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Old 10-07-2016, 02:03 PM
 
54 posts, read 163,083 times
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I went to go plug something in at my elderly mother's house and found this. She's old and cannot remember who installed this, but by the fasteners attached to the walls, I know an outside person installed this. It is a cord that is plugged into one outlet and then simply runs to another outlet. One outlet is a two-prong outlet and the other is a three-prong. I have attached pictures. Anyone have any idea what this is for?
Attached Thumbnails
Question on strange power cord - outlet to outlet-2-prong-plug.jpg   Question on strange power cord - outlet to outlet-3-prong-plug.jpg  
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Old 10-07-2016, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,565 posts, read 14,180,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman45 View Post
I went to go plug something in at my elderly mother's house and found this. She's old and cannot remember who installed this, but by the fasteners attached to the walls, I know an outside person installed this. It is a cord that is plugged into one outlet and then simply runs to another outlet. One outlet is a two-prong outlet and the other is a three-prong. I have attached pictures. Anyone have any idea what this is for?
I don't know why the cord goes from outlet to outlet. But the type of plug used was supposed to lie flat against the wall, I think. I haven't seen one of those in a long time.
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:32 PM
 
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I'll bet that one of those 2 outlets will be dead if you should unplug one end. Easy way to "add" an outlet without having to pull wire through the wall, fast to do as well though I can't imagine it's Legal (and where the heck do you buy dual-male cords?)
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:15 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,192 posts, read 8,314,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
I'll bet that one of those 2 outlets will be dead if you should unplug one end. Easy way to "add" an outlet without having to pull wire through the wall, fast to do as well though I can't imagine it's Legal (and where the heck do you buy dual-male cords?)
My surmise is that it is 2 extension cords, with their outlets end cut off, spliced together. Note that both ends still have a safety notice attached.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Woods-Wir...-Cord/22059774

Also surmise that this is bridging a fault in the wiring in the wall between the 2 outlets, or in the boxes, and keeps other downstream outlets hot.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:53 AM
 
3,119 posts, read 1,257,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed303 View Post
My surmise is that it is 2 extension cords, with their outlets end cut off, spliced together. Note that both ends still have a safety notice attached.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Woods-Wir...-Cord/22059774

Also surmise that this is bridging a fault in the wiring in the wall between the 2 outlets, or in the boxes, and keeps other downstream outlets hot.
This would be my guess also, it's not only mickey mouse, but illegal and unsafe. It would way overload the circuit.
Get an electrician and have it fixed correctly before granny goes up in flames. It may just be a tripped breaker, or something else just as simple...
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:37 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Yes, most likely a quick and dirty way to create a new outlet or fix a dead one. Definitely not to code. Such cords can easily be made from parts, I have never seen one sold that way. They are also used for power outages, when a generator is connected to an outlet, but it's very dangerous if the house main is not shut off when the city power comes back on. It would also require a heavier Guage wire for that.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
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I agree. Either to bridge a gap or add a receptacle without running wires. If to add a receptacle, then that addition would not be wired into the system.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:50 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the heads up. Taking care of it right away.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,415 posts, read 62,641,511 times
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If the receiving outlet is disconnected form the in wall wiring that apparently does not work, this set up is basically making the wall outlet into an extension cord receptacle. That is a Piano wire cord, so it cannot carry a lot of power without getting hot. However it is not really different than having a piano wire extension cord lying on the floor. Do not plug anything major into it, but somehting like a radio is fine. Something that heats up or has a motor should never be plugged into wire that light.

Of course that is assuming the bad wiring has been disconnected form the outlet. If not, then putting a charge into that outlet is feeding electricity back into the bad wiring and could create a short or even a fire.

This is a billy bob solution but it can work as long as:

1. The house wiring is disconnected from the outlet and capped - easy to check and easy to correct if not;

2. The defective house wiring is not hot (i.e. the breaker is tripped, or better yet, the wire is disconnected at the box and capped); and

3. Nothing is ever plugged into that outlet that you would not plug into a piano wire extension cord (i.e. Only very low draw items like a radio or cell phone charger.)
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Finally the house is done and we are in Port St. Lucie!
3,488 posts, read 2,047,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman45 View Post
Thanks everyone for the heads up. Taking care of it right away.
Excellent!

Please let us know what the electrician ultimately discovers about this setup.
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