It’s always nice to have an electrical socket nearby, mainly if it’s accessible and you wish to use your gadgets or machine while they’re pluggable in. However, there are times when you have to work or use any device at a place that doesn’t have a power socket nearby. This is where extension cords come in handy. You can also use them while working outside your home where there isn’t any electrical source to power your equipment.
When it comes to buying an electrical cable, most individuals don’t give it much attention. This is because it’s a low-risk purchase, and many people are unaware of how hazardous it may be if you buy one that’s the wrong size or doesn’t qualify the machine requirement on which it is utilize.
So what standards should you adhere to before buying an extension cord? Do all the extension cords go with all of your requirements? Well, extension cables are available in a variety of sizes and kinds. There are several things to consider while selecting one. Dig in to know the tips which will help you make the best choice.
How to pick the best extension cord from any hardware store?
There are many different extension cords available in the market, and it may be challenging to determine which one to choose. People often buy the same cord for everything, which isn’t necessarily the safest option for the current-carrying cables, sockets, or the appliance itself. Here are the tips for selecting the best cord and improving your and equipment safety:
1. Get a little longer cord:
If you’re unsure about the extension cable length, you’ll need, purchase a little bigger than required to give yourself some flexibility. A longer cable is not just more convenient, but it’s also safer. This is because extension cables should not be daisy-chained together. Multiple cables connected into each other without larger wires to compensate for the distance increases electrical resistance between the socket and the object you’re attempting to power.
As a result of the increased resistance, voltage dips may occur, reducing the power output of equipment such as drills, blades, and vacuum cleaners. The increased resistance of daisy-chaining cables may also cause more heat to build up along the process, raising the danger of one of the cords melting or possibly catching fire.
In case you have to operate heavy machinery, go with a 20 amp extension cord. Besides providing electricity, it also provides safety to your machine.
2. Carefully see the print:
Aside from length and size, you’ll want to know if your extension cable is suitable for outdoor use. If it doesn’t have the necessary ratings for outdoor use, you risk burning it and causing a fire hazard.
The letter “W” is printed on the electrical extension cable for outdoor use. If it has the letter “S” etched on it, it’s a cord designed for general use. Some high-end cables also feature indication lights that let you know whether electricity is being sent via the cord.
3. Check the power rating:
The extension cords you choose must be able to manage the attached devices’ power needs. Consider the amps of your equipment since your extension cable must be rated appropriately for that amperage. So, how do you figure out how much amperage your device has? Here’s how it works: “amps = watts/voltage.”
If the extension cable doesn’t carry the optimum amperage rating, check the American Wire Gauge (AWG) rating to see how much power it can handle. The wire will be thicker and have a higher capacity if the AWG number is lower. Remember that the lower the number, the greater the cord’s ability to transmit electricity.
4. Consider the thickness:
The diameter of the wires within an extension cord, in addition to its length, determines how much electricity it can safely transport. Over longer distances, thicker cables may carry more electricity. Any cable purchased from a hardware shop should power low-power devices such as lights, rechargeable batteries, or a radio. However, if you wish to operate power tools like grinders, saws, or wet/dry cleaner securely and at maximum power, the bare minimum won’t suffice.
In the United States, cord thickness is usually expressed in terms of gauge, or AWG. Lower wires imply smaller numbers, which means they can transport less power. The thinnest cable advisable is 14 AWG, which is suggest for lengths of just 25 feet or less, while the thickest diameter you’ll find on an electric cord is probably 10 AWG.
5. Skip multi-outlet extension cord:
It may be alluring to pick up a banana plug, which is an extension cable with a few additional outlets at the end. But do not buy them if you need a robust cable to operate tools, machinery, work lamps, or other electricity hogs since they’re easy to overload. A 15A line, for example, can readily handle a rotary cutter, but if you add a pair of bright industrial lights, you’ll be straining the cable every time you turn it on.
In conclusion – Extension
Whatever the case might be, you must always choose the most appropriate extension cable for the position and device. It increases the range of heavy machinery and makes it simpler to operate devices where they are requires. These tips will greatly benefit you in choosing the right extension cord for your place. Keep in mind that extension cables can only be uses as a temporary power source.