Repost re: air conditioner - this time with pic

jallyAugust 14, 2011

I just realized that my basic 3 foot extension cord would not work in the kitchen

(i.e. it can't plug in)

Since a pic is worth a 1000,

here's the pic of my extension cord,

as well as the plug of my air conditioner,

as well as my crazy outlet (with molding getting in way)

as well as microwave-radio-plugs within triple adapter

NOT INCLUDED:

PICTURE OF TIMER WHICH I WANT TO USE WITH THE AIR CONDITIONER (not sure which Brinks Analog Timer to buy at Walmart. I do not want a digital timer, just analog.

Repeat: I do not want a digital timer.

Is there a way I can help myself - since my handyman isn't so readily accessible?

Here is a link that might be useful: Original post Re: air conditioner safety questions

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Ron Natalie

One option would be to replace the three-way thing there with a "surge strip" or the like that will plug where the moulding is and then you can hang your timer or extension cord down in the bottom one.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 7:24AM
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hendricus

http://www.thefind.com/appliances/browse-leviton-grounded-triple-outlet-tap

You do have more choices on outlet taps.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 7:42AM
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mstr_electrician

Hire an electrician to add a dedicated circuit/outlet for the a/c and quit trying to cobble something up.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 8:13AM
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jally

Uh, if there's too much of a surge of electricity, I think the worst that could happen is that I'd have to reset the circuit breaker. At which time I can then consider a dedicated outlet, don't you think?

btw, how much should a dedicated outlet cost to install?

For now - I have a followup to above responses:

(1) Which one of the triple outlet taps in the above link
(or surge strip??)
is advisable to try -- and safest
and

(2) should it be plugged into the upper or lower socket?
And then:

(3) Where should the:
..timer
....and microwave and other plugs go?

(4) I'm considering Walmart's Brink's analog timer.
The Walmart online site shows two different models.
Are either of these OK? See:

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:40PM
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ionized_gw

"btw, how much should a dedicated outlet cost to install?"

It depends on so many aspects of the job including, what kind of walls, going through the attic or basement, how far from the box. If a modern, typical house, I would venture $150-200.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:03PM
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kalining

are you saying you are plugging in a microwave oven and an
AC unit into the same plug ? If so you might want to up grade
your fire insurance. Then again if the insurance company finds this on your fire investigation, and they will, you can kiss your insurance good by. Ever seen a breaker fuse and not
trip ? I've seen lots. Good luck

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 4:28PM
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Marc12345

Don't overload and rely on breakers. Having the AC and microwave on the same circuit is not advisable. Even a small microwave paired with your AC unit will likely exceed the rated amps of the circuit, and that's not taking into account anything else that you likely have on that circuit.

Getting an electrician in to add a dedicated circuit is the best thing to do here. Until you do that, make it so you have to unplug the AC unit before you can plug in and use the microwave.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:05PM
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Billl

"Uh, if there's too much of a surge of electricity, I think the worst that could happen is that I'd have to reset the circuit breaker. At which time I can then consider a dedicated outlet, don't you think? "

No, overloading an outlet like that is much more dangerous than you appear to believe. Assuming a 20amp circuit, that still means the receptacle itself is only rated to 15amps and those splitters are NOT designed to handle heavy current draws. Either could start a fire.

The breaker will hopefully protect the wiring inside the wall, but is isn't going to fix the mess you are creating outside the wall.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:38PM
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fixizin

Agree with posters who posit that you need to live without the one A/C for the relatively few minutes you use the mu-wave oven. That said, never pull the A/C plug while unit is running--use the OFF switch.

Most 5,000 BTU wall-bangers only draw about 5 Amps, not counting start-up surge.

Most newer A/C units have a scheduler/timer function, so I'm guessing these are older units, hence the timers...?

We're just tryin' to get you through the summer, without burning down the house... your little A/C units just can't handle THAT kinda heat load. ;')

PS: Don't you just LOVE when timers made in ChiCom-land are "rated" at 15Amps, but get dangerously hot when drawing only 1/3 of that load? I "love" it almost as much as when they add extra lead to baby toys, oh yeah... >:( GRRrrr...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:10PM
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jally

OK, guys, gotcha - thanks for the caveats.

To Fixizin:

My AC is a basic unit, but recent model:
Frigidaire FRA052XT7

Re: your statement about ChiCom-land, was that your way of advising against?? the timers in my above pics??

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:52PM
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weedmeister

I don't know about those particular timers, but look for something rated for Appliances. A Light timer won't do the job.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:07PM
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brickeyee

"Then again if the insurance company finds this on your fire investigation, and they will, you can kiss your insurance good by."

You are insured against your own mistakes.

Try reading a policy.

If the insurance company does NOT disclaim you are covered.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:42PM
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jally

Does anyone here know whether either or both of those timers are good?

Note: both of them are 15 amps. I just now checked the site.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 1:18AM
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tl45

a) you want a timer that is specifically rated for heavy duty appliances or specifically for air conditioners. mechanical one are about $15 and digital ones $20-$25. Are teh timers you are looking at specifically rated for heavy appliances?

B) your quesiton on determining how to turn off a breaker or how to determine if the breaker is off and your consideration of latex gloves makes me beleive YOU ARE NOT the person to open a receptacle to even just turn the receptacle around. that is no judgment on you, you may have lots of other skills people who can do that don't have. you don't need an electrician but you do want someone who has done it before.

C) how old is your home? from the pics it looks pretty old. the wiring and insulation is already degraded from age use. power strips, extension cords, and receptacle multipliers pictured are meant for light duty appliances, NOT for combining microwaves and air-conditioners on an outlet.

Can you aggregate the "amps" on the appliances you are attempting to plug in? those are all on visable labels on your appliances.

As others have mentioned the lenght of extension cords, more importantly the gauge or thickness, and the number of connections, cord to timer, to cord, to multiplier, increase resistance, tiny arching etc.

not just each length, but each connection increases increases the resistance of the circuit.

If all that adds up to 10 amps on an older 15 amp circuit you want to get an electrician to give an estimate to wire up a new circuit. running new circuits which will be enormously helpful and safe, can range from $300 to 1500 depending, but there is a very good chance you will be lucky and some electricians give free or inexpensive setimates

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 6:54AM
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ionized_gw

Look at the LRA and FLA ratings on the timer. The higher, the better for use on a window AC unit, but as long as they match or are higher than the AC specs, you should be fine.

It is getting darned difficult to find simple timers any more that have removable on and off pins. I could not find any in stores and had to mail-order some for the cases when I want to be able to turn on and leave on (like air conditioners) or turn off and leave off (like battery chargers) equipment.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 3:05PM
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weedmeister

Really, I'm not trying to be a smart-aleck, but if one is going to turn it on and leave it on, a timer is not required. A switch sounds more useful.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 4:18PM
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jally

ionized, can you please clarify:

"as long as they match or are higher than the AC specs"

P.S. Thanks for all the feedback!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 3:21AM
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jally

P.S. to T45:

All the outlets in kitchen are on a 20 amp line (all one line).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 3:25AM
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