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Master Brian
11-09-2009, 12:43 PM
I have a very young Oak tree in my yard between the sidewalk and the curb. I have been thinking it would be great to have a receptacle near the near so that I can decorate the tree and surrounding area with lights and such. I don't like the idea of stringing an extension cord across the sidewalk and leaving it there for a month or more, so something more permanent would be nice.

I don't want it sticking up in the yard in the middle of nowhere, but I worry if I place it too lose to the tree, the tree will "swallow" it as it grows!

Somewhere I have an extension cord with multiple outlets with a stake where you can stick it into the ground. I've thought about getting another one with a longer cord and burying the cord underground, then plugging it in closer to the house. But I don't know if it's safe to burying outdoor extension cords. I suppose I could place it all in conduit to help protect it.

Another thought was doing burying a small housing like you'd use to turn your sprinkler system watersupply on/off and running a GFCI'd receptacle in there. Not sure that seems safe however.

Any suggestions??

Scuba_Dave
11-09-2009, 04:02 PM
Burying a housing you then need to worry about water or snow getting in there
What distance are we talking?
I trenched (2) circuits out from the house, one is maybe 10' away, the 2nd maybe 20' away
Its only another 10-15' to my front fence, didn't feel like digging past my birch tree
Once the new driveway goes in I have a 1/2" conduit already buried to run another circuit (or two) about 50' from the garage
No sidewalks here

I'd put conduit under the sidewalk & have caps on either end
Then uncap when needed & use an extension cord

Lakee911
11-10-2009, 03:44 AM
You can not bury extension cords. Run smallest conduit you can, stub up near tree. When tree grows move it, and if you can't (roots, etc), abandon it in place and run another.

Master Brian
11-10-2009, 08:37 AM
I know you can't direct bury extension cords, but what about placing them in a conduit? My thought is something like this (http://www.buyhardwaresupplies.com/largerImage.cfm?path=images/products/newJPGs/31/3106606.jpg&title=%22Ace%22%20Outdoor%20Yard%20Stake&width=148&height=384), with the cord placed in a conduit, flexible near the tree if possible. It isn't too obtrusive looking in my opinion....

Would that work?

Scuba_Dave
11-10-2009, 10:30 AM
Keep in mind if it's within 10' or so of the street the Town has right of way to do work
They might just rip it out when performing other work
I have a lot of those stakes that I use for Christmas decorations
I have 10 outside circuits right now for decorations & will be adding at least 10 more

Master Brian
11-10-2009, 12:12 PM
Keep in mind if it's within 10' or so of the street the Town has right of way to do work
They might just rip it out when performing other work
I have a lot of those stakes that I use for Christmas decorations
I have 10 outside circuits right now for decorations & will be adding at least 10 more

It is within the area they could potenially tear up. Another reason I like the idea of using an extension cord buried in conduit. Unless that isn't safe. I wouldn't have to leave it plugged in. Especially if I ever see that area get flagged. Truth be told. I would be more worried about my sprinkler system getting torn up than the cord.

10 circuits?? Are you saying 10 individual circuits in the panel or 10 receptacles? That's a lot of lights!!

I plan on adding a few circuits to my porch and possibly a couple up in the eaves for lights. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to go about wiring them all up, so they are on the same circuit. I'd also love to find a switch, I could install that I'd leave on year round, but during the holidays, I could switch it over to a timer. That way all lights would go on and off at a certain time, but the rest of the year, like summer, I could use the outlets for my power needs!

Scuba_Dave
11-10-2009, 03:06 PM
I have 10 outside 20a circuits for decorations :D
I'm adding about 10 more now that the garage is finished :eek:
It's more about convienence of plugging stuff in anywhere
But quite a few were needed so I don't exceed the 20a
At one point my Christmas tree (using C-9's) used over 2600w alone
30+ inflatables at 75-150w each....it adds up

Master Brian
11-10-2009, 03:14 PM
I have 10 outside 20a circuits for decorations :D
I'm adding about 10 more now that the garage is finished :eek:
It's more about convienence of plugging stuff in anywhere
But quite a few were needed so I don't exceed the 20a
At one point my Christmas tree (using C-9's) used over 2600w alone
30+ inflatables at 75-150w each....it adds up


Now that would be a fun display to see. Sounds like one around here. Every year, you think they can't possibly add anything else, but guess what...

Lakee911
11-10-2009, 04:05 PM
I know you can't direct bury extension cords, but what about placing them in a conduit? My thought is something like this (http://www.buyhardwaresupplies.com/largerImage.cfm?path=images/products/newJPGs/31/3106606.jpg&title=%22Ace%22%20Outdoor%20Yard%20Stake&width=148&height=384), with the cord placed in a conduit, flexible near the tree if possible. It isn't too obtrusive looking in my opinion....

Would that work?

It will work, but it won't meet code.

Scuba_Dave
11-11-2009, 08:02 AM
It will work, but it won't meet code.

Temp installations are not required to meet (all) code
So long as it is removed & not left in year round it's OK, 90 days is the usual rule
Unless you are in a HOA
Here an inspector had a business remove an extension cord strung to a tree
It wasn't GFCI protected & was tucked behind the sharp fascia of the building to hold it up in the air

Master Brian
11-11-2009, 08:55 AM
Temp installations are not required to meet (all) code
So long as it is removed & not left in year round it's OK, 90 days is the usual rule
Unless you are in a HOA
Here an inspector had a business remove an extension cord strung to a tree
It wasn't GFCI protected & was tucked behind the sharp fascia of the building to hold it up in the air

No HOA. It would probably be left inground year round, but only plugged in when using, which wouldn't be that often! I guess if anyone said anything, with the conduit in place it wouldn't be hard to remove or string some romex and hardwire everything. I'd do the hardwired option, if I could find a nice/clean looking way to install the receptacle so it didn't look out of place. If the tree was a mature tree that wouldn't be hard to do, but being a young tree, I'm afraid it would look out of place!

Scuba_Dave
11-11-2009, 05:23 PM
I would definitely remove the extension cord after use
Even if you have to wait until snow melts
They are not really made to be left out all year long
Cords can get brittle when exposed to the elements