Picking an extension cord

Life is Like an Extension Cord

What kind of extension cord should be used outdoors? (Photo Credits)

There are different types of extension cord and it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for the home. There too are a lot of considerations that should be taken into account when buying one. This is because each type of extension cord comes with a purpose, and safety features meant to prevent possible problems during use.

State Farm came up with a guide on selecting the right extension cord for both outdoor and indoor use. This so that their clients can familiarize themselves with the different types of cords, and avoid accidents such as electrical fires. Build Safe    

“Purchase only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use. Read the instructions (if available) for information about the cord’s correct use and the amount of power it draws. Select cords that are rated to handle the wattage of the devices with which they’ll be used. A cord’s gauge indicates its size: The smaller the number, the larger the wire and the more electrical current the cord can safely handle. Also consider the length you’ll need. Longer cords can’t handle as much current as shorter cords of the same gauge. Choose cords with polarized or three-prong plugs.”

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What to use for specific appliances

Technology Blog Gizmodo came up with a list of commonly used household appliances and electronics that may be plugged into an extension cord. With the list came their recommendations on the kind of extension cord to utilize. Electrician

“Table lamp. Use an 18-gauge, two-prong, light-duty extension cord. It can handle up to 7 amps up to 25 feet—perfect for discreetly running to a nightstand from the outlet behind the bed. A retractable cord, like this one from TV Time Direct, cuts down on clutter. Laptop computer. A 14-gauge, three-prong, medium-duty cord is a general-purpose tool ideal for powering small household appliances, like a laptop. Treadmill. Treadmill manufacturers generally discourage the use of an extension cord with the product. But if you can’t move your exercise equipment closer to the outlet, go with a cord made specifically for treadmills—like the 9-foot Treadcord.”

Read the whole list here.

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Lowe’s meanwhile came up with tips on how to use extension power cords safely. They emphasized that extension cord use comes with safety risks so safety measures should be observed.

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“Match your cord to the work environment, whether indoor or outdoor. Outdoor-rated cords have durable covers to protect from weather and damage. You can use an outdoor-rated extension cord inside; however, using indoor power cords outside could lead to overheating or exposure to moisture. Make sure the number of prongs (two or three) fit the outlet you’ll be using. Some specialty plugs are available, such as extension cords for receptacles on RVs. Check the tool you’ll be using before you go shopping to avoid extra trips.”

The continuation of the tips can be found here.

Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis. If it has to be used regularly then that indicates that the outlets available are not enough. Get in touch with a licensed electrician contractor to address the matter.

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Gforce Electrical Repair San Diego

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