I have a hot water recirculation pump installed near the water heater that is located in the garage which provides instant hot water via dedicated 1/2" copper pipes. Although I have a timer that turns the pump on at different times of the day, the pump is not always running when we want hot water. This is most needed at the kitchen sink as it is the furthest tap from the water heater and without the pump running, we are wasting water for over a minute before hot water is available! Since the bathrooms are located in close proximity to the water heater, instant hot water via the recirculation pump is not really that beneficial.

I'm considering running an extension cord from the location of the water recirculation pump in the garage, down under the house and up into the kitchen sink cabinet and plugging into a plug strip that is powered by the 15A outlet under the sink. Whenever there is a need for hot water, we can simply flip on the power to the plug strip to activate the recirculation pump.

Are there any electrical codes that I might be violating in doing this?

  • Perhaps you can replace the timer with a remotely controlled appliance switch. There are several versions on the market that could work.
    – mrog
    Jun 29, 2018 at 18:52
  • What does this pump accomplish? It either periodically pushes around luke warm water, or it calls for hot when no one's home - defeating the point of having on-demand HW. If you have to stop and turn a switch on, why not just run the water? You're just trying to be eco-friendly? I'm not sure a re-circ helps you there... Perhaps use a point-of-use heater under the sink? And insulate your pipes.
    – Mazura
    Jun 30, 2018 at 1:03
  • mrog, I think using a remotely controlled appliance switch is an excellent idea! After researching, there are "wireless remote" outlet plugs and "wi-fi" plugs that can be used with an App on one's smartphone or even Alexa. I'm leaning towards the wi-fi version as I'm concerned that the wireless remote style might not penetrate the garage wall where the recirculating pump is located! If anyone can verify this as being an issue I would really appreciate it! Also, any recommendations of a particular product on the market would also be greatly appreciated!
    – Grant
    Jun 30, 2018 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


Hi grant welcome to stackexchange. I don't what part of the world you are in but if you are in the US. No you can't do what you are suggesting. I haven't had time to figure out how many code violations are involved, but I will start with the fact that you cannot pass an extension cord through a wall or partition. So let's just say NEC Article 400 in particular 400.12 Uses not permitted pretty much covers why you can't or shouldn't do it.

You might want to bone up on this article before attempting any extension cord additions to your dwelling.

Good luck.

  • I agree that a cord is not the way to go +. But if on the same circuit a x10 or other newer remote device could be used.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 1, 2018 at 22:06

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