8

I am trying to combine my clock cord and my lamp cord into one so that I only have to plug one thing into the power outlet. Would it be OK to splice them to a single plug?

  • 3
    Use a power strip... – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Dec 3 '16 at 17:48
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    You should only do this if you know what you're doing. And if you know what you're doing, you wouldn't do this. Where I live, a four-socket power strip costs about $3. – Dawood ibn Kareem Dec 4 '16 at 0:07
21

What you are proposing is unsafe and unnecessary. Use one of these: cube tap It's called a cube tap. This will be much safer than an amateur cord splice.

  • 1
    your suggestion is almost as unsafe as the original posters scary plan !!! Cube Taps have been proven to be prone to overloading and over heating. The correct answer is to use an extension strip. Cube Taps / Multi-plug adapters are only intended for short-term temporary use, not long term ! See here for example.... docs.healthandsafetyhub.co.uk/GBM/Alerts/… – Little Code Dec 3 '16 at 12:59
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    @LittleCode Although you may be right in general, the original question was about an alarm clock and a lamp, which generally are pretty low-power items. – Daniel Griscom Dec 3 '16 at 14:41
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    @LittleCode If the socket will not handle the weight of cube tap then you are already living in a time bomb. – paparazzo Dec 3 '16 at 23:54
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    If the cube tap is of reasonable quality then it will not add to the existing dangers of a crappy outlet or any frayed cords and broken plugs on the clock and lamp. - The key to appliance safety lies not in the choice between cube tap, multi-plug, or power strip. Safety results from making sure that all your equipment is good enough for its purpose, and not loose, burnt, or broken. – A. I. Breveleri Dec 4 '16 at 5:06
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    If OP had asked how to plug his microwave, toaster, and percolator into the 15A drop cord in his attic, I would have given a different answer. – A. I. Breveleri Dec 4 '16 at 5:23
18

Electrically, no problem: splice away. Both clock and lamp will work fine.

Safety-wise, you really shouldn't do that. It would be easy to end up with a cord that could be pulled apart, leaving house voltage exposed and ready to make your life overly interesting. And, the plugs may be polarized to ensure that the "hot" side of the outlet connects to the right part of the lamp or clock; if so, it would be easy for you to get this flipped around, leaving the lamp socket invisibly energized even when its switch was turned off.

It would be far better to buy an outlet tap or strip so you have more places to plug your lamp, clock and other items into.

  • I'd get my toe caught in the Y where the two cords join. Pull both lamp and clock off the table, and probably electrocute myself when the bad tape job around the splice failed. – Wayfaring Stranger Dec 3 '16 at 22:38
  • I agree, code violation and unnecessary since a $3 extension cord will do exactly what he wants. If he happens to have someone in city government over for dinner and he tells the electrical inspector, HIS next question will be "what ELSE have you done?" – Harper Dec 5 '16 at 18:51
4

You're proposing an unsafe mod that is at best short-sighted. Use an extension cord. This has the advantage that it's designed for the purpose, and you can separate your clock and lamp later if you so desire. Best of luck.

1

"Safety" here will be the key of your work. I assume, that you do not intend to use any of the other possibilities, and combining the power cords is the only option you pursue. If possible, make a photo of each device and how they are located, this might help to improve my tips, and here they go:

  1. Since you are asking such a question, I assume that you are not very experienced. Thus: before starting any modding with electrical devices: tell somebody that you are going to do it, and where. And ask them to check on you every few minutes.
  2. Don't use (electric) tapes. They are ugly, and only good for temporary solutions. Use shrink tubing instead.
  3. "Twisting" of wires is only good as a temporary solution. Solder them instead.
  4. If you don't know how shrink tubing or soldering works: leave it to somebody else.
  5. Use a safe environment with circuit breakers for testing your mod, before using it in your house. Check if the cables get warm (or even hot) - they should not. (Leave them plugged in for 2-3h and check every 20 minutes or so).
  6. If you want to connect the cables at the plug: buy a good plug, where you would be able to pin two wires into one connector. Probably one, which would have two channels for the cables, If not: drill a hole of appropriate size, so that your second cable will move in under high pressure. If it should be loose: apply hot glue or similar.
  7. If you want that one of the devices should be connected to the other: decide which goes first, drill a hole in it, then continue as above.
  8. If you want to connect the cables somewhere in the middle (which I do not recommend), empty the part of the cables where you want them to connect out. Prepare your insulation (shrink tubes, or fluid insulation), solder the cables and insulate.
0

Yep it can be done! Make sure as you separate the wires of the clock/lamp notice the one with the groves in it. Those are your hot wires. Twist both them together, wire nut then tape ( electric tape ) then twist cap and tape your two smooth ( neutral )_wires.

  • 1
    Polarity wise your text is reversed. The conductor marked with a rib or ribs would go to the wide blade of a male plug, which is neutral. The unmarked conductor goes to the narrow blade which is the hot (or ungrounded) conductor. – Tyson Dec 3 '16 at 15:12
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    Use this sweetwater.com/store/detail/… – Jim Stewart Dec 3 '16 at 17:04

protected by Niall C. Dec 4 '16 at 15:46

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