Put a new receptacle on the end and put a plug on the other part of
the cord if it is long enough to keep.
Usually it is cheaper to replace the whole thing if this is a typical
orange cord. You can buy the whole thing for the price of a decent
plug and receptacle.
If it's only a foot or two, shorten it and join it directly to the
And use an extension cord back at the outlet end if/when necessary.
If not; the simplest way is buy a good plug and a good (in line)
socket. Here I would reckon around ten bucks and use those; in effect
converting the remainder of the cord into an extension cord.
If you don't want to do that stagger the joins, solder each wire
separately and sleeve each wire with at least one layer of heat shrink
tubing, then encase the whole in two layers of overlapped (larger)
heat shrink tubing. The type of tubing that has corrosion preventing
gel inside is good. Probably end up spending around $5 to $10 on heat
shrink if you don't have it on hand.
lacking more complete info I'd go for using in line pluck and socket
If worried about it pulling out invest in twist-lock plug and socket.
That's what we have on our sump pump plug in. Probably around $15? But
that means that the cord can only be used for something else with a
twist lock plug on it! But so what? It WAS the trimmer only cord
anyway! Basic do it yourself home wiring repair!
Agree w/the solder-and-heat-shrink idea, but no need to spend $10 on
fancy-schmancy gel stuff. Regular ol' heat shrink will work fine. Hell,
I noticed the other day that even Harbor Freight sells heat shrink
tubing now, really cheap.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
I was surprised to find out that it's illegal to modify
extension cords for commercial use. That said.... I'd strip
the ends of the wire, connect the wires with twist on wire
nuts, and cover the resulting mess with a lot of electrical
also wrap the whole thing in a finer wire to make it a neater splice
before soldering You really do end up with a splice about the size of
the insulated wire that a shrink tube covers nicely.
I have a set of articulated alligator clips on a heavy base I got from
HF that holds the whole mess together while you wrap and solder it.
(or roach clips for siamese twins)
Probably OSHA, or the state implementations thereof. You modify it, you
void the UL type acceptance. Doesn't necessarily mean it is unsafe, just
that it isn't blessed by experts any more. And even if the state doesn't
care, the insurance underwriter probably does.
If I was making money with a cord, and cut it, the only repair I would
consider is commercial-grade plug and outlet with strain reliefs, making
it into two cords. But I would probably demote the cord to the parts bin
or home use. The cost of a new cord, compared to the downside cost of
having to stop work and run out and buy a new one if the splice fails,
is just too trivial. Cords are a consumable item, not an investment. It
also doesn't make a good impression with the customers if your tools
look like you are a klutz who can't even avoid cutting up your own
OSHA regulates on the job stuff. I don't know about home regulations but
probably similar. I found lots of commercial information, but no consumer
SUBJECT: Acceptable Job-Made Extension Cords.
This is in reference to your memorandum of June 12, 1991 to your area
directors and district supervisors on the subject of extension cords
acceptable for use (copy attached). We believe your interpretation is unduly
restrictive and that it does not accurately reflect the requirements of the
applicable standards. We have prepared the following analysis, which
indicates that shop-made extension cords and other temporary wiring is
acceptable in certain circumstances. It is not required in all circumstances
that an extension cord be approved as an assembly.
Normally, electrical equipment must be approved as an assembly by a
nationally-recognized testing laboratory to be acceptable under the General
Industry or Construction Electrical Standards (Part 1910, Subpart S and Part
1926, Subpart K, respectively).
However, it is also true that cord sets, assembled in the field by qualified
persons, are appropriately used in both general industry and in the
construction industry, under limited circumstances. Such cord sets are
considered to be temporary wiring extensions of the branch circuit.
Temporary electrical power and lighting wiring methods, as specified in
1910.305(a)(2) and 1926.405(a)(2), may be of a class less than that required
for a permanent installation. Thus, temporary electrical power and lighting
installations are permitted during the period of construction; remodeling;
maintenance; repair or demolition of buildings, structures and equipment; or
similar activities. Such temporary wiring must be removed immediately upon
completion of the work for which the wiring was installed.
When the temporary wiring consists of shop-made cord sets, etc., using
approved parts, as permitted by 1910.305(a)(2) and 1926.405(a)(2), the
requirements for listing by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory do
The practice of assembling electrical extension cords is considered to be in
compliance with OSHA standards, provided the assembled cord sets are
assembled in a manner equivalent to those that are factory-assembled and
approved. Criteria for determining whether shop-made cord sets meet existing
electrical standards include:
1.. All components must be approved for the purpose by a
nationally-recognized testing laboratory (1910.303(a)) and (1926.403(a)).
Individual components must be compatible for use with the other components
of the completed assembly.
2.. The cord set must meet all applicable requirements of 1910 Subpart S
and 1926 Subpart K. For example, the assembly must be marked appropriately
(1910.303(e)) and (1926.405(g)(2)(iv)); boxing intended for use in a
permanent installation may not be used (1910.303(b)(1)(i) and
1926.403(b)(1)(i)); cords must be connected to devices and fittings so as to
provide strain relief (1910.305(g)(2) (iii) and 1926.405(g)(2)(iv)); cords
passing through holes in enclosures must be protected by bushings or
fittings designed for the purpose (1926.405(g)(2)(v) - fittings designed to
fasten cables to metal boxes are not acceptable); and no grounded conductor
shall be attached to any terminal or lead so as to reverse designated
polarity (1910.304(a)(2)) and (1926.404(a)(2)).
3.. The cord set must be assembled by a qualified person.
4.. The wiring of the completed assembly must be inspected by a qualified
person before the cord set is used initially. For example, the following
checks and tests, or equivalent, should be performed:
1.. Determine that all equipment grounding conductors are electrically
2.. Test all equipment grounding conductors for electrical continuity.
3.. Determine that each equipment grounding conductor is connected to
its proper terminal.
4.. Test each receptacle and attachment plug to ensure correct
attachment of the equipment grounding conductor.
With all the above said, I found this also and it seem contradictory
Q. What about "homemade" extension cords assembled with a metal
box on the load end in place of a cord connector?
A. This is a violation because the assembly would not be listed
(NEC 110-2) nor installed properly (NEC 110-3b). Other violations would
include NEC 300-11, 370-13.
And don't forget this
Please note that removing a damaged section of a flexible cord on an
appliance and installing an attachment plug and a cord connection on the two
ends would not be allowed. Such a repair would result in an extension cord
between the flexible cord of the appliance and the installed building
receptacle. Under paragraph 1910.305(a)(2)(i), this extension cord would be
considered temporary wiring which is not permitted for workplace use.
Read it again, where he said 'commercial' use. Like on a construction
site or a production floor or in an office. All places where I have seen
plenty of hillbilly homemade cords. (Romex strung between trees, with
non-weatherproof metal box and a duplex outlet on the end, without even
a plate cover, anyone?)
I have been known, on occasion when visiting relatives and such, to rip
out their hillbilly jury-rigged power setups to something or other, and
go out an buy them a proper real cord.
This is indeed an OSHA issue. The government does not really care if a
homeowner uses unsafe cords but your insurance company might.
In the case of OSHA, it will be the general contractor or corporation
who gets the fine and they can be up to $10,000.
Usually this happens after an accident in the area. The investigation
team will visit every job site they see and usually everyone has a few
violations but if the go team doesn't find anything right away they
may go to the next site. That is why it is good to have a safety
program in place every day. Don't make it easy. Government workers
like picking the low fruit.
I represent those remarks. One of my favorite extension cords is just
such a "hillbilly" job; a medium length of SJ or some such
round-jacketed cord, a round 3-prong hardware store plug on one end and
a handy box with a duplex outlet on the other. Been using it for, oh, 25
years or so now.
Mine, however, always has a cover plate on it.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
Yours sounds safe to me, lack of UL sticker non-withstanding. The
example I cited I remember from my youth on a residential site. The
temporary service pole and meter was out by the road, because the REMC
had not set the extra pole for the back of the lot yet. One end of the
romex was coming out of the open lid of the disconnect box (that I was
scared to touch), and the cable was strung through trees high enough to
drive a pickup truck under it. At the final tree, a single-gang bang box
was clamped to the romex, and a tired duplex outlet was installed. From
the kinks in the sheathing on the romex, and the weather stains, this
was not the first site it had been used at.
I scanned my inbox, but must have used the wrong search
word. I remember it being on osha (dot gov) web site. I'll
keep looking, and post when and if I find it.
The page did say that one of the common violations is to
wire a duplex box onto the end of extension cord. Which gave
me a smile. I've made extension cords by cut a power cord
off a junk appliance, and wire the cord to a box and socket.
It may void an insurance claim. If your house burns down due to an
electrical fire caused by a home-repaired extension cord, you may not
be covered. I doubt it is a criminal offense, maybe unless harm is
the intent. I'd replace the cord (they are cheap) than spend the time
to repair an old cord anyway.
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