You cannot always have all your gadgets close to the electric outlets. At times, you’ll need to take power outdoors for some activities like welding, drilling, and more. In the same way, you’ll need some extension cords for indoor activities, connecting your indoor gadgets to the power.
By HAROLD CAMAYA
Many homes have electric cords that run from one point to another. However, not every extension cord is suitable for any gadget. Ensure the extension you’re using is compatible with the device in terms of the amount of power it delivers.
Below are some of the things to consider when choosing an extension cord for any usage.
Before purchasing an extension cord, you should consider where and for what purpose you want to use it. You can use the outdoor extension cord indoors but never the other way round.
For outdoor, you need extensions with more robust jackets to withstand the harsh weather outside. It would help if you also considered the flexibility of the cords based on the same note. If you are looking for indoor extension cords, flexible wires can give you better service around the house.
When buying an extension cord, you should buy a longer one that you think you’d need. These electric wires are often not used in fixed places; instead, you can shift from one couch to another, one position outside to another. Buying longer extensions can be a good idea.
Besides, buying longer cords will help you avoid the situation where you need to combine multiple lines, which adds electric resistance, thus, reducing the voltage. In this matter, some appliances may fail to get enough power. Joining many cords can also cause fires by creating heat build-up leading to one cord melting.
Too long cords (over 100 feet) can simultaneously pose a challenge in terms of power voltage. The longer the cable, the higher the electric resistance, and the more the voltage lost. In this case, the gadgets you are using will get little power and make your work inconvenient. Therefore, don’t get too long cords also.
Consider the Cord Thickness
Despite the cord length, the thickness of the electric wire used, that is, inside the extension matters. Thicker wires are capable of carrying more power for longer distances. Thoughtfully, any extension wires in the stores possess the minimum requirements; they can have enough energy for lighter duties.
When heavy duties like drilling, vacuum cleaning, or sawing are concerned, the machines cannot run given the minimum power. Therefore when buying extension cords, you should check the thickness of the wires to ensure they can serve the purpose well.
Consider Jacket Strength
Electric extensions are made of metallic wires, mainly copper or aluminum, and are insulated using plastic or woven nylon. The insulator is what is known as the jacket. For outdoor extension cords, heavy-duty plastics, vinyl, or rubber are used as insulators to protect the wires from the harsh environmental conditions present outside.
If you want to find the most appropriate extension, each cord is identifiable with specific letters. You should know what each letter stands for to find what suits your purpose. For instance, S shows the cable is flexible and suitable for general use. W means the cord is for outdoor use, P indicates the wires are parallel and is ideal for air conditioners, household cords, and many more.
If you are not familiar, you should ask for help in the store before purchasing them to ensure you find the most appropriate for your intended purpose.
Type of Plug and Socket
Any extension cord has a plug on one end and a socket on the other end. For the pin, an extension cord can have two or three prongs. The third prong indicates that the cable is grounded, a characteristic of heavy-duty extensions. Meaning, the third prong is a requirement if you are buying extensions for heavy appliances.
On the other end, extensions come with two more sockets where you can plug in the appliances. If the cord has multiple sockets, it means you can power several devices at the same time. However, make sure the electronics do not require higher wattage than the cord can offer.
On the same note, the sockets can be two or three-slotted. For three slots, you can use them with appliances whose cords have two prongs but not three prongs but not vice versa. Therefore, when buying the extension, you should ensure you understand how your devices work.
Handling electric appliances can be more dangerous than you think. Therefore, you should ensure you get the right extensions to use with your devices to avoid accidents and even deaths. On the same note, find a qualified electrician to help you select the best cords and fix any other problem associated with electricity.