I just moved and from electrical outlet to the road it is roughly 180 feet. In order to clear my driveway with an electric blower I plug in 2 100 ft exterior extension cords. Is it safe for me to do this consistently (meaning 2 - 3 times a week)?

Is there a better option that I could do in order to be able to span that distance?

These are the extension cords Extension Cords

This is the blower I use Blower

And the outlet is a GFCI outlet

  • What gauge are the cords, and how much current does your blower pull? Also, how much of that distance is along the driveway? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 18 '17 at 3:43
  • @ThreePhaseEel - see edit, let me know if that helps – StarsFlyFree FromCozyNights Jan 18 '17 at 3:48
  • A gas powered blower would solve the problem, is that not an option? – Tester101 Jan 18 '17 at 11:37
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    If you read the specifications section on the link you provided for the blower, it says "Required extension cord rating 14 gauge". You're using two 100 ft. 16 gauge cords. Do the cords get warm/hot? – Tester101 Jan 18 '17 at 11:41
  • @Tester101 - good catch, I did not see that. They do not get warm/hot at all. I will upgrade to a gas blower, I just wanted to make sure I was not going to spark a fire doing this for 3 - 4 more times :D – StarsFlyFree FromCozyNights Jan 18 '17 at 13:00

If your outlet is GFCI protected this is the first part of doing it safe, with 180' of extension cord you will need to use heavy duty cords some cords use 16 awg wire and at this length with a small or light cord there can be excessive voltage drop causing the blower to over heat and possibly trip the breaker. With a heavy gauge cord like 12awg it would be fine and possibly ok with a 14 awg cord but the size of the blower would be needed to know. With a GFCI and heavy cord it will be safe.

  • see my edit. I think I answered the "unknowns" you were after – StarsFlyFree FromCozyNights Jan 18 '17 at 3:49
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    I'd go with a 10awg cord -- you'd expect voltage drop of about 6 volts, which shouldn't strain the blower too badly. (12awg would be about 10 volts drop, which is starting to be worrisome.) All this assumes the listing for the blower is accurate about 12A draw. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jan 18 '17 at 5:38
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    And if the thought of spending >$200 on adequate extension cords makes you pause, there are battery and gas powered blowers out there... – Aloysius Defenestrate Jan 18 '17 at 5:42
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate - yeah I think I will go the route of a gas powered blower. I think my current set-up will work for another week until I can locate a good gas locally. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to burn the new place down from doing this. – StarsFlyFree FromCozyNights Jan 18 '17 at 12:59
  • Certainly won't burn the house down... the motor on the blower will hate you in the short term, though. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jan 18 '17 at 14:58

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