to install *wall- undereave* mounted fixtures on a pole instead of a wall ?
Thanks
 
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Old 12-02-07, 11:18 PM
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I’m guessing the cord is only a 2 prong and not grounded if you said one blade is wider and there is a switch. At least use a grounded cord and connect the green (or bare) wire to the ground connection on the light. I don't know if the NEC has any regulation after the outlet; there might be laws that regulate devices that can be plugged in and how they are used (UL). I would think cutting off an end of an extension cord would somehow void the UL certification. And, I don't think extension cords can be ran in areas that you cannot access (inside a pole). Would a generator skirt those laws? I don't know. Are you just using the generator for lights? If so, you could get a car battery and 12v florescent lights; it would probably be cheaper to charge the battery than run the generator (or use a solar panel to recharge). They make worklights that come with poles, you might look into those and just run an extension cord from your house as needed. Disclaimer: I'm just throwing ideas out there. I have no authority in this subject.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 08:01 PM
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Rarely do we see a project proposal that violates so many different electrical codes. I don't know what to say.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 11:16 AM
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Question Good Thing I'm Asking ....

Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Rarely do we see a project proposal that violates so many different electrical codes. I don't know what to say.
Yes, perhaps ....that's why I'm asking questions before just doing. I never even ran a generator before either and I don't want to blow up.
BUT ... The description of what I'm doing may to be more to blame than what I need done as to appearing totally unsafe.
I will start over.
I need light. I have a small shed in the middle of the driveway (parking area). The shed has NO electrical power to it.
I want to build using 2X4s a sign that will be secured to the roof. The framing of this sign has a 3 foot upright 2X4 where I can affix OUTDOOR weatherproof floods. I can also wire an OUTDOOR weatherproof Outlet to the base of the sign. My proposal to attach the light to an outdoor 15amp cord with a plug instead of hardwiring to the electrical box shouldn't break any safety codes ..... That way I can plug the Weatherproof light to the weatherproof outlet and plug the outlet into the generator for power.
Generator will be vented for intake and outtake airflow. I will have a small fan running as well to move the air. All connections will be in a waterproof, weatherproof boxes using the sealers and gaskets as provided. The outlet will also be shielded further as I will add like a roof over it to keep as much weather from it as possible on top of it also being outdoor and weatherproof. I don't want to take any chances with safety so all connections will be shielded more from weather eventhough they are all in Outdoor connection boxes to begin with.
As for the smaller wire cord as proposed below running through a pole .... NO, Like said below, not a good idea and even before I read that post I had modified my plans to be more simplified and safer. There will be No feedback to the powerlines as the shed is NOT wired to the electric power grid and the only source of electricity will be from the generator. What is against code?? If I am using proper wiring and outdoor lights and outlets. Instead of wiring to the House electricity the unit will in fact be made portable although firmly affixed to the roof so the wind won't blow it all away. I AM THINKING HOWEVER it would be a good idea if I bought a outlet receptacle like they use in bathrooms to replace the receptacle that came with the outdoor outlet box which would be more to code... well, which IS code actually.
What is the problem with attaching a PLUG to the outside light instead of hardwiring it and what is the problem with attaching outside lights and an outside outlet box to a wooden sign framework rather than to the walls of a building?
 
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Old 12-04-07, 11:28 AM
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Put an inlet and do all your wiring to that inlet. An inlet is a reversed plug, if you will, that the end of the extension cord inserts into.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
Put an inlet and do all your wiring to that inlet. An inlet is a reversed plug, if you will, that the end of the extension cord inserts into.
Thank You
OK, so an inlet is a box like an outlet BUT has a MALE PLUG instead of female .... AND wire everything in Junction Inside that box ...(and that Inlet can be inside the shed) and then run a proper extension from the generator to the INLET which will power everything I have wired up to it.
Sort of like wiring a house ... but instead of a breaker box USE the INLET BOX and instead of getting Power from the Electric company it will be powered from the generator once the extension is plugged in.
Yes?
 
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Old 12-04-07, 02:37 PM
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Yes. The inlet is a male plug that is recessed. They use them on campers, for example, to plug the camper in at a campground.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 03:41 PM
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I never even ran a generator before either and I don't want to blow up.
Please read the manual and don't use the generator until you understand it. You're going to be dealing with gasoline, oil, electricity, carbon monoxide, and -- if it rains -- water. That is probably the most potentially deadly combination of things that will ever be gathered in one place.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 09:41 PM
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I don't understand why you are using a generator. Gas is over $3/gallon; maybe that's cheaper than your electric rates though. You must have a really long driveway.
 
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Old 12-05-07, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Strategery View Post
I don't understand why you are using a generator. Gas is over $3/gallon; maybe that's cheaper than your electric rates though. You must have a really long driveway.
To use an electrician was going to be around $750 and I'd have to buy the outlets and lights. The little 1500 watt generator cost $197 and should run around 9 hours (1/2 load) which comes to around 5 gallons a week to give me lights for the driveway and Parking Area plus a Lighted Sign on top of this shed which is in the middle of the yard. Yes, the driveway is a little long ... maybe 70 feet so I need it lit up as much as I can as well as the area where people would park... so it's safer... This is a cheaper solution so people will Notice the store better at night and feel safer parking. We live on a mountain and animals do walk around sometimes. Hopefully the LIGHTS work along with the limited advertising I can do and then I can afford to do everything more proper and easier than messing with a generator and changing the oil and handling gas all the time. It's just a cheaper quicker solution to my problem which will prove to be temporary .... I hope.
 
  #11  
Old 12-05-07, 01:36 AM
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Manual

Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
Please read the manual and don't use the generator until you understand it. You're going to be dealing with gasoline, oil, electricity, carbon monoxide, and -- if it rains -- water. That is probably the most potentially deadly combination of things that will ever be gathered in one place.
Thanks. Yes I have read the manuals many times and plan on reading them until the generator operation is second nature to me. Messing with everything you mentioned leaves no room for mistakes as one could prove disastrous.
*I thought the unit was made in America and came from California but come to find out once I opened the box it is a Chinese product Assembled in America and distributed from California... One manual is mostly pictures and the other one is filled with misspelling and broken English, wrong words used to describe things and all that good jazz. So, definitely I will be reading those manuals and everything I can online about generators before I even put gas into it. I do plan on using the shed for it to cut down on some noise and plan vents near the roof and near the floor as well as a fan to move the air. I know sometimes people use piping to run the exhaust out and away from the building (RV actually) and am looking into that as well. This shed is not being used for anything other than keeping my Tools in right now and I'll be the only one going in there and operating the generator. I don't plan on doing anything until I know everything about what I want to do. Takes me longer but it'll be done right and safe...
I want to thank you ALL for the replies and help.
Thanks
 
  #12  
Old 12-05-07, 04:24 AM
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During a power outage last year I put the generator about 20 feet from the rear garage door under a camping gazebo. (Attached garage.) The extension cords ran into the garage, which meant the door had to stay open. My wife and I were sitting upstairs reading when the carbon monoxide alarm sounded in the basement. Turns out the wind had shifted and the open garage door was acting like a vacuum.

If you enclose the genny in a shed, carbon monoxide levels can build up to the point that it will make you sick within one minute of entering the space.

Have you given any thought to how you're going to ground the electrical system?
 
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Old 12-05-07, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
During a power outage last year I put the generator about 20 feet from the rear garage door under a camping gazebo. (Attached garage.) The extension cords ran into the garage, which meant the door had to stay open. My wife and I were sitting upstairs reading when the carbon monoxide alarm sounded in the basement. Turns out the wind had shifted and the open garage door was acting like a vacuum.

If you enclose the genny in a shed, carbon monoxide levels can build up to the point that it will make you sick within one minute of entering the space.

Have you given any thought to how you're going to ground the electrical system?
Twenty Feet huh .... You'd think the Carbon Monoxide would dissipate but with a strong enough or quick wind I can see the gas getting blown around. But they use generators with RVs so there must be a way to avoid the potential problem.
The generator would only be running for maybe 4 hours a night until Spring when the sun stays up longer. I'm still looking for that solution to the CO. Venting it out of the shed is one thing but like you point out .... then what? The bottom of the shed is raised off the ground about 6 inches or so ... perhaps a second SMALL fan under there near the bottom vent can help disperse the fumes. There's like 100 feet or more OPEN yard behind the shed I can blow the fumes to.
The manual says to drive a metal rod or pipe into the ground for grounding the generator. I had the electrician wire up service to another unit last year and he drove a rod at least 7 feet into the ground so I know it's not as simple as the manual states. I could run the ground to a pipe behind this shed and then an underground wire to the deeply sunk rod the electrician put in to be doubly sure that I'd be grounded. Using a deep pipe into the ground and then connecting it to the Better ground the electrician made should work. The simple ground as stated in the manual would probably be fine but taking the time and running My ground to the Electricians would be worth it to assure grounding. He used a Jackhammer to get his grounding rod in that deep. Like I said Part of me is tempted to go out and wire up everything but another part of me wants to know Everything before I start. I'd rather do this project with more knowledge than I need so I can do the job as safe as I can make it rather than get it all up and running and then discover a problem and not know what to do about it and worse not even know there is a problem until something happens. I DO PLAN to have all my work checked out before I turn it on though.
Thanks for the CO and Grounding insight
 

Last edited by beetlman; 12-05-07 at 12:06 PM. Reason: spelling
  #14  
Old 12-07-07, 05:56 PM
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Good luck to you. I hope the sign brings you business, and you can then afford to have electricity wired to your sign.
 
 

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