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 some varieties 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.
Quick links to Extension Cords Information
Components of Extension Cords
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:
- 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.
Factors to Consider with Extension Cords
There are other important factors to consider in choosing the appropriate extension cord for 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
- 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.
Safety Measures with Extension Cords
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.
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.
Customizations of Extension Cords
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
- Made for wet environments come with a sealed plug design to prevent water from getting into the socket.
- Color Coding
- 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 in their brand, such as brown and purple, respectively.
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.
Four Biggest Advantages of Extension Cord Sets
Extension cord sets are a great utility for present-day technology. Also known as a power board extender, this item works as a flexible power socket board that helps users connect their gadgets and appliances located at a far distance from the power supply board.
An extension cord ideally has a long cable that has a power plug (with two or three pins) at one end and sockets to connect the appliances at the other. In some mechanisms that have dissimilar power outlet types, AC to DC, or otherwise, adapters are used. It is then referred to as the “adapter cord”.
Available in countless numbers of designs and options, extension cords are the best accommodation for a room that does not have a sufficient number of power boards.
For a host of conveniences, extension cord sets are popularly used by home and office users. Let us have a quick look at four benefits that this nifty invention provides:
- Connect Your Electric Appliances that are Far Away from the Power Supply Board
- After coming back from work, you want to slip into your bed and relax while playing a game on your phone. But alas, your phone’s battery is already dead. To play your favorite games while staying in bed, without giving a heck about the battery status of your smartphone, you could make use of an extension cord. You can connect your phone’s charger while staying in bed, playing your beloved game, checking your email, or scrolling through Facebook.
- Similarly, you can connect any electronic appliance using an extension cord in the far corners and areas of your room.
- Play Whichever Device or Appliance You Want
- The use of extension boards is not just limited to charging your mobile phone and laptops. In fact, you can plug any appliance into it. Whether it's your television, DVD player, computer (that comprises CPU, monitor, and audio system), washing machine, high-power music system, kitchen appliances (such as blender, juicer, microwave, refrigerator, etc.), fans, and air coolers, the list goes on. There is no boundary to its use. However, for some applications, such as microwaves, freezers, room heaters, etc., that are high-capacity machines, you will need a specific power extension cord that can bear such high capacity.
- Simple to Use
- Last but certainly not least, using extension boards is a safe practice. There are no risks of electric shock, as most of the brands test their products on safety standards before sending them into the market. The cable typically has a multilayered coating that prevents such perils. Additionally, the socket box is also designed to keep the safety of users in mind.
- Further, nowadays, extension boards are available in countless design and color options that you can choose to match your room.