I was given 2 ceiling fans that are wired together with 16 gauge lamp
wire. One fan has a length of the same wire with a plug added so it
could be plugged into an outdoor receptacle. I want to hang them
under my canvas awning from the 1 1/4 inch galvanized frame. I have
the cross members in place with holes drilled for the fan brackets.
Structurally, I think I'm OK.
My concern and question has to do with the electrical wiring part of
this, which I realize is shakey. I'd like to know how shakey, and
what alternatives I have.
The 2 fans have been in use at my relative's house, wired as described
above, for a few years. I realize that hard-wiring with heavier gauge
would be the best option but I would like to hook them up as they were
(i.e., 16 gauge with plug in). To probably make it worse, I would
like to plug it into an outdoor extension cord that I have in the
awning framing for a string of rope lights. My relative thinks
there's no problem with this (It worked OK in his house for years) but
I'm fearing that I'm exceeding amp limits. I have a 15 amp service.
I live in the Northeast so I would only have the fans up for about 4
or 5 months in the summer.
Can anyone tell me if this is a safety hazard, and what could happen,
or if this would be OK? I'd appreciate all informed opinions and
Everything that you want to do is unacceptable and in violation of the 2002
National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). If you sincerely want to do it right
and safe I suggest that you read the code book. You can get it at
Amazon.com or an electrical supply house.
The canvas awning is considered by code definition a "Damp Location"
(Article 100) and wiring methods and materials must be suitable for that
type of installation. The ceiling fans should also be approved for use in a
Lamp cord is not an approved method for permanent wiring indoors or out.
What are you using for a grounding conductor?
An extension cord is not an approved means of permanent wiring indoors or
out. If you consider this to be a temporary installation, then you should
read Article 527. I don't think that your plan qualifies as an acceptable
temporary installation by code standards.
The splices for the ceiling fan wiring must terminate in an approved box
rated to carry the weight of the fan or with an approved bracket and box. I
question whether or not the awning frame can safely support the weight and
motion of ceiling fans as it was designed to support fabric, not motors.
Aside from the awning frame becoming energized and a shock hazard, and the
fans accumulating enough moisture in them to burn and possibly set the
awning canvas on fire, I see no other danger from your wiring methods. Of
course there is the possibility of the fans falling down and landing on
someone because they weren't adequately supported.
Be safe and do it right. Don't become an accident waiting to happen.
Otherwise check your insurance policies to see if they cover accidents and
fires as a result of faulty unacceptable wiring methods performed by a
non-professional. They usually don't. Hence the importance of taking out
a permit and having the job inspected.
I'm going to have to second John on this. You're asking for
more trouble than you want. Neither structurally nor electrically are
On 15 Aug 2003 18:04:37 -0700, email@example.com (Sonny) wrote:
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