DIY project: run 110 vac to tree in front yard?

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My wife would like to be able to string Christmas lights on the small crabapple tree in the front yard. It's about 20' from the corner of the house in the lawn.
Is this something I could reasonably do myself or should I hire it done? We live in the SF bay area so the line shouldn't have to be buried that deep.
Thanks
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Most people would just use an extension cord.
Bob
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Well, I thought of that. The main problem is the guy who mows the lawn might not see it. Could he get hurt if he hit a live extension cord?
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wrote:

Nope, most forgieners are used to getting electrocuted. What a dipshit, of course they can get hurt. All that aside, anyone that has to ask how to wire a set of xmas lights to a tree, and then wonder if hitting said string with a lawnmower is dangerous, is either a troll or a total dumbass. Which are you?
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It should be on a GFCI, which would make it pretty harmless, but even if it wasn't and the mower somehow managed to cut it, it would probably either short the breaker or simply leave a sheared off cable that would be difficult to contact. The odds of it putting any current through the operator is darn close to zero.
Yeh, he probably is a troll as it would not be easy to miss an orange extension cord in green grass; but I don't think running a lawn mower over it is particularly dangerous.
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Would you want to try it? Me thinks not.
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This threat is hysterical !!!! I have accidentally gone over my garden hose in the summer with my mower and never chopped it up yet. Not that I recommend it, but they get grown into the grass and being green they get missed.
As far as cutting thru a cord connected to a GFI, I had a pony chew thru ALL the conductors on an extension cord and chew it right in half. It was hooked to a GFI. The pony was not hurt, unless you consider it's "feelings" when I started yelling at the stupid thing. Ruined a nice 14-3 100 foot cord. I was pissed.
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Toller wrote:

You guys are all ripping on the OP, but this is exactly the kind of situation that ends up in a giant lawsuit against him, the company that makes the lawn mower, and the manufacturer of the extension cord.
C'mon, we've heard of crazier lawsuits that this.
GFI or not, I'd unplug the thing during the day so this situation wouldn't occur.
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wrote:

You're still mowing the lawn!
Mow it before the lights go up, and don't mow it until they are down.
Or, if you think the lawnmower guy will hit it, start from the receptacle, stick a pole in the ground and 7 or 8 feet above it, and run the extension cord to a place on the tree 7 or 8 feet up. Taller than the gardener even after it sags.
Or if no pole, run some twine from the top of a window, or down from the second floor window, or from the place where the downspout bends or is attached to the wall, and tie the cord with it so the cord is 8 feet up.
I got this idea by looking at telephone poles.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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wrote:

Not if you use a GFI, and if the guy is that stupid, I suggest getting someone else. You could also buy orange street cones to put over it, or cover it with a board, but it's probably better to replace the idiot that does the mowing, or at least have his eyes checked by a doctor.
If you are really that concerned, buy 20 feet of 1.5" steel conduit and run the cord thru it. If the idiot mows over that, he deserves to die <LOL>
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LurfysMa wrote:

Who cares? There's always another yard-worker.
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If you have a good sturdy ladder for the height of the tree and are comfortable working on it, I see no reason why you couldn't put Christmas lights on your crabapple tree.
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As it is a once a year thing, use an extension cord from outlet in house. Or install a weather proof outlet box out side on the house near th tree and run extension from that. No big deal if your half a handyman. I would not bury a perament cable.
jack
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On 18 Dec 2005 17:13:34 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

There is already a weather proof outlet about 40' from the tree.

Because of the hassle or something else?
We already have a buried cable to the yard light, which is on a post in the middle of the other half of the front lawn.
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Out in the grass or on the house?

For simply seasonal holiday lighting it's rather expensive and/or a lot of work.

It's probably just direct-burial wire. You could probably just run another line off it but it'd be switched on that same circuit. Which, for xmas lighting, is probably not what you'd want (the xmas lights stay on, the post doesn't). Otherwise you've got to run a fresh line from the house. Getting into the house is the hard part, whacking a new hole through the foundation, connecting to the electrical panel, etc, and all that before running the in-ground wire.
How far and what type of wire has to be buried depends on local codes. Some areas require it to be deeper than others. I'm sure California has regulated this in some ludicrous fashion well beyond other states, but check with your local municipal building inspector department.
So ask yourself, all this just for xmas lights? Is using an extension cord and TALKING with whomever cuts your lawn THAT much more trouble?
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Attach an outdoor timer to the GFCI Outlet and run the extension chord from the timer, I'd assume the lights would come on at night only so you'd have the timer set to be off during the day, therefore mowing over the chord during the day wouldn't hurt anyone. Unless, for whatever reason you have your grass cut at night!
Ian
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It is on a timer. The entire front yard circuit is controlled by a switch just inside the front door. I replaced the switch some time ago with an Aube sunset/sunrise timer. But, sometimes the switch gets bumped or whatever and could be on during the day. I was just trying to be careful.
I talked to an electrician. He suggested I get an outdoor GFI extension cord and another heavy-duty outdoor extension cord to go across the lawn. That seems like a good solution.
Thanks
I wonder why none of the neanderthals with the caustic remarks thought of that? I guess they are only good at pissing on things.
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So SF does not follow the National Electrical Code? Or are you just kidding? Seasonal wiring is best done on a extension cord with gfci protection.
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if this outlet is for year round use and you own the property [on your property survey] where the tree grows, call a licensed electrician to install a pair of GFI circuits to your tree, one for a photo eye operated circuit for lights and the other for a constant circuit for the lawnmower or leafblower. or snowblower.
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Anything is possible, it depends on how talented you are.
Running a single 20 amp GFCI protected circuit in UF cable 12 inches deep is permitted in the NEC, otherwise it is 24".
You'll want to run the cable over to a piece of rigid conduit, which the outlet box mounts on, so that it is supported. The box should be 8 inches above ground, and the pipe buried 18" deep, with the wire 24 inches deep. You need to seal the end of the pipe where the UF wire comes in under the ground.
I'd suggest mounting a floodlight socket on top of the box, and shoot the light up into the canopy of the tree. You get a wonderful lighting effect, without much wiring. By having an outlet box, your covered for strings of Christmas lights.
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