200 feet of extension cords, is it to much??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ginbart, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    I have my chickens in part of the barn. It gets cold out there and the water is already starting to freeze. The barn in about 150 feet away from the house. Do you think I could run heavy duty extension cords to it and use a heated waterer to keep the water from freezing. I would need to plug it in from the other side of the house so I need about 200 feet of extension cords. I don’t want to start a fire. Thanks for your help.
  2. fowlmood

    fowlmood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    northern Michigan
    As long as you use the heavy duty, outside extension cords it should be fine. I have extenstion cords running all around my place too. Here in Northern Michigan, I have no choice. It just gets too darn cold not to have heated waterers for all of my critters.
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    A lot depends upon the size of the load. If it's less than a couple hundred watts it should be fine. Don't try to run a stock tank heater or space heater at that distance.

    There was one time my wife plugged an electric roaster into 600 feet of 16 gauge extension cord. "How come this thing won't turn on?" [​IMG]
  4. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    i do.... but dh is an electrician and the outlet has its own breaker and heavy duty industrial wire
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Check the wattage required by your heated waterer, and compare it to the type of cord you are using. The last cord I bought had a chart on the package said safe limit for xyz feet up to 15amps, but when you stretched it further distances the safe amount of power went down. To compensate you need a higher rated cord - probably 14guage medium or heavy duty.

    I have about that much 14guage cord stretched across my yard and it's never hot to the touch. I only buy medium duty (or better) extension cords because I expect a lot out of them - the most recent purchase was from TSC and it said it was for agricultural use which meant heavy duty 14ga with an oil resistant covering and 3 female plugs.
    I intend to permanently wire my coop, but it may not happen till spring.
  6. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    You can get 12 gauge 100' extension cords too. Run that as the unit closest to the house and then a smaller 14 ga gauge after that if necessary.
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    It will probably be fine, get the lowest number/heaviest guage you can, and make sure all plug ends are protected from the weather.

    Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and have smoke detectors everywhere.

    I have to run cords when it dips into the teens. Luckily, it rarely happens here. But when it does, I pace all night. I've had some fire experiences, so be safer than you think necessary!
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:That chart is WAY different (much lower values) than the one on the back of the package I just bought. Weird.
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:So what do you expect to happen if you put the 14 gauge cord first?

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