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Hiding Extension Cords


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I am planning on making my debut this year. I am wondering whether anyone has run their extension cords through pvc piping underground thus avoiding running them everywhere throughout the yard. I thought I would place clean-outs at various points around my landscaping and yard with the cords run underground in the pvc piping. I thought at the end of the season when I need to take down my display I would simply screw back the clean-out and leave the cords in there until next season and avoid the time to wind-up and store them. Has anyone done this? The two issues I thought of is water getting into the pipe and creating a fire hazard and the second is the cords getting very hot from running so many cords in the same pipe. If anyone has any suggestions/advice I'm all ears. How does everyone hide their cords?

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I did run romex inside PVC to control 48 outlets in weatherproof boxes throughout my yard and shrubs. This was all hard wired in to the outlet boxes, runs underground to the house, and has dongles with male plugs at the other end to plug into my controllers. No overheating issues. Very clean looking. Used for Chrismas, Valentines day. St Patricks day, the 4th of July and Haloween. Basically they are home made extension cords as they are not energized until powered by the LOR controller.

Your idea sould be fine and would look neat and clean. If water gets inside, uncap both ends, put a leaf blower on one end, set to highest setting and watch the fountain come out the other end!

Doug

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I have a mix of both Posts above and workes fine. Only thing I made a mistake on the first time around was to Flint Hills point marked the ding dand cords with water soluable ink..... :blush: ......corrected that but was a pain....

Welcome to the Madness ...great people...great help...great group....

Happy Hanging

Mr. Sharpie is my friend :blink:

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Because we don't get reliable snow here in the UK to cover extension cords & wires, I use 'Fake Snow' Polyester Wadding 4oz 1m Wide x 50m rolls.

Normally get through 8 rolls of the stuff, but it covers everything so well, and people are always bending down to touch it, to see if it's real.

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Thanks guys for the advice. I do appreciate it. I just bought my controller today and am now trying to figure out the various light counts and size bulbs I'm going to need. Planning on C-9s on the house and thinking either M5s or M6s for the Mega Tree and running around the trees. I'm trying to read up on so many topics so I don't make a major mistake. I was hoping to get in on an early purchase discount but it seems February may be too late. Paul your display looks great with the fake snow, thanks for sharing.

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Magic in the sky (http://www.magicinthesky.com/lighting/index.htm) recently restarted the early prices for a bit longer.

As for the extension cords. Green SPT hides very well in plan sight at night. In fact most of the stuff we care about being picky over isn't noticed by the passerby. Just keep that in mind.

Also watch the load on the cords. Getting them hot isn't good. A KILL A WATT comes in handy for checking loads. You don't want to overload your controller.

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I have never bothered to hide my cords. I don't use orange and SPTx comes in black, brown and green, which is all I need and use now.The issue with conduits is it limits you to some extent with your yard layout.

I juggle my display up a bit each year to keep it fresh, so I run my cords above ground. Although, maybe I should start using all the Mole tunnels running in my yard. Hmmm, could be a way to keep the buggers at bay :)

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The issue with conduits is it limits you to some extent with your yard layout.

My yard is small so it is my YARD that limits my layout

I juggle my display up a bit each year to keep it fresh, so I run my cords above ground.

I have only run the conduit in my shrub bed and out to a couple of trees on my front lawn. The shrubs and trees do not move. ALL of the boxes where outlets are located are completely hidden by the shrubs. I DO use SPT wire for other objects in my display but the conduit and underground wiring does limit the set up time and the ganglion of extension cords that were present prior to running the wiring underground.

Doug

Edited by Senior
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I stopped at my local electrical supply house today and they confirmed that I was fine with doing it as planned but suggested I use grey pvc conduit rather than the white pvc to meet code. They also suggested I use large junction boxes underground that can be sealed and are weather resistant rather than the sewer clean-out. Now I'm trying to figure out how large a pipe I need for each run. If I use 16/2 wire for extension cords as many have suggested do you know how large a diameter 12 wires zip tied together is? I'd like to do a mega tree so 32 wires together would probably be a good 3 inches so I'm thinking a 6 or 8 inch pipe. Any responses would be helpful.

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I don't know the diameter of 12 spt1 wires but definitely don't zip tie them together to run in the pipe! Leave them loose, that way they will go in well and if you need to add another wire you can pull one out with two new attached and there is your extra wire!

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Paul that is great! Are you able to reuse the "snow" or do you have to buy new each year?

Hey thanks! No sadly, once the season is done, it gets thrown in the trash. Over the season, I'll normally top it up, so it looks like fresh snow. I use standard tent pegs to secure it into the lawn.

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Edited by paultoole
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Paul!!!! That is AMAZING!!!!!! :)

Something we have begun doing is hiding our control boxes by turning them into lit Christmas presents or other appropriate decor.

We will run a single main line to the box, use one of our new waterproof power strips to power the box, and then we only need really short extension cords.

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I STILL have that look on my face!

And Paul, your display IS amazing. Great work and thanks for sharing.

Aww, You guys here on PC are absolutely brilliant. Such an amazing community to be part of. I can't begin to tell you how much I've pushed the words Planetchristmas.com on the visitors here in the UK.

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Paul, that looks so great ...

There is no way I could ever use conduit for all my cords, but thankfully it snows here and one coat then they are hidden .

I really would feel limited in what I could do ... Plus many items are unavoidable piles or cords anyways .... Take a 48ch megatree. In the dark, nobody sees.

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I don't know how I missed this topic. I have been thinking about doing this myself fot next years display, as this year I had a few families actually as if they could take a walk through the yard. I smiled and said sure but remembered at the last minuit that I am the only one who knows where all the cords run. I guided them through the "obstical course" and made sure nobody triped. This year I need to hide my extension cords as well, thanks for the great Ideas guys.(Like always)

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Nut:

I put a line of candy canes along my front yard and connect them with a string of lights. Most folks do this;. If forms a natural fence that afolks won't cross. I also do the voice over thing that many do, asking people not to talk intot he yard. I really like the idea that was mentioned above to cover everything with layers of show blankets. But that could be a bit expensive.

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Christmasjunkie:

I think I am going to do that this year but with I am torn on what to use. I currently have 6 toy soldier cut outs(4' tall) 12 lolly pop cut outs(2' Tall)

2 blow mold candles(3' Tall) and new this year 6 North Poles(3.5' Tall). I may use a little of everything and swag lights between them. Its still early in the planing stages and I still need to get an opinion from "The Boss" (My wife :P ) Before anything is final.

This summer, like last summer I may set up my cut outs just to see how they look before I decide.

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