Quick Answer: How Long Can An Electrical Extension Cord Be?

Are extension cords a fire hazard?

Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when used improperly.

Overheating is usually caused by overloading or connecting appliances that consume more watts than the cord can handle.

Damaged extension cords can also cause fires..

Is it dangerous to leave an extension cord plugged in?

Don’t let your extension cords become potential fire hazards. Extension cords are a common and convenient way to bring power to electrical devices. But used without proper caution, they can become fire hazards and pose risks to your personal safety.

What is a heavy duty extension cord?

Extension cords have a sequence of letters on their insulation or jackets. These letters indicate the designated use for the extension cord based on the type of wire inside the cord. For example, some heavy-duty extension cords are rated for protection against oils, chemicals or high temperatures.

How many amps does a fridge use?

A typical refrigerator draws 725 watts, according to the United States Department of Energy. Divide that number by 120 volts, which is the voltage of your power supply, to get the current that the refrigerator draws in amperes. A 725-watt refrigerator draws 725/120 = 6 amps.

Does the length of an extension cord affect the power?

The thicker the copper wire, the more electricity it can carry. However, because transmitted power diminishes over distance, longer extension cords require heavier wire to deliver the full current rating required by an appliance. … The wire can never be too big, but it can be too small.

What is the OSHA standard for extension cords?

Acceptable Extension Cords Approved extension cords have tags stating the testing organization. OSHA regulations require three-wire type extension cords having strain relief. Also, only factory-assembled cords should be used and never modified.

When should you not use an extension cord?

Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring. Do not run through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. If cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard. Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance.

Can I plug my fridge into any outlet?

A refrigerator should be plugged into the kind of outlet that the cord is designed to plug into. If it has two prongs a standard outlet is sufficient. If it has the three prong, 2 flat and one round, you can’t plug it into any other kind of outlet, etc. And refrigerators are not the only appliance made like that.

When should electrical cords be replaced?

Sign #5: The cord has cracked insulation. Regularly check cords for any sign of exterior damage including cracks, nicks, cuts, or frays. If the protective coating is damaged in any way, it’s time to replace it. If you notice damage to an extension cord, don’t try to repair it – throw it out.

What is the most common OSHA electrical violation?

The following hazards are the most frequent causes of electrical injuries: contact with power lines, lack of ground-fault protection, path to ground missing or discontinuous, equipment not used in manner prescribed, and improper use of extension and flexible cords.

How do I know if my extension cord is bad?

Test for a potential short circuit by touching each prong on the AC side of the power cord. If the multimeter beeps, your power cord is bad and must be replaced immediately. If your power cord is shorted, do not attempt to replug the cord into the AC outlet.

What happens if you overload an extension cord?

Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. This could cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire.

Is it OK to run a refrigerator on an extension cord?

Safety Considerations The biggest concern with using an extension cord to power a refrigerator is using the wrong cord, which can lead to overheating of the cord, damage to the appliance and increased risk of fire or electric shock. Never try to plug a three-pronged appliance into an un-grounded extension cord.

Is it OK for an extension cord to be warm?

Residents should also periodically touch cords. “If the cord gets warm or hot to the touch, you may have the wrong size cord or there may be a problem with the wiring in the cord,” Dodson said. “If the cord should handle the load of the item that is plugged in and it becomes hot, there is a problem.”

Can you use an extension cord permanently?

If you need to permanently connect an electrical device, you should use approved wires and/or cable assemblies installed in an approved manner. As Tester101 says, extension cords are not meant for permanent wiring.

What is the maximum number of extension cords you can connect to one another?

threeThe Maximum number of extension cords you can connect to one another is three.

How long can you use an extension cord per OSHA?

90 dayImproper Application of Temporary Wiring Devices Temporary wiring is not to be used as permanent wiring. For example, there is a 90 day limit for an extension cord and other temporary wiring devices used for holiday lighting at a given location, as established by the NEC and by OSHA in its electri- cal standards.