Any guesses about this electrical cable?

I found a 150' spool of 12/4 that has a flexible black jacket on it, marked water resistant; for $50. I want to make an extension cord on it, to run maybe 8a. I suppose I could connect two of the wires to further reduce the voltage drop, since I don't need 4 wires.
Is this cable likely to be capable of being left outside for an extended period of time? Would it be UV resistant, even though is isn't marked that? I have a boat dock at the bottom of a 100' cliff. It is a real real pain to have to carry my generator down 125 stairs when need power down there for a few hours. (it is even more of a pain to carry it back up) It would be great to be able to leave the generator at the top. I have hooked up two 50' 12/3 extension cords, but they don't quite reach.
I can't see any particular danger to it. If the cable somehow failed, the worst that could happen is that it trips the GFCI; though I have heard that ungrounded generators can't electrocute, because they have no connection to ground. I suppose contacting the hot and neutral with opposite hands would be an exception to that; but that could happen just because a cable failed. I just don't want to spend $50 on something that will fail quickly.
Now that I think about it, the generator ground isn't connected to anything (the neutral and ground aren't bonded) so the ground wire serves no purpose. I could connect two pairs of wires to reduce the voltage drop to almost nothing. Does that make sense.
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This cable will probably harden eventually and crack after prolonged exposure to weather. for safety's sake,carry the ground through from your home.
Accordng to most wire tables, a pair of #12 wires pulling 8 A @120VAC will be good for about 180 ft. before the voltage drop is excessive.
This is within your limits.
Even though the cable will be rather heavy, it must still be easier to drop it down and pull it back up compared to the generator.
esr
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This cable will probably harden eventually and crack after prolonged exposure to weather. for safety's sake,carry the ground through from your home.
Accordng to most wire tables, a pair of #12 wires pulling 8 A @120VAC will be good for about 180 ft. before the voltage drop is excessive.
This is within your limits.
Even though the cable will be rather heavy, it must still be easier to drop it down and pull it back up compared to the generator.
esr
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This cable will probably harden eventually and crack after prolonged exposure to weather. for safety's sake,carry the ground through from your home.
Accordng to most wire tables, a pair of #12 wires pulling 8 A @120VAC will be good for about 180 ft. before the voltage drop is excessive.
This is within your limits.
Even though the cable will be rather heavy, it must still be easier to drop it down and pull it back up compared to the generator.
esr
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i'd suggest go to a hardware store and buy a roll of 12-2 UF. This grey wire is UV resistant. Run that down, alongside the stairs, or maybe under the stairs. In any case, try to put it on the shade side.
It's been a couple years since I've bought UF, but Froogle says you could get it for about 80 bucks for a 250 foot roll.
It's doubtful that the black wrap is UV resistant.
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Think about it a minute or two, and you might guess the answer...

Guess the cliff's more than 100' then, huh? Is there a reason you can't add a third 50' cord?
Is this a powerboat, or a sailboat? If the former, maybe you could use the boat's engine to power an inverter.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Yeah, well, grabbing the hot while standing barefoot on the ground isn't going to be too good for your health either...

Whence the sudden concern for not wasting money on half-assed solutions? How much have you spent trying to cobble together that busted water line under your trailer?

No.
What *does* make sense: permanently install 10/2 UF from the house, not the generator, all the way down to a GFCI receptacle at the boat dock.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Keep reading. What is the type (SO, SJxx, etc)
It is probably OK for a temporary use cord but if this is a long term use you will be better off running a real branch circuit down there. Everything near a boat house, boat dock etc must be GFCI
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I read an article on the internet that said that it was impossible to get a GFCI on an unbonded-ungrounded generator to trip, since no current will go to ground if the generator is not grounded. It either goes over the normal wires, or doesn't go at all. Accordingly, it is difficult to get electrocuted off a generator.
I haven't tested it, but it makes sense. Any knowledge of whether it is true
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Not True Install a ground rod A an external GFCI tester will not work since it needs the ground to work but does not mean the GFCI will not work just the tester A GFCI does not require a ground circuit to operate. It compares the hot and neutral current It either goes over the normal wires or another path to ground hope you are not in that path a GFCI will protect you under some conditions form electrocution ,but will not protect you under all conditions Most manufacturers install a grounding lug on the frame The bond is usually made with a copper strap between the neutral and ground terminal on one of the outlets on the panel and a pigtail takes the ground to the frame be safe install a ground rod only takes a sec to hook up to the lug
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The OP said that the generators neutral was NOT bonded to ground. In that case both the hot and neutral are just as hot with respect to each other. (sorta like the hots of a 240V circuit) Without a neutral bond there is only one path for electricity and that is from the generators hot to the generators neutral. So no current can flow from the hot (or neutral) to ground not even enough to trip a GFCI. A dead short to ground will not blow the main breaker - not even if a ground rod is installed. Some generators have neutral bonds and some don't. The safest stand alone generator setup would be to have the neutral bonded AND ground rod or other ground source connected to the generator.
Kevin
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Kevin Ricks wrote:

This is a common problem with RVs Ground and Neutral are not hooked together in RVs either.
They don't bother hooking up ground rods. When hooked to a generator their GFCIs do not work. When plugged into Shore power they get the ground and neutral grounded.
If the RVs have their ground and neutral hooked together they trip the campground GFCI supply.
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Rich256 wrote:

That is only true if their transfer switch is improperly wired. The standard on recreational vehicles requires that the generators; or more properly engine-alternator's; neutral be bonded to the frame of the generator and that the frame must be bonded to the vehicle chassis. The transfer arrangement that is used must transfer the neutral as well as the ungrounded current carrying conductor/s to the shore line thus disconnecting the neutral bonding jumper from the on board wiring during shore line operation. As the additional pole adds to the cost of the switch some manufacturers do not take that simple step that would make the whole set up work just fine in both modes. The same precautions are necessary in the set up of on board inverters and motor-alternators.
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Tom Horne, Electrician wrote:

I am talking about "most" RVs which I think are trailers without generators. They use little Honda generators.
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if theres any sort of building at the dock, why not buy another small generator and leave it there.
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Turns out it is SJEW and well suited to my purpose. However, I found some SJTW for $18, and since I don't expect to use it below freezing, it will be just fine.
The generator has GFCI on it, but I will put one at the water to save the hike up if it trips.
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Toller wrote:

In theory that should be correct. The return and ground are normally not connected inside a generator. Unless the return gets grounded somehwere else the loop would not be complete.
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why not run the cable in flexible conduit and just leave it there? kinda a semi permanent install?
Install a ground rod at top and bottom for safety and GFCI at the bottom?
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Yes in THEORY if there is NO connection at all at the gen or at the load from neutral to earth ground then no current will flow through an inadvertent connection through your body to ground.
But I would not trust my life to this.
If there is an inadvertant connection anywhere then you could complete the circuit. Also if the gen is not grounded and there is an inadvertant connection to ground someplace else, then the gen itself could become electrically live and dangerous to touch.
(You could open the gen a seperate the ground from the neutral in the gen , then still ground the gen case but your hot and neutral would be isolated from ground. I don't advise this unless you know what you are doing)
I think in your case, I would follow the standard practice and ground the gen and use a GFIs. Grounding the gen ensures that the gen itself cannot become live and the GFIs protect everything else. Use one conductor for in the cable for the ground.
If you got the cable for a good price, use it and don't worry about the UV. If and when it degrades, then you can get a new cable.
But be sure to use GFIs in a water environment. and test to make sure they work.
Mark
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