Making an outlet box using a heavy duty extension cord

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kickinchicken, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. kickinchicken

    kickinchicken Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Someone on here has a husband that ran a heavy duty extension cord, in pvc piping buried in the ground, and made an outlet box in the coop. [​IMG] I love this idea and want to do this as well. I planned on running a cord in piping just like they did and would rather have a nice outlet inside instead of a cord end. I can do pretty much everything except I have no idea which wiring to connect to the outlet once I open up the end of the power cord. [​IMG]

    If you know how to do this PLEASE tell me! My chickies will be ever so grateful! [​IMG]
  2. cbzdel

    cbzdel Hatching

    Aug 30, 2010
    you can just cut the end of the cord off, inside you will find (3) wires, hot (white), ground (bare copper, and return (black). Just hook these up to a outlet, the back of the outlet will tell you what side to attach each color to so you get the polarity correct.
  3. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    Sorry but cbzdel is INCORRECT. There will be 3 wires-BLACK(Hot wire, that you can place a switch on if you like) WHITE(Neutral) NEVER EVER SWITCH A NEUTRAL! and bare wire ground. The outlet will have 5 screws, 2 brass color, two silver and one either black or green.

    The black wire goes to one of the brass screws. The white goes to one of the silver and the ground goes on the end to the green/black.

    You should tighten the unused silver and brass screws as the will be energized and could work loose causing a short against something.
    A few wraps with electrical tape after connecting always helps too!
  4. j3707

    j3707 Songster

    Dec 29, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    birdicus7 is correct.

    Also, instead of an extension cord, use UF-B's designed for underground use. It's easy to wire up a cord cap (plug) on one end and the outlet on the other, just like birdicus told you. Have someone at the hardware store show you in person.

    Good luck!
  5. JustDawn

    JustDawn Songster

    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    Sorry if this is a stupid question. Where do you connect the wire inside your house? Are you connecting this to your electrical box? I so want electricity in my coops for this winter. THANKS!
  6. ScotH

    ScotH In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    South East Texas
    They are talking about running an extension cord from an existing outlet in their garage\\house (etc.) to power an outlet box in their coop. Not connecting it to their circuit breaker, which can be done it's just more work, expense and best done by an electrician, but if you need an outlet outside of your house it could be done pretty easy by someone that has worked with electrical boxes.

    You can do the same with a thick extension cord and one of those surge protectors with multiple plugs, they can be mounted to the wall inside the coop.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  7. cbzdel

    cbzdel Hatching

    Aug 30, 2010
    sorry for in incorrect info, i know better than that! I just wired up my whole workshop a couple months ago.. I have a bit of a cold going on and my thinker is not working correct.
  8. Ahab

    Ahab Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    I'd use UF cable, if you're planning to bury it (extension cords, even heavy-duty ones, aren't permanently weatherproof).

    It's easy to make your own extension cord: just go to Home Depot, or a good independent hardware store, and stare at the bins--everything you'll need will be right there. Get a male screw-on plug for the household end, and a female plug (or a watertight outlet box) for the other end. The black wire goes to the brass terminal, the white wire goes to the silver terminal, and the green or bare wire goes to the remaining terminal: the ground.

    I'd probably plug it into a fused outlet strip rather than straight into a wall outlet, just in case there's a problem on the coop end. And to really be safe, I'd plug it into a Ground Fault Interruptible outlet. If your house is new, you'll have GFIs already on outside or kitchen or, perhaps, garage outlets. If it's older, you can retrofit one, but that's probably getting into more electrical work than the average handy-dubber wants to mess with.
  9. StupidBird

    StupidBird Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    We were able to put in GFIC outlets in our kitchen remodel rather than figure out the wiring in this #$%#@ house. Was told that everything "downstream" of that outlet box is protected, but not the whole circuit as would be if an electrician rewired the whole thing. Just my two cents.
  10. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Before doing anything with outdoor extension cords to a coop, I'd go to Home Depot and get advice from their master electrician. I'd have him recommend the correct length/size wire, male/female plugs, and other supplies to make an extension cord that could be buried later.

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