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Is it safe to splice these two power cords?

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by davincim, Dec 16, 2020.

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  1. davincim


    Dec 16, 2020
    I'm rather new to electronics, so I'm seeking advice to make sure I'm doing this right. Forgive me if adding links is not appropriate here, but I'm including them to provide the details of what I'm working with.

    I am building a project that involves a Tetra Whisper air pump (120 volts), led light strips and an AC/DC 120 volt power supply. The air pump has its own plug and the led light strips are powered by the power supply which of course has its own plug.

    I have some soldering experience and a little experience cutting and putting wires together. Is it appropriate/safe to splice the cords of these two plugs together so that it all works from just one plug?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    In Aus it would be a BIG no-no.
    Other countries, who knows.
    davenn likes this.
  3. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    Please don't.
    Technically this would work, but the usual mains plugs are not designed to connect to more than one wire. Trying to connect two wires will result in a bad connection, worse if the wire diameters don't match. You then run the risk of one or both wires becoming lose and possibly creating a short circuit.

    The easiest way for a layman is to use an extension cord with multiple sockets to plug in both the original plugs.

    The second best method, assuming you have only one mains outlet and can't use an extension cord, is a distribution box with one cable from the box to the mains plug and two cables from the box to the pump and the lights. This will require some connections within the distribution box.

    From your question I take it that you are not experienced with that stuff. I therefore strongly recommend you use an off the shelf extension cord. This bears the least risk. If you want to go for the distribution box, observe the local electric code (rules) for using such and ideally get help from an electrician.
    TCSC47 and davenn like this.
  4. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

    Aug 11, 2014
    I disagree. It would work, but it violates several electrical codes.
    If this is near the water of a fish tank it makes it even scarier given the line voltages.

    I do agree a listed extension cord is best, but if you are insisting on splicing it, leave the 120v pump and power adapter near the outlet and splice the low voltage cable using heat shrink tubing to insulate and then run the airline with it.

    If soldering a connection make a mechanical connection beforehand. In other words, don't rely on solder for the connection because it can blow out if there's a short.
  5. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    Nov 8, 2019
    Harald Kapp likes this.
  6. davincim


    Dec 16, 2020
    Thanks everyone! This is great advice. These are gifts I'm making and I didn't want to be the reason they caused any harm. I particularly like the extension cord idea. Simple and effective.

    Thanks again!
    davenn likes this.
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