Temporary Power Setup

OFC Ranger

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In this thread you tell me why I will or will not set my garage on fire;

Until I can arrange to have sub-paneling and underground power run from the house this is what I have purchased:

50 foot 12 gauge 15A extension cord run from an exterior GFCI outlet to reach the building which is roughly 35 feet from where I will install a flush mount pass through 15A port. On the other side of the port will be mounted a 15A breaker box (aka fancy power strip).

The incoming power will draw most of its use for 10 LED (40W ea) shop lights and a 16" gable exhaust shutter fan (160W). Additional power draw will be the occasion power tool and some wall mounted oscillating fans.

Thats about it till I can get a dedicated line run in.

I'm not coming anywhere near my 15A limit as far as I can tell as all my power tools (which would be used one at a time only draw somewhere in the range of 5A. The lights will be 2A with all on, the exhaust fan with be roughly 1A.

The power line would disconnected at the house when not in use.

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ScrappyLaptop

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From the ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International):

When using 25 - 50 feet extension cords, you’ll need a: Yellow Cord
16 Gauge for 1-13 Amps
14 Gauge for 14-15 Amps
12-10 Gauge for 16-20 Amps

When using 100 feet extension cords, you'll need a:
16 Gauge for 1-10 Amps
14 Gauge for 11-13 Amps
12 Gauge for 14-15 Amps
10 Gauge for 16-20 Amps

When using 150 feet extension cords, you’ll need a:
14 Gauge for 1-7 Amps
12 Gauge for 8-10 Amps
10 Gauge for 11-15 Amp
IANAE (I am not an electrician)

You are well within those limits.

Anecdotally, I ran a small outbuilding for a couple years via an extension cord because the job was too small for any local electrician and I needed someone licensed & bonded to submit it to my insurance.
50 ft cord, 16 ga (vs your 12 ga), running a max 5 amps for a few minutes at a time once in a great while. The rest of the time maybe 3 amps. The new-when-I-started cord never got warm. Because it will be drawing extra current due to the extra resistance though, I would recommend as few extra connections as possible.
 

oldnslow

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I did a similar thing when I first built my garage. It took a couple years to save up enough money to do it right. It did not burn down or cause any issues.

One potental issue: if you have the cord in standing water after a heavy rain the GFCI may trip. No danger, just a nuisance.
 

Joeiconic

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I think you’re fine. I figure It would trip the breaker at the GFCI outlet before anything bad could happen. You may want to consider putting silicon tape over all the plug in connections if any are exposed to moisture.
 

 
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