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Guide to Extension Cords

Extension Cord : What is it?

Extension Cords

Extension cords, also known as power extenders or extension leads, are electrical power cables designed to provide extension from a power outlet distant from the electrical device to be operated. They typically consist of a plug on one end and several sockets on the other end. They are thick and flexible, allowing them to run under and over tables or pass through doors and windows without posing hazards. They are commonly used at home and in the office where power outlets can be limited or inaccessible. 

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Types of Extension Cords

Extension CordsExtension Cords

Kinds of Extension Cords include the following:

Two-wire extension cords

  • Two-wire extension cords are intended for small appliances and double insulated devices. They should not be used for power tools, as they cannot hold the power they generate.
  • They usually measure 10 to 100 feet.
  • Most models have thick and insulated coverings that reduce cord stress and trip hazards.
  • Some models are made with locks to make them difficult for children to unplug.
  • They are lightweight and portable.
  • They can be used outdoors and in travels.

Three-wire extension cords

  • Three-wire extension cords are intended for electric power tools and outdoor appliances.
  • They can support high-power generation.
  • They are made with a third wire that is usually grounded. Hence, they should not be plugged into ungrounded electrical outlets.
  • They usually measure 10 to 100 feet.
  • Most models have thick and insulated coverings that reduce cord stress and trip hazards.
  • They are commonly used in construction sites where power tools and heavy appliances are used.

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Choosing Extension Cords (Buying tips)

Safety features: Choose an extension cord with safety features such as grounded terminals, a polarized plug, a power indicator, or a residual-current device to prevent electrical-related accidents.

Thickness:
For supplying more power, choose a thicker extension cord. This type of extension cord is ideal for outdoors.

Usage: For industrial applications, choose an extension cord designed for hard or extra hard use. It should have an “outdoor” or “WA” label on the cord jacket.

Safety information

Do not substitute an extension cord for permanent wiring.
When disconnecting an extension cord, pull the plug, not the cord. Constantly pulling the cord can cause the end to fray and loosen.

Check your extension cord regularly for physical damages such as cuts or cracks. If you notice any damage, have it repaired immediately or replace it with a new one.
 
Avoid plugging one cord to another cord to make a longer extension, as it reduces the operating voltage and the efficiency of your electrical devices.

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