Sometimes, you just need an extra outlet. Whether you’re trying to charge a device or gain some extra lighting, the first thought that usually crosses your mind is to grab an extension cord. Unfortunately, in more cases than we would like to see, homeowners are using extension cords incorrectly, which can cause several serious situations, like increased risk of shorts, fire hazards, and so much more.
Here are the top five wrong ways we’re seeing that people are using extension cords wrong:
The Wrong Size
Extension cords come in all shapes and sizes. While it may seem that these are more adaptable, different sizes are also indicators of the performance capacity of each extension cord. Each cord has a gauge that measures its size; a smaller gauge number indicates a larger wire. Large wires can safely transfer a higher electrical current. Likewise, longer cords aren’t able to handle as much current as a stronger cord that has the same gauge.
The Wrong Type
It’s best to buy the appropriate extension cord for your project: outdoor extension cords should be used for outdoor projects, because can withstand the elements. When you want to plug in appliances, choose round, thick, low-gauge extension cords, as they will allow for the best performance. Thin or flat cords of varying gauges are acceptable options for small appliances and electronics.
The Wrong Care
Certain habits can damage your extension cord and increase the risk of problems. When extension cords are in use, make sure they lay flat. Cords shouldn’t be coiled, bent, or twisted. Make sure that cords aren’t placed under rugs or furniture, and never adhere an extension cord to the floor or walls with nails or staples.
The Wrong Treatment
One bad habit we’ve seen is the removal of the grounding pin from a three-prong extension cord so that the cord fits in a two-prong outlet. Without the grounding pin on the ground, you’ll be more likely get sudden shocks. This can be from an appliance and electrical parts inside the chassis. It can become loose or move out of place and short-circuit the current. While both two-prong and three-prong extension cords are safe, removing components never is.
The Wrong Use
Attaching multiple cords together, or powering multiple appliances with one cord can cause a safety hazard. Make sure to always unplug unused extension cords. Use the plug to disconnect the extension cord. Remember that extension cords are only a temporary solution.
Give us a call today and we can help you decide if you need a permanent answer.