COMMUNITY FORUM

SgtRock

06:35PM | 11/29/05
Member Since: 06/01/05
25 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
What's a good way to protect the extension cords (specifically, where they join) from water over the winter.

Jim D

10:31PM | 11/29/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
SgtRock - hi, for years I've used the plastic bags I get from grocery stores, Wal-Mart, etc. I cut a hole in the closed end, run 1 of the cord ends through it, run the other cord end into the bag, and connect them. Then, I simply wrap the bag fairly tight and use electrical tape to secure the ends of the bag. While a little condensation may form inside the bag, it's a lot less than having rain/snow fall on the connections and get into them. So far, it's worked well for me. And, using white bags helps the connections blend into the background if there's snow...too bad the orange extension cords don't! I hope this helps some - good luck! Jim D (CMSgt, USAF)/West Point, VA

SgtRock

03:56AM | 11/30/05
Member Since: 06/01/05
25 lifetime posts
Thanks Jim D!!

I'll give that a try.

SgtRock

03:57PM | 11/30/05
Member Since: 06/01/05
25 lifetime posts
Before I had a chance to do this, we had a terrible rain last night. The lights went out during the rain storm.

I noticed the breaker wasn't tripped.

Why would the lights go out, but the breaker not trip?

The next morning(perhaps after they had dried), they came right on.

(sorry for my complete electrical ignorance)

Jim D

11:03PM | 11/30/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
SgtRock - hi again, I've experienced that as well - it's why I do the plastic bag thing. Those connections are water-resistant but not waterproof. If they get enough rain on them, they'll cut out. I've seen the strings that have fuses in the jack end (the end that plugs into the wall outlet) blow those fuses, and I've seen those fuses not blow. I've also had the strings without fuses pop the circuit breaker and not pop the breaker. I've even seen where the connection that works when the temps are above 0 degrees will fail when it drops below 0 degrees until I bend the jack's prongs slightly inward or outward to assure a better connection in the outlet.

I've worked around electronics (airborne computers, radar, and a slew of other products, but not home wiring) for 31 years and it's amazing what can happen. 2 quick examples...an equipment lab I was running had to physically open and inspect each item we recovered from our air base in the Philippines after Mt Pinatubo (volcano) erupted. We had numerous items with no signs of damage on the outside, only to find

the acid created by mixing the ash and salt water got in through the tiniest of openings and completely melted the circuit cards on the inside. Earlier in my career, I took a 50KW static electricity "zap" while removing a connector from the back of a CRT tube for a cockpit display. The instructions had us using a flat-tip screwdriver with a 12-inch long shaft; the test equipment routine malfunctioned and didn't remove power from the unit. 8 inches of the 12-inch shaft "disappeared" (we don't know where) as the handle and remainig 4 inches were lodged in the ceiling above the workbench. (I ended up at the ER, got a 24-hr prescription for strong muscle relaxers to stop the uncontrollable twitching in my arm, and got sent home to my dorm room for the rest of my shift. Good thing I wasn't grounded to anything as portable defib units didn't exist then...)

I think the "plastic bag waterproofing" will do the trick...you'll want to make sure the connections are dry beforehand. Otherwise, the extra moisture will add to the condensation inside the bags and possibly cause temporary failures. Good luck - regards and Happy Holidays! Jim D/West Point, VA

SgtRock

03:08AM | 12/01/05
Member Since: 06/01/05
25 lifetime posts
Thanks again for your assistance Jim D. Interesting stuff.

Now I just need to get out there and wrap those connections!

Maybe I'll put something in the bag that is designed to absorb the moisture from the condensation.

Merry Christmas!
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