Extension cords are power cords that are greater in length and are used to supply a piece of electrical equipment with electrical energy from a power source that is located far away. Extension cords can also be referred to as extension leads or power extenders, and there are some varieties that can be up to hundreds of feet long. Extension cords are used to supply electric power to pieces of equipment that are frequently utilized in locations that do not have a convenient power source, such as construction equipment, emergency medical defibrillators, and power tools.
At the center of an extension cord is conductive wire, usually copper, which conducts electrical currents from the power source to the appliance. The wire is encased with an insulating material and a rubber protective jacket. An electrical plug, also referred to as a male, is located on one end of the extension cord. The prongs on the plug fit into an electrical receptacle, also called a female, which is a set of corresponding holes that can be found in wall sockets and on one end of other cords. The plug and the socket must snugly fit in order for the electrical current to flow sufficiently through the extension cord. Extension cords come in a variety of types and can differ in electrical capacity, from light duty cords used at home to heavy-duty industrial cords used in various work environments.
There are other important factors to consider in choosing the appropriate extension cord for a certain applications, because these factors determine the capabilities of a power cord to efficiently handle the amount of electrical power that it must transfer, and the overall quality of the electricity being transmitted. These factors include the length of the cord, the wire gauge, and the operating distance. The standards for these factors are set and regulated by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, or NEMA, in order to make sure the electrical supply remains high-quality and consistent. There are important safety measures that must be taken with the handling of extension cords as well as any other electrical application. Extension cords are only designed to be used temporarily, and are not meant to be used long-term. Extensive use can result in deterioration of the extension cord, and failure to consider the precautions regarding an extension cord's longevity may result in electrical fires, property damage, injury, or death.
In addition to a range of capacities, extension cord manufacturers also offer a variety of other customizable options. Therefore, it is important to consider all of the requirements of the desired application to ensure that you find the perfect extension cord. For example, an extension cord that is fabricated for a construction setting may not be suitable for a wetter environment. Extension cords that are made for wet environments come with a sealed plug design to prevent water from getting into the socket. Even the color of the extension cord can be important to consider. Color coding is recommended if multiple extension cords are used for a single application. Cords of a brighter color-such as orange or yellow-are recommended for environments with limited visibility and can greatly reduce the risk of tripping. Green has become a more widely used color in indicating environmental sensitivity. There are businesses such as FedEx or UPS where a certain color plays an integral role of their brand, such as brown and purple, respectively. Therefore, these businesses may select cords of a specific color to better correspond with their brand.
One way to reduce some of the risks that come with the use of extension cords is polarizing the sockets and plugs. Polarization occurs when a connection to a ground wire is implemented, separating the electrical charges. In the case of overheating or a power surge, fuses and circuit breakers can be used in extension cords to cut off the flow of the electric current and thus make the equipment safer to use.
There are important options to consider such as amperage, length, and waterproof features, and there are some instances where color plays a role in organization and safety of the intended work environment. Extension cords are available in such a broad range of types and can be equipped with so many features that it is not always recommended that you try to find one alone. It is highly recommended that you consult with a trusted and experienced extension cord manufacturer who will make sure you find an extension cord that is a perfect fit for the desired application.
Extension Cords - Quail Electronics, Inc.
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