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Whenever we need an additional power source, the best option is to rely on extension cords. They can be crucial in delivering power to the right location and instantly serving all your power needs. Therefore, you can get extension cords certified by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to meet your needs efficiently.

Regardless of the gauge rating, costs, guaranteed performance, and durability, they are not long-term power sources. They can also be vulnerable when in use, and failure to observe various safety measures can lead to accidents and subsequent damages. 

Storing extension cords

 

Most people do not understand the most appropriate ways to store extension cords. Poor storage can lead to the wires cracking and the protective layer peeling, exposing the inner wires. While storing extension cords, you should not fold them; instead, you should wind them round in a circle or hang them to prevent the wires from breaking. You should also store them in cool and dry areas away from moisture or molds that may damage them.

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Long term usage

 

Extension cords are not designed for extensive long-term usage unless you use them on non-power-intensive systems such as music systems, computers, and television. You should consider permanent wiring for extensive power devices such as refrigerators and heavy machines. Long-term usage of extension cords indoors increases the clutter; hence you need wiring tucked into the wall to improve the home neatness.

Observe the load capacity

 

Every extension cord has its load capacity; this is the maximum wattage and voltage of power that can pass through it. Remember, every device plugged into the extension cord has power demand; overloading the cord with devices exceeding its power limits can lead to short-circuiting and permanently damage the extension cord. Despite having many ports to connect different devices, users must ensure they do not exceed the power limit. You cannot use a 14 gauge extension cord for devices with more than 7Amps power demands.

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Connecting two or more extension cords

 

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Sometimes we may need to connect two or more extension cords to serve different needs such as distance or increase the number of connected devices. There is a limit to the number of extension devices you can connect subsequently. Connecting too many extension cords overloads the first extension cord, resulting in short-circuiting, or it may blow due to overloading. 

You need to follow a protocol when connecting subsequent extensions; you need to start with an extension with a high voltage limit, then connect the subsequent with low power demand. Reversing this process can lead to accidents and short-circuiting.

 

Using a safe extension cord

 

A safe extension cord is one with the right approval from certified bodies to ensure your safety. If you identify any cut on the wire, do not use it, instead get a new one or replace the wire. Covering the cut with duct tape can conceal other faults that lead to subsequent accidents. The earlier you identify the faults and correct them, the better. 

Using extension cord for outdoor activities

 

There are occasions when we may need to use extension cords for external activities such as pavement repairs and other external constructions. The external extension can expose it to more risks of damage, such as people and cars stepping on it. When it passes through a driveway or a path commonly used by people, ensure you have an improvised bridge by covering it with gravel to protect the wires. Alternatively, you can raise it higher and off the ground.

Selecting the right extension cord for the right activity

 

Extension cords have the maximum power capacity they can support; you need to ensure you have the right extension cord for the right activity. There are extension cords designed for heavy-duty activities such as welding and powering refrigerators, freezers, and many more.  There are those designed for light activities such as lighting. Using a smaller capacity extension cord for complex machinery may not work; hence you need the right cord designated for the job.

Caring for the extension cords

 

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The extension cords are designed with safety in mind; they have various features that protect them from adverse weather conditions. However, you also need to exercise additional caution. The first caution is turning them off when they are not in use—keeping them on when not in use can also expose other people to accidents.

Always store them indoors to protect their cords from water and excessive heat that can damage them. When disconnecting from the socket, you need to pull the plug and not the cable. Finally, throw away the damaged cord for safety purposes.

Joining the wires

 

You should not cut the extension wires to join it with another to increase the distance you need to cover. Using different wires can affect the extension cord due to the varying voltage capacity of the wires. You should also not cut the wires to replace a new plug unless it is the right plug. Using new wires can also risk the devices connected to the extension cord. 

 

Conclusion

Extension cords are useful for various activities; they enable you to connect multiple devices and perform multiple activities simultaneously. They are also crucial whenever we need electricity to do other outdoor activities. Using them requires special care, as not observing the necessary precautions can easily result in fires, accidents, or short circuits of devices connected to them.