Can UF cable just be left out to the elements?

Two years ago a home center when out of business and I bought everything at 80% off. 200ft of 16/3 extension cord, electrical tape, a plug, outdoor box, and GFCI outlet. I cut the cable in half and twisted all the insulated conductors together; so I could use one length as the hot and the other as the neutral. I then taped them together to act as one cable. Wired one end to the plug and the other to the outlet. Seems to work fine. I doubt I will ever run more than 6 amps over it, but wanted to reduce the voltage drop since it is pretty long. Sadly, 16/3 was the largest stuff they had left.
Why would I do this? I have a dock at the bottom of a 75' cliff. I don't have any power there, and carrying a generator up and down 105 stairs when I need power is unpleasant. Now I can plug the generator in at the top and run whatever I need at the bottom. Tried it yesterday and it works fine. The GFCI outlet is probably excessive, since there is already one on the generator, but at 80% off...
I would like to run a lighting circuit off the outlet to my boat house so I can put some lights on it. Can I use UF cable for that (it will simply be exposed to the elements) or must I use do something more elaborate? I will rarely use it, so I don't want to put a lot of money into it.
Any major safety issues I am ignoring in the whole scheme?
The power company wants $2,000 to run power to a the top of the cliff; the breaker box and getting it down would all be my responsibility. That, and the $40 monthly minimum, make my alternative seem reasonable.
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wrote:

Yep -- UV degradation of the insulation. Definitely a Code violation unless the cable is specifically approved for sunlight exposure:
"Type UF cable shall not be used as follows: [...] where exposed to direct rays of the sun, unless identified as sunlight resistant" [2005 NEC, Article 340.12(9)]
It's also possible that installation in a boat house would be considered as a location "subject to physical damage" which is also prohibited for UF cable under 340.12(10). But your biggest concern is that under exposure to sunlight, the insulation may turn dry and brittle, and flake off.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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200' of 16/3 to run a generator? Did you mean 6/3?
UF needs to be underground.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

No, he clearly says it was extension _cord_ and he also noted he cut it in two and is using both conductors in each as the hot/neutral. A pretty cobbed up job to save a few bucks, certainly, but for no more load than he's talking, it's not really kosher but not actually dangerous.

Or at least not exposed to UV as direct sunlight unless so rated.
Neither strictly meets code but don't imo present a clear and present immediate hazard. Cheap, but not dangerous....
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ...
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wrote:

No, 16/3. I don't plan on using more than 6a. Tripled 16 ought to be okay on that.

Okay, I guess I have to learn to use conduit, since it is all shale.

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UF can be run anywhere Romex is run, plus underground, and exposed to direct sunlight if listed as UV protected
wrote:

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Did you read his whole message?
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Steve Barker







"RicodJour" < snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com> wrote in message
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As I understand, the grey UF is fine outdoors. The grey stuff is UV resistant. Just on general principles, I'd try to bury it at least a couple inches if possible. Or feed the wire through the grey tubing they sell for that kind of thing. Though, I realize that might not be practical. I'm thinking of physical damage to the wire. Critters chewing, etc.
Does your 105 steps have a railing, where you could staple the wire on the side? or run the grey tubing which is made for outdoor weather proof applications?
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Christopher A. Young
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