'Convenience' - there's something about this word that we love. Lazy lads, couch potatoes, and the most active individuals also appreciate if they get what they want without having to move. And if inanimate objects offer this kind of services, even better! Extension Power Cords befall into this category. They're not glamorous or interesting at all. However, when it comes to connecting your devices with the power sources far away, they seem to be a real blessing!
Whether you want to light up your house for the upcoming festive season or connect your television to an outlet in the other room, extension cords always come to your rescue. Well, as useful as these power cords are, they also have some drawbacks. If they make your devices overwork or create a fire hazard, things can get quite dangerous. Also, as these cords are long, people of a busy household can stumble and fall creating further injuries. You must be aware of how to use these cords. But, you must also know where you SHOULDN'T use them. This article will acquaint you with the same.
Most of the electrical conductors have a threshold to resistance. This resistance increases if the length of the conductor is more. When it comes to extension cords, if the voltage drops during the service end, it might not suffice to run the tool you use. It might operate at a slow and feeble pace and eventually overheat and burn out. If you do not want this phenomenon to damage your devices in a long run, beware of voltage drops.
The Cord Chaos
Tangles and knots are common even with wires of an earphone. So, it would be surprising if you could use a 100 feet extension cord without untangling it. The best way to avoid it would be wrapping the cord around a reel whenever you use it. But even if you do that sometimes, you might find the cord loosely hanging on a nail or lying across the floor. One more problem with a long extension cord is that it is vulnerable to damage given the length and area it covers. If the extension cord is damaged, it can cause fire hazards.
The name 'extension' power cords itself reveals its ability to extend. However, even if you think that they can always do what they're supposed to do, there are times when you should refrain from using them. This depends on the distance and how far the appliance is. Usually, the thicker the cord is, the longer its length is (length of 150 for the thickest cord).
You will rarely see light duty extension cords that are longer than 25 feet. This is because the voltage drops down before reaching the appliance. Result? The device doesn't get enough power and will cause safety issues. This is one of the major reasons why using daisy-chain extension cords is a bad idea. Also, it is better not to install the extension power cords inside the walls as they're unshielded and non-resistant to heat.
It is not a good idea to use extension cords for powering high wattage applications like a hair dryer or a space heater. And several appliance manufacturers are against it as you might end up using the extension cord which electric bodies have not rated based on the appliance power. If you use the right cord, you will never face such issues.
Let's say your space heater pulls 15 amps. In this case, you will need an extension cord which can cope with 15 amps. So, you will end up buying at least a 14-gauge extension cord and sometimes cords with 11 or 12 gauge too. It is better to avoid using a light-duty extension cord which does not have the ratings for the power draw that heaters need.
Make sure you have an apt amount of knowledge about power cords and their ratings before you start using them. If you don't, it's better to seek help and suggestions of professionals. There are several companies that provide extension cords online at cost-effective rates. Ensure that you buy standardized ones for your purposes.