Extension Cords

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Extension Cords

Extension cords can make life easier for homeowners, especially the busy and handy ones. They provide the flexibility to bring power to where it's needed, both indoors and outdoors, freeing you from dependency on your home's electrical outlets when working on a project. However, when it comes to using electric devices, you should always consider the safety aspects and buy the right cord for the job!


Most people put very little thought into when buying an extension cord, but it's really important to buy the right size and capacity for the intended usage to avoid any serious hazards. For example, an indoor extension cord cannot be used outdoors, but an outdoor extension cord can be used indoors.


We have put together the important points to consider when buying an extension cord, including how to select the right size and type. As extension cords come in different sizes and models, it's important to keep in mind two main things: the cord's electric load capacity and its ability to efficiently transmit the electrical current. To know if the cord has the needed capacity, you will need to look at the gauge and the length of the cord.


The Wire Gauge

The wire gauge refers to the thickness of the cord, the diameter more exactly, and this determines how much current it can carry and how much heat it can handle because of friction. The length of the cord will also impact the amount of power lost through wire resistance.


You measure the wire gauge in American Wire Gauge (AWG), expressed by a number. The lower the number, the thicker the cord and the bigger the gauge (and the amperage/wattage). Common household extension cables come in gauges between 16-10, meaning 16 has a small capacity and 10 is bigger.


Picking the Right Extension Cord 

This means that when buying a longer extension cord, you need to look for better capacity, meaning a lower gauge, especially when you are planning on using a motor-driven appliance, as running the motor on too low voltage can permanently damage it. The light-duty cords should be used for smaller devices such as lamps and clocks.


Now, how to use this knowledge when buying your extension cord? The rating of the extension cords is based on how many amps or watts they can carry safely. When buying your extension cords, always choose one that is rated for at least the total amount of amps or watts of the devices that it will power. As an undersized extension cord can overheat and become a safety threat. For all our safety equipment, visit our Safety and Security page.


When dealing with Cables, WiFi, and Media Accessories, as well as Outlet Strips and Timers , and ensuring your devices stay powered with batteries , it is important to ensure you have the right extension cord for your electronic devices to function safely and effectively.