Extension cord under the snow...... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-11-2016, 11:11 AM   #15
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Assuming that the cord is connected to a 15 amp GFI outlet the cord will not be a problem [worst case - a blown breaker] of more concern would be the condition and location of the heater in the unit.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:28 AM   #16
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Worst case with extension cord with cracked insulation is electrocution and death. GFIC breaker or not (they do malfunction).
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:37 AM   #17
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Worst case with extension cord with cracked insulation is electrocution and death. GFIC breaker or not (they do malfunction).
Think positive Gordon, think positive Raz
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:42 AM   #18
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reminds me of my neighbor, we pulled up the sidewalk blocks to his garage to pour a sidewalk and found a orange extension cord, 16 gauge running his whole garage. Next 2 days digging and installing plastic conduit and proper wiring!
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:40 PM   #19
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They make extension cords that are rated to 50 below F
They are called artic cords and they are more costly than standard cords . They stay flexible when it's cold but when it gets to 30 below F they do stiffen up . By the way we woke up to 26 below this morning ( Actual temp not wind chill) , and I moved the cord feeding our trailer with no damage to the cord.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:28 PM   #20
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Love the idea of using a pool noodle to keep your noodle from being cracked on a low bridge! Wish we'd have thought of that years ago when we had a getaway van and I ran into the low areas about 300 times. Much nicer than whatever it was we did use. And softer.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:39 PM   #21
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Kind of sounds like your describing SO cord, ( heavy duty flexible,yellow ) If it is it will be stamped all along the length of the cord along with the size. Thats what we used in the petro chemical industry for outdoor extension cords because of its ability to be used and abused. If that's what you have and its 12 gauge you should be fine.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:52 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=john madill;566263]I'll be in the neighborhood of a Home Depot tomorrow and will look for an "in-use" cover.

regarding the gauge of the cord, is that info likely stamped into the plug somewhere?

REPLY: The wire gauge is stamped into the cord all along its length. Just hold it up the light. It will show something like 14AWG and other stuff.

The correct term is GFCI - Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Captleemo View Post
Kind of sounds like your describing SO cord, ( heavy duty flexible,yellow ) If it is it will be stamped all along the length of the cord along with the size. Thats what we used in the petro chemical industry for outdoor extension cords because of its ability to be used and abused. If that's what you have and its 12 gauge you should be fine.
SO cord is 600 VAC rated , hard service cord with the outer jacket being oil resistant. SOW cord has the same specs except it is rated for wet locations. Both make great extension cords but not necessarily in extremely cold temperatures. I worked in an oil refinery . a Taconic plant and constructiin in northern Minnesota and when you get to 40 or 50 below zero every thing has a tendancy
to crack , snap or break especially plastic / rubber .
If you go to Art 400 of the NEC you will find a list of what the various letter designations for flexible cords mean.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:48 PM   #24
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More thanks for more great advice!!

Thanks for the additional comments.

Carl, the hole in the floor that my extension cord runs into is the hole that the big, heavy shore power cord snakes out of underneath the cupboard under the seat.

I didn't use that cord as it won't reach the deck outlet.

I went out there this morning to see what info was marked on the extension cord.

It was about 12 degrees. Talk about a frozen rope!!

I unplugged it and when the temps get back up in the 30's in a few days I'll look at it closely and probably put it in the garage and just run it out to the camper when I need it rather than leaving it out in the snow.

Or I'll fire up the propane catalytic heater. It's just a tiny Coleman heater with a dish about 10" in diameter that runs off a one-pound propane tank.

Doesn't put out a lot of heat but does take the edge off.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:39 PM   #25
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Hi

My Compact Jr. is sitting on a field stone patio in the backyard. I've run a 25' extension cord to the trailer from an outlet on a post at my deck.

It runs into the trailer from a hole in the floor in a cabinet. The rest of the hole is stuffed with steel wool to prevent mice from coming aboard.

With the cord thus attached I have lights and the ability to turn on a small heater in the event I want to make a winter visit.

But this being Michigan the cord is now running under a few inches of snow.

Is there a potential problem with this?

The cord is a heavy, yellow, three-pronged cord, which seems thicker and more flexible than the standard orange cords.

And the outlet is about a foot off the ground, a bit out of the wind and weather but it is conceivable that snow could pile around it. The outlet has a springloaded door but that is open with the cord plugged in.

Comments from experts much appreciate!

Here's a composite photo that shows the situation.
John, you know from our WWPotter Sailboat days that I consider myself an expert on almost everything...but, actually know nothing!

But, lack of real knowledge has never keep me from offering advice...

Just wrap the electrical outlet with a WalMart Plastic Sack/bag and wrap some duck tape around the mess, and call it snow and water proof!

No thanks required...I'm just being a good friend...

Bill
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:53 PM   #26
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Not much to add but leaving a cord in the snow is not really a problem provided you don't run a snow blower with an auger bit into it. Snow shovels can be hard on a cord too.


Don't ask how I know that the auger can wind up about 6 foot of extension cord by the time one can release the drive.


I would be surprised if an electric space heater could do much to warm up a camper except at the start and end of winter when temps climb up around 40* F. I know my little cube heater won't do a whole lot, does as they say take a little chill off.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:21 PM   #27
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Temp outside this morning was about 40F. I turned on my 1,500 watt space heater to high and let it run for four hours. Got up to 57F in that time.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:11 AM   #28
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I was curious

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
. By the way we woke up to 26 below this morning ( Actual temp not wind chill) , and I moved the cord feeding our trailer with no damage to the cord.
Resistance is directly proportional to temperature. So as the temperature goes down, resistance does too. At 26 below a 16 gauge extension cord would have about the same resistance (same wire loss) as a 14 gauge cord at room temperature. Bonus?

Keep warm Steve , Raz
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