Residential Electrical System: Considerations for Extension Cord Selection

Extension cords are almost indispensable in homes because they allow easy access to power when the main outlet is out of reach. Moreover, you can plug multiple devices and appliances to the same socket with ease. On the other hand, these power cords pose a significant threat to electrical safety. In simple terms, extensions can be prone to power overload and overheating, which might lead to structural fires. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right cord for your home for ideal long-term functions and optimal safety. Here are the primary considerations to help you in extension cord selection.

Power Rating

The power rating is the most important factor to evaluate when you are shopping for an extension cord. If the appliances or devices connected draw more electrical power than the rating of the product, the cord and the connected items might overheat. Therefore, you should calculate the power requirements of the products that you plan to plug into the strip. Typically, the wattage is included in the pertinent manuals or on the appliance's data plate. You should also note that the larger or thicker extension cords can handle more power than thinner alternatives. In addition, shorter cords can handle higher electrical loads than longer ones of the same size.

Potential Usage Environment

You should assess the conditions to which the extension cord will be utilised before making your purchase. Basically, all extension cords have a protective jacket to safeguard the internal wires, but their performance will vary significantly, depending on their intended applications. Therefore, check the specifications for your preferred cords. If you are planning on using the power cord in the outdoors, you should ensure it is rated for this type of use. In general, outdoor cords can be used anywhere, but you risk fires and shock if you use an indoor type outside. If you will be using the cord in a grease prone area like the garage, consider selecting oil resistant products. There are also cords with properties such as flame retardant characteristics, high temperature resistance and high flexibility.

General Performance Features

The general performance features incorporated into the extension cord will affect the practical functionality and determine your user experience. Therefore, you should compare the different features before making your decision. Check the simple but critical aspects such as the number of power strip sockets, light indicator and the type of prongs. If you plan to use the item in a wet area, ensure that it has a built-in GFCI for your personal safety.

About Me

DIY Electrical Work: Easy Repairs, Simple Projects and More

Whether you are an avid DIY fan who wants to learn more, a parent who wants to teach your child about electricity or anyone else interested in learning about electricity, this blog is for you. Hi, my name is Peter, and I apprenticed as an electrician when I was quite young. Unfortunately, a series of layoffs caused me to leave my job and pursue work in another industry. I love what I do now (trucking) because it allows me to see so much of the country, but I still like to dabble with electricity. This blog is devoted to electrical DIY tips and more. I hope it helps you, and you enjoy it.