Extension Cord Safety Tips
When using extension cords in your home, it is important to follow some basic safety guidelines. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about extension cord use. We will cover topics such as how to choose the right cord for your needs, how to avoid overloading circuits, and how to safely store cords when they are not in use. By following these simple tips, you can keep your family safe and avoid costly electrical repairs!
How to Choose the Right Extension Cord
Choosing the right extension cord can be tricky. There are a few key factors to consider when selecting an extension cord. Firstly, you should identify what type of appliance or tool you need to connect the extension cord to and the power requirements necessary. Then, check the length of cable that is needed for the job, as this will determine the gauge thickness of your cord. After that, look for safety features like insulation, weather-resistant covering, and durable materials for long-term use. Finally, look for cords with additional outlets if more than one tool needs to be connected at once.
How to Store Extension Cords
Properly storing extension cords helps ensure they stay in good condition and are safe to use. To store your extension cord, begin by unplugging it from the outlet or tool it was connected to. Then, wind the cord up loosely, being careful not to kink or twist it – we recommend using the “over-under” method as it prevents damage to the cable and makes it easier to unroll when you need it next. You can also use cord clips for an organized solution. Avoid storing extended cords in extreme temperatures, and keep them away from any materials that could cause a fire hazard. Finally, don’t forget to check your extension cords periodically for any damage before using them again. Storing your cords properly will help you get the most out of them for years to come.
Can You Plug an Extension Cord into a Power Strip?
Yes, you can plug an extension cord into a power strip. However, it is important to be mindful of the total wattage or amperage output of your devices and the power strip to make sure that none of them are overloaded. For example, if a device with a high wattage rating is plugged into a lower-wattage power strip, you risk overloading the power strip and potentially causing a fire. It is also important to use only one extension cord per outlet. Remember that power strips are not made for long-term use, so if your setup requires more than one or two cords, it may be best to install additional outlets instead.
What Gauge Extension Cord do I Need?
Extension cords come in various gauge sizes, which refers to the thickness of the wire inside. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the cord. Lower gauge cords are typically used for higher-wattage appliances and tools, as they can safely withstand more current. Thicker gauges also allow for longer cable lengths, making them a better choice when connecting equipment far away from an outlet. On the other hand, smaller gauge cords should be used for lower-wattage devices that require less power and are positioned close to outlets. Knowing what type of device you will be using and how far away it is from a power source will help you determine which gauge extension cord to use.
Can I Bury an Extension Cord?
Burying an extension cord is never recommended, as it can be dangerous and cause damage to the cord. Buried cords are at risk of becoming pinched between rocks or cut by a shovel. In addition, buried cords can corrode quickly due to moisture accumulation in the soil, which can lead to shorts or fraying of insulation. Buried cords may also become impossible to find should you need to replace them. When using extension cords outdoors, they should always be securely fastened up off the ground instead of buried.
Can You Plug a Heater Into an Extension Cord?
In most cases, no. Most extension cords do not have the wattage or amperage capacity to safely support a heater. This is because heaters typically draw more current than many other appliances, and most extension cords are only rated for up to 15 or 20 amps of electrical power. If you must use an extension cord with a heater, be sure to use a heavy-duty cord that is specifically rated for the wattage and amps of the heater. It is also important to make sure the cords you are using do not exceed the maximum wattage or amperage rating allowed by your outlet. Never attempt to use an extension cord with a space heater, as this can be extremely dangerous.
Why are Male to Male Extension Cords Dangerous?
Male-to-Male extension cords are dangerous because they create a short circuit when plugged into each other. This occurs because both of the male plugs have exposed metal contacts that contact each other, thus creating an electrical path for current to flow. When this happens, it can cause sparks and even fires as the power source is overloaded. To avoid this hazard, make sure to use standard Male-to-Female extension cords instead. Any electrician who values your safety will never create a male-to-male cable for you.
What Are Some Common Extension Cord Safety Tips?
Extension cords should be used safely to reduce the risk of electric shock and fire. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using extension cords:
- Don’t plug one extension cord into another (also known as “daisy chaining”). This could cause an overload on the circuit.
- Never run extension cords through walls or ceilings, as this could cause a fire hazard.
- Make sure the wattage rating of your cord matches the wattage of your appliance or tool so that it won’t be overloaded.
- Don’t run extension cords under carpets, rugs, or in high-traffic areas.
- Always unplug the cord after use and store it properly when it is not in use.
By following these simple safety tips, you can keep your home safe and avoid dangerous accidents.
Tidal Electrical Services Can Help
If you still have any questions about extension cords or need new outlets installed, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tidal Electrical Services. Our experienced team of professionals can provide valuable advice and help ensure that your electrical system is safe and up-to-date. We look forward to hearing from you!