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View Full Version : Cords Galore!!!!!!



kydevildogmark
09-21-2011, 02:05 PM
Ok guys time for me to get started gearing up for the holiday season. Hope to have all my lights out by Halloween and have them going up before Thanksgiving.Now on to my question. I seem to have an abundance of extension cords(A LA CLARK GRISWOLD) overloading every outlet on the outside of my house.There is a lot of you pro displayers out there just want to get some of your tips or tricks to keep from popping breakers.:p I am slowly workin on my display and hope to have a computer generated show next year.I am somewhere in the 8-10thousand bulb range any insight would be greatly appreciated.

dirknerkle
09-21-2011, 02:26 PM
If your lights are "static" (i.e. not animated by computer) and are just "ON" all the time, your best bet is to spread out the load over more circuits. This may mean running some wires out through windows or holes you can cut in walls (a little extreme...) When you get animating by computer, you can set the intensity of the various channels of control so they're less than 100% and this can help even-out the load across the outdoor circuits you have, and of course, the lights aren't on all the time then, either which also moderates the draw.

Or, you could purchase a 3500-4000-watt generator and that would likely give you a couple 15-amp circuits...

Or, you could call a local electrician and see what it might cost to add some amperage capacity to what you already have...

Or, you could replace all your lights with LED lights, and you probably would need only one outlet for everything...

Or, (and this is the least expensive solution) you could just use fewer lights.

kydevildogmark
09-21-2011, 02:31 PM
dirt,

I already use the outlet that I have installed for the pool, and outlets i had placed on the back of the house. I do use a homemade box that I hook into the back of a radio to control some lights.For the most part my lights are static. I agree with LED but good lord they are expensive around here.The thing is the idiot that wired my house when it was built hooked all kinds of random outlets together. (i.e wife can't blow dry her hair sometimes in the bathroom with the pool pump on) JERK I have been adding additional outlets andbreakers in my box but I am quickly running out of room.

dirknerkle
09-21-2011, 02:51 PM
dirt,

I already use the outlet that I have installed for the pool, and outlets i had placed on the back of the house. I do use a homemade box that I hook into the back of a radio to control some lights.For the most part my lights are static. I agree with LED but good lord they are expensive around here.The thing is the idiot that wired my house when it was built hooked all kinds of random outlets together. (i.e wife can't blow dry her hair sometimes in the bathroom with the pool pump on) JERK I have been adding additional outlets andbreakers in my box but I am quickly running out of room.

"Dirt?" Somehow that seems oddly appropriate... :lol:

The bottom line is that you have X amount of current available and Y amount of lights you want to put out. Sounds like your problem is matching the Y to the X. The good thing is that the rules of electricity are pretty well defined -- when you go over a certain limit, things happen. Sometimes good, sometimes bad... But it's quite predictable. One thing you DO NOT want to do is simply replace a 15-amp breaker with a 20! That could be disastrous!!

It's unfortunate several of your circuits have odd configurations, but you can pick up a tone generator (probably at Home Depot or Lowes) that can help you track which outlets are connected to which circuits, and that can help your planning. An electrican can help you with that if you don't feel comfortable doing that on your own or want to purchase the testing equipment.

As an idea, if you have central air and don't need air conditioning in the winter, you can call an electrician to help you tap the A/C circuits for your lights instead. Several DIYC members do that and it's not expensive to do. Only trick is that you can't do both at the same time -- either the A/C or the lights. But that can free up 30 or 40 amps that would go otherwise unused in the winter.

As a suggestion, you might update your personal profile to indicate your location. For example, I live in Plymouth Minnesota... If you do that, it opens the door for a lot better and often more helpful support ideas because you're getting them from others who probably live close to where you do.

Just a thought...

kydevildogmark
09-21-2011, 03:08 PM
Dirk Sorry. I was laughing to myself over your name. On a radio show I listen to in the morning. There is a guy that calls in and he is in a fictional band called Dirt Knuckle.The guy is hilarious. Sorry about the mis-spelling, and thanks for the help. I have a storage building in the back part of my yard that I am serious considering putting a breaker box in and making it command central.

dirknerkle
09-21-2011, 03:15 PM
Dirk Sorry. I was laughing to myself over your name. On a radio show I listen to in the morning. There is a guy that calls in and he is in a fictional band called Dirt Knuckle.The guy is hilarious. Sorry about the mis-spelling, and thanks for the help. I have a storage building in the back part of my yard that I am serious considering putting a breaker box in and making it command central.

Not a problem -- I thought it was hilarious!!!

You should get to know kychristmas, if you don't already. Kelly is an awesomely creative guy, a fellow Kentuckian to you, and knows all (but tells only some!) :lol:

budude
09-21-2011, 03:43 PM
We've called him much worse than that - so no worries! ;)

ChiefWarrant
09-21-2011, 05:01 PM
. I have a storage building in the back part of my yard that I am serious considering putting a breaker box in and making it command central.

That is what I did. Got a 30 Amp breaker and outlet. I then run everything out to a distribution box.

lineman
09-22-2011, 01:53 PM
Try googling spider boxes, I made my own put it would let you hook to 1 breaker and on the box can be mutiple outlets keeping in mind your load