safety with extension cords

LybanNovember 7, 2009

I want to plug two small porch christmas trees with 100 mini lights in each.

I have no outside outlets. so can I put a timer into my garage outlet, then plug an extension cord onto the timer and then when I get to my front trees there is only one outlet at end of extension cord and of course I have two trees. Can I just buy a little 2 or 3 plug adapter and plug it in the extension cord to put my two trees in or is this considered not safe.Thanks

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wayne440

This should do just fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: adapter

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 2:43PM
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kudzu9

You should be fine. However, if your plug-in connections are going to be exposed to pouring rain or a lot of snow it wouldn't be a bad idea to put the connections in a baggie and tape it up to exclude moisture.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Lyban

Thanks for the help Wayne and kudzu. I will put it in a baggie for sure.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 4:10PM
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Lyban

Can I join 2 ext. cords together. Both are about 12 feet each. I never know when this is considered unsafe?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 4:37PM
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wayne440

Given your load of 200 small tree lights, the two cords will work fine. If you were going to run a window AC or washing machine, maybe not.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 5:45PM
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steve_fl

Before everyone says a blanket OK on this, lets make sure these are OUTDOOR rated cords we are talking about.
Do not use the light gauge indoor only rated cords for this!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 7:51PM
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kudzu9

steve-
Excellent point. I know I was thinking that, and assumed it was implicit, but I should have said it, too. I think the professor just gave me an incomplete on that test question!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 2:43AM
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joed

I would not baggie the connection. Water will get inside and them it will be worse because it will never dry out. Just make sure the plug is elevated so that it does not lay in a puddle if you get rain.
The less connections the better so one cord is better than two.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 9:01AM
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sfjeff

I'm assuming your garage outlet is GFCI protected. If not, I'd either replace it with a GFCI (if you're comfortable with that kind of work), have it replaced, or use a plug-in ("job site") GFCI.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 11:52AM
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Lyban

More good advice. thankyou.
My cords are for outdoor, But say light duty 16 gauge.
Would they be OK if I use two connected to each other.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 12:56PM
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kudzu9

A 16 gauge cord less than 50' can power about 1600 watts. Now I wouldn't want to get that close to the limit, and that limit should be reduced a little since you won't have a continuous run because you're plugging things together, but the 200 watts you say you have are far under the limits of your setup. You should be fine.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 3:02PM
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