Electrical question -- SJ cord

Andy asks:
One of the local electrical codes where I live is that all outdoor extension cords have to be type SJ.
I have noticed that there are several types of cords that start with SJ , such as SJTW, SJOO , etc.
My question is, " As long as the cord type has "SJ" in the designation, do they ALL satisfy the code requirement for SJ cord ?? "
Thanks for your advice...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Yes, the other letters signify additional properties of the cords

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snipped-for-privacy@juno.com says...

Yes; 'S' = "Stranded wire" with rubber insulation, 'J' is for "Junior" (300 vs. 600V), 'O' for "oil resistance", etc.
http://www.systemconnection.com/downloads/PDFs/power_cord_glossary . pdf

It seems silly to specify 'SJ', rather than some sort of weather rating (SW, perhaps and 'S' is superior to 'SJ'). Rubber isn't the only material that makes decent exterior cable either. Maybe someone writing the local codes doesn't know what they're specifying?
--
Keith

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Keith Williams wrote:

S is "service" - virtually all cords are stranded.
Many of the Sxx cords have a heavier jacket (as you said) than SJxx and should be acceptable in any reasonable code. (Some do not - SPx, SVx and others) STxx and SJTxx are thermoplastic.
Any SJxx should be acceptable - including SJTxx [as should heavy jacket Sxx]
I presume the code wants a level of ruggedness for exterior extension cords - excluding the typical interior SPx "zip" cords. It also excludes heavy duty flat cords, often yellow, which are common and IMHO heavier duty than SJ.
bud--
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Andy replies:
Thanks to all who answered. It is as I hoped, that is, that any SJxx would satisfy the code.
By way of explanation to those who wonder why I asked :
This is a local code required by the Tarrant County Water District, which governs all construction on the local area lakes. The code is very restrictive, and often very arbitrary on some of the regulations. The inspectors are not PEs, and just go by the letter of the code...As far as the electrical, the local guy has no idea of what SJ means, but will enforce it exactly without accepting any " but this other cord is much better" explanations.
He is a nice enough guy, but very by-the-book, especially on those subjects he is not well versed in...... but that's OK....
So, in order to remain friendly with him/them (very important around here in small town Texas ), I don't try to deviate but rather follow the code to the letter, as they do in their interpretation.
The county allows me to do all wiring myself (as owner) down to the 320 ASL (above sea level) markers, but below 320 it must be done by a licensed master electrician --- (very expensive for 50 feet of buried ROMEX and sub panel --- about $1000 ). The lake is at 315 ASL. So, I did the job myself to the 320, and will just run an extension cord the rest of the way to the dock ---- not a big problem at all.....I only want a light and a radio...... I am allowed to do it if the cord is "SJ"....
Thanks again guys for the input.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Here the "SJ" is considered "medium duty", and Sxx is "heavy duty". The orange ribbed stuff (I forget the rating) is classified as "light".
Agreed, something calling for SJxx should accept Sxx too.
I don't use anything less than SJ for any sort of outdoor semi-permanent use or power tools (eg: electric chain saws).
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 12:48:09 -0600, Bud-- wrote:

According to what I've read (and implied by the link I gave), service == stranded.

I see the real problem with this sort of code is that rubber isn't all that great when exposed to UV light. There are many better alternatives. Sxxx is nice stuff, but expensive and not necessarily the best for outdoor extension cords. ...not to mention that black isn't the best color for such things. I'd think orange and yellow would be much better. Again, I suspect the person who wrote this *local* code didn't think it through.
--
Keith



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Keith wrote:

A good answer based on the link. But stranded is rather silly since most all cords are stranded.
The NEC says S = hard service cord and SJ = junior hard service cord.

Most usage is temporary any way. Black plastic sheeting has a degree of UV resistance because of the black pigment. Might be true of the black jacket (or might not). If thermoplastic is better STxx, SJTxx could be used.
The description of the code and inspector gives one an appreciation of how bad it can be.
bud--
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snipped-for-privacy@isp.com says...

If they're not, they're not type 'S' and not "service". ;-)

Perhaps, I've heard both used where service == stranded. ^ | + defined to be

My point about black wasn't the color's inherent UV resistance rather it gets hidden more easily, thus yellow/orange is a better alternative, on the ground, around lawn mowers. ;-)

Indeedy. The OP is right and just do what the inspector wants. This one isn't worth a fight. He may need to save that for something more important.
--
Keith

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Keith Williams wrote:

Yep, although it might be worth asking them if he can use SJW since it's the same thing but weatherproof. They should be able to understand that. It could also be that by type SJ they mean any subtype SJxxx. (don't assume; you gotta ask about something like that)
S vs. SJ is not worth fighting over.
Best regards, Bob
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Keith Williams wrote:

Yeabut, just try to put a connector on the end of S cord. I bought some STO cord once to make a heavy-duty extension cord. I called ahead and had them cut it for me because it was close to quittin' time. The stuff was huge and I had a terrible time finding ends that would fit it.
Bob
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On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 16:29:17 -0600, zxcvbob wrote:

No problem. I've done it many times. I use it for power tools in my basement.

There *are* ends that fit. You gotta buy the whole package. ;-)
--
Keith

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Your building code regulates extension cords?
These things wouldn't happen to you if you voted libertarian more often.
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Andy writes:
Read my previous post on 15 March , above, and you will then understand.
Andy
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On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 15:25:12 -0800, Andy wrote:

I read it and I still don't understand the logic behind the "regulation". Extension cords are supposed to be temporary. Rubber in sunlight and rain as semi-permanent wiring scares the hell outta me!
--
Keith

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Andy replies to Keith:
I suspect that since it is used on a lake, and is often used to run power out to a dock for temporary lights and stuff, they don't want it to fall into the water and kill the fish.... Otherwise, people would be splicing ROMEX together with wire nuts and electrocuting themselves and the wildlife. Also, sometimes it floods slightly and stuff laying along the ground at lakeside will be under water...... A lot of regulations are just made arbitrary so that owner-rigged stuff that is dangerous can be legally removed..... I don't disagree with the regulation -- it doesn't seem to be restrictive to me, or overly arbitrary...... Like having to stop at a stop sign even when you don't see anybody coming ------- It's probably saved some lives or wildlife... Remember, I live in an unincorporated area where there are NO building inspections. The water district decided there needed to be SOME control over electrical installations on boathouses and stuff, so they did the best they could, keeping it very simple so there would be no misinterpretation.....
That's the best reason I can come up with......
Thanks again for all the info, Andy
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