Getting power to a ceiling fan - is this safe?

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Old 04-19-09, 01:51 PM
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Getting power to a ceiling fan - is this safe?

OK, what I want to do is get electric to a ceiling fan. I'm not real fond of the idea of trying to tap into existing wiring - to be honest, electricity scares me.

BUT, I have a couple regular outlets up in the attic. They're not being used, they're just sitting there. Can I just cut the female end off an extension cord (a 3-pronged one), and connect the wires to the ceiling fan? Is that safe, or am I asking for my house to burn down? I'd love to hire someone to do this, but it seems like its too small a job - I can't even get an electrician to call me back.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 02:18 PM
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No, not safe. Be flexible with when an electrician can come over so he can fit it between jobs. Tell him it is easy to get to and you will provide the coffee. It really won't be that expensive.

Glad you asked,
Bud
 
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Old 04-19-09, 02:49 PM
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Well, 1st of all its not even remotely easy to get to. The only way to get to it is to belly-crawl over about 20 feet of attic. 2nd of all, I'd give them coffee until their eyes floated if I could get them to call me back. Expense isn't the issue. Returning voicemails is the issue. I even said in a couple of the voicemails that I'd pay whatever they wanted. No return call.

My next question is, why is it not safe? What is the risk? What is different between plugging a cord in and tapping into another fixture and running a BX or greenfield from there? Or is what's not safe having me doing it, as opposed to someone who's been trained in electric (but not in returning voicemails, it would seem)? I just don't get what isn't safe. Since I posted the original question, I spent some time reading on Google. I found several pages saying its not safe, but none of them say why.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 05:00 PM
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To an electrician, that is still easy. Stop down at your local electrical supply house, the one the electricians use, and ask around. Often times the company you are calling isn't interested in the small jobs as you stated, but some of their employees do work on the side. The supply house should be able to put you in contact with one. Pick a skinny one.

As for why running an electrical cord, wired as you suggested, is not allowed I will let the pros answer that, I can't quote the book for why.

Spring weekend, everyone is outside working.
Bud
 
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Old 04-19-09, 05:27 PM
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It's an easy job. Just use regular building wire (i.e., NM-B) rather than an extension cord. It's no harder than using an extension cord and a heck of a lot safer.

You can put in a screw with a hammer, but it's much easier with a screwdriver. There's no reason to do something wrong when the right way is just as easy.

Read three books on home wiring before starting.
 
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Old 04-19-09, 05:45 PM
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Reasons why extension cord is not allowed:

Unless you pay for a quality cord they are mostly going to be 16ga or 18ga wire. (even if you did buy a quality cord it is still not allowed)

A cord is a UL listed assembly. By cutting the end off you have just negated the UL listing. All electrical equipment must be listed for the purpose.

Here's the big one:
Extension cords are for temporary use only and may not be used as an extension of permanent wiring. Art 400.8 (2005) Uses Not Permitted and 400.9 (2005) Splices.
 
 

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