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Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

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JeannetteK
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Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby JeannetteK » Wed, 02 Dec 2015 1:06 pm

We have recently purchased a dishwasher, which we have installed next to our washing machine on the balcony. There is only one protected outlet, which is also too far from the dishwasher, so we put in place an extension cable to which we connected both machines.

Our landlord worries that since the extension cable is for indoor use, there is a risk of fire if rain reaches the balcony and comes into contact with the outlets.

From my research, there are two solutions to this:
1/ purchase an extension cable for outdoor use (isolated against rain, humidity, etc), such as one that you might use in the garden
2/ purchase an outdoor protective casing for the existing extension cable

I have tried going to Harvey Norman, Selffix, Home Fix etc. to find any of these two, but they don't stock such items and couldn't provide any useful suggestions.

Anyone knows where to buy these in Singapore? Option 1/ would be preferred. :)

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 02 Dec 2015 1:54 pm

By "protected outlet" do you mean that it is GFCI protected?

If yes, there's not much to worry about. You have a circuit breaker to ensure that the circuit doesn't draw too much current. You have a GFCI to ensure that no electricity is going to ground. If you don't have a GFCI, then regardless of extension cord type, I recommend this, as it protects against all sorts of ground faults, not just a cable in the rain.

"Indoor use" cord? What's that? All extension cords are plastic covered. All you want to ensure is that the receptacle itself is protected from rain entering. Stuff it in an upside down plastic jar to keep the water off.

Seriously, I used to do an annual music in the park event for 1100 people. We pulled a lot of power cables all over the place. None of them were special. Even in the heaviest of rains... and it was a pissing downpour one year... nothing happens. Pure water is a crappy conductor of electricity. Make sure you have a GFCI.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby x9200 » Wed, 02 Dec 2015 3:04 pm

Just place the strip of the extension cord behind the washing machine 1m or higher on the wall - hang it on the outlet for example, and problem solved. If you are paranoid you may also wrap up the strip (with the plugs inserted) in a few layers of food plastic wrap.

If there is anything you should be worry about it is the quality of the strip to survive the currents drawn by the appliances.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 02 Dec 2015 10:40 pm

x9200 wrote:JIf you are paranoid you may also wrap up the strip (with the plugs inserted) in a few layers of food plastic wrap.


This you don't want to do because it will cause moisture to accumulate and over time cause corroding. That's why I suggest a cover, something breathable.

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x9200
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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby x9200 » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 7:23 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
x9200 wrote:JIf you are paranoid you may also wrap up the strip (with the plugs inserted) in a few layers of food plastic wrap.


This you don't want to do because it will cause moisture to accumulate and over time cause corroding. That's why I suggest a cover, something breathable.

It is not going to happen in Singapore. It's about the dew point and relatively small change (and its dynamics) in temperature between day and night. For some colder climates, yes, but then the appliances would be also wrecked in a pretty short time and should be kept indoor.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 8:52 am

x9200 wrote:It is not going to happen in Singapore. It's about the dew point and relatively small change (and its dynamics) in temperature between day and night. For some colder climates, yes, but then the appliances would be also wrecked in a pretty short time and should be kept indoor.


We will have to agree to disagree... during periods of heavy and prolonged rains, humidity climbs so close to 100 percent for so long a duration... unless your fix is absolutely watertight, you will start to see moisture on the inside of your wrapping.

I like all your other suggestions, though! :cool:

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x9200
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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby x9200 » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 9:53 am

The point is moot in that sense that I really don't think any wrapping is necessary. We lived in an apartment where the washing machine supposed to be placed at the back, in an almost open style balcony. When it rained heavily the balcony got wet from the rain and the water mist. There was a single protected (with an enclosing lid) outlet but we had a washing machine and a dryer as separate appliances. What I did I just installed a surface double power socket of this type next to the outlet:
Image

Then hooked it up via a standard plug to the protected outlet. I even did not bother to have a protected one. Water mist in any significant amount never got to the socket and there was no problem at all for a number of years it was use.

I don't think there should be any washing machine place around designed that you are at the risk of the socket being directly exposed to rain water but the OP has to verify it for her case - it's a good time of the year to do it. If there is such unlikely risk, you may consider using a covered sockets.
IMHO the use of protected sockets in such places is more about the appliance type rather than the rain - it should limit the risk in cases like, for example, the washing machine water hose ruptures and pressurised water hits the socket.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 11:25 am

I had the same thing, x9200... washer, dryer, dishwasher on back patio... refrigerator, too... when the wind blew the right way everything was soaked... no matter... all good. Methinks OP and LL worry too much.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby JeannetteK » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 12:02 pm

It's not I who worries, it's the landlord. He is being unreasonable, but there's little I can do about that at the current moment. Telling me not to worry is not gonna help me at all, so please don't suggest that anymore.

By "protected" outlet I meant that it has a plastic casing on top that shelters it from incoming rain. It isn't GFCI protected.

By "indoor use" I meant that the extension cord is the standard kind that you would use indoors, and has no special or additional features that would protect it for outside use.

As for wrapping the extension cable outlet in plastic wrap - we already did that. Yet the landlord thinks it's insufficient protection. That's why I'm searching for some "certified" store products to give him a sense of security about this issue.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 12:41 pm

Seriously, then... buy a GFCI outlet... most homes in Singapore already have the same because of the frequency of lightening... but buy the GFCI... explain to the LL that any stray currents... so much as 1 one hundredth of an amp will cause the breaker to pop... all safe... you could take a hair dryer into the shower with you and GFCI would save you.

Sounds like your only option to me.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby x9200 » Thu, 03 Dec 2015 12:48 pm

Why in the first play you asked your LL for a permission to use a power extender cord? This is none of his business.

Leaving that aside, if you are ready to pay something between S$100-200 (my guess) you may suggest to the LL you are going to arrange for an electrician to put next (or in some distance with trunking) to the current socket another one of the surface type I mention. Most of the local guys don't (know how to) do anything like this by themselves and completely rely on such tradespersons. This should make him to sh* up unless he starts opposing against heaving a few shallow holes drilled in his wall.

You see, I am not sure if you can even get such a waterproof strip. The best you can get is either an extender, meaning 1 plug to one socket or a casing for a power strip like this one:

Image

The above you can buy from ebay, uk. e.g.
http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Dribox-Water ... jQb9bWB9rg

Normally (now Christmas is coming) it takes ~10 days to get a standard air packet from the UK delivered.

Personally I would REALLY go for the wall socket because with the extension strips and high power consuming appliances the risk of overheating of the strip is rather high. Now if you put it to a box, you will not even notice something starts to burn.

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Re: Extension Cable for Outdoor Use

Postby taxico » Tue, 05 Jan 2016 3:53 pm

Image

Image

Image

my regular electrician will do it for $125 onwards (depending on how much cabling used, and socket/cover type, including the sort left out in the garden 365/247).

tape the cable covers to the wall so you can remove them easily later (that's what i did as i didn't want to drill - his tape has held up pretty good so far).

my guy buys his electrical supplies from Sim Lim Center (? not square, the one near SLS) or Jalan Kayu. i do not know which shops exactly, so you'll have to walk about to find them.
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