Friend is moving into a 30 year old house which is a bit shy on electrical
The previous owner put in an electric garage door opener, but as there is no
the ceiling of the garage for a door opener, he ran an extension cord across
and half way down a wall to where there is an outlet.
Ceiling and walls in garage are finished, so it would be quite a
pain to install an outlet there now.
Realize that installing a ceiling outlet, snaking the wires internally to
where they can be spliced
in is of course the best way to do it. Will probably end up doing it that
way, I guess.
But would like to ask:
What do most folks faced with this "problem" do ?
Just this extension cord bit ?
Does this violate any electrical codes ?
Any thoughts on would be appreciated.
"My garage door opener has been connected to a wall outlet, with an
extension cord strung across the ceiling, for 20 years.
It does not violate any electrical codes anymore than using an
cord for anything else."
I would beg to differ. Using an extension cord for a garage door
opener is a code violation. Extension cords are intended to be used
for temporary connection, not for connecting appliances, motors, etc
which are built into the structure. Just because you did it for 20
years doesn't mean it passes code. This is typically red flagged
during a home inspection prior to sale.
I had the very same problem. My garage door openers were installed in
1962. But rather than run an extension cord the owner/builder wired the
openers and fluorescent light direct to the ceiling light boxes. If you
have ceiling light you can remove the box and put an outlet box up
there. One plug can be used for the opener, the other for a 4 or 8 foot
fluorescent with attached plug. HTH
On 2/26/2005 7:09 AM US(ET), Robert11 took fingers to keys, and typed
My garage door opener has been connected to a wall outlet, with an
extension cord strung across the ceiling, for 20 years.
It does not violate any electrical codes anymore than using an extension
cord for anything else.
What about the fittings for feeding track lighting with a short cord and
a 3-pin plug? How come those are legal? Track lighting is usually
installed permanently rather than temporarily, isn't it?
On 02/26/05 11:44 am Richard tossed the following ingredients into the
ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
I think if you look into the electrical code you will find
that it is in violation. Extension cord are only intended to
be used for temporary connections and may not be used as a
substitute for permanent wiring.
On 2/26/2005 7:32 AM or thereabouts, Mikepier appears, somewhat
unbelievably, to have opined:
In that case just leave the switch on. I did this in a previous home and
the switch gives an additional security feature. When you go out of
town, flip it off. Then thieves with "code-breakers" can't open the door
I sent ten puns to all my friends hoping that at least one
would make them laugh.
I'm curious about how "finished" your garage is. Since you mention a
door opener, I assume you keep a car in the garage, so it's probably
not some showpiece of a room. If so you could use regular EMT conduit
on the surface of your ceiling and walls. If you don't feel like
buying and learning to use a bender, you could just buy the elbows and
other fittings you need. It is a lot easier to pull wire through bent
curves than fittings, though.
That does still leave open the question of where the electricity is
coming from in the first place. My electrical service box is in my
garage, so in my case it would be easy. You could put the opener on
its own circuit. If not, you could probably put an extender box on
your present oulet box.
I would encourage you to first figure out what else is on that
circuit. If your house is "shy" on outlets, it's probably shy on
circuits too. My house originally had a crazy combination of fixtures
from all over the house on each breaker. The door opener is a very
intermittent use item, but you might not want an electric motor on the
same circuit as your computer, for example. You also might not want it
to be the straw that occasionally breaks the camel's back on an
You could also use the Wiremold surface mount wiring system. I believe
they make an "extension box" that you can attach to your present
outlet box. It extends the box out an inch or so, so it protrudes out
from the wall. This allows you to attach their raceway (sort of a
squared-off conduit) to the side or top of the box, extending along
the wall. Make sure to get the SAME type of their product for the
whole run. They make 2 sizes, which are mutually incompatible and NOT
well labeled. I believe that the WHITE and BEIGE pieces are actually
two different sizes.
I think their stuff is a little expensive and I'm guessing it's harder
to pull wires through than EMT. If a somewhat "industrial" look would
not be out of place in your garage, I'd use EMT.
Find out what your local building code stipulates. Go to your
municipal building inspector and find out what is required for your
neck of the woods.
Extension cords should not be used as a permanent electrical supply for
garage door openers or any other permanent fixture in or about your
When I bought my first house(20 years old). At the end of my gravel
driveway was a Utility/Light Pole with a dawn/dusk sensing 200 watt halogen
industrial design light fixture wired to an extension cord then buried under
ground and re-appeared at the outside outlet at the back door. The real
kicker was when I yanked it all up and dug a trench for it to be wired
properly and lay the wiring in plastic conduit(plus I wanted a weather-proof
outlet on the pole). It was actually two "orange" extension cords. The
idiot who did this had buried the mating of the plug and receptacle of these
two cords straight into unprotected earth. He did not even wrap it in tape
or anything. Needless to say I found some other idiotic wiring inside the
house as well. At least before I sold the house I had all the electrical up
This message was written on 100% recycled spam. SAM >>
You can use surface mounted wiring also. It would look neat, meet code.
Check out Wiremold products that are made for just that.
Yes, but I've seen it done a few times. I don't advocate going against code,
but it is fairly safe is a heavy enough cord is used and you don't use it as
a clothesline. I'd probably do it on a temporary basis if I had to.
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