Electricity is one of the most crucial requirements of a household. From running the fans to doing the laundry, everything requires the right electrical supplies. There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to delivering the correct voltage of electricity. One such important factor is the type of extension cord to fetch for different purposes. Most people tend to think that a particular extension cord works for every appliance. However, the truth is that different lengths and gauge types deliver a different voltage of current to the device. Anything less or more than the desired voltage leads to regular damage and malfunctioning of the household items.
Keep reading to know how you can fetch the right cord for various electrical appliances and household products.
1. Consider Wire Gauge
Have you ever considered the extension cord diameter before buying it for various purposes? Cord diameter, also known as a gauge, influences the transmission of load and the heating aspects. You might look for the American Wire Gauge number to see the diameter of the cord. Also, the greater the diameter, the thinner will be the wire as vice versa. Similarly, the voltage drop also varies according to the AWG number of the extension cord. In case the AWG number is higher, the wire offers lesser resistance and a better flow of current to the products. Always consider the AWG number before fetching the extension cords.
Appliances & Gauge Variations
- Lamp Cords & Small Voltage Lightning functions on more significant AWG numbers. Usually, it revolves around an AWG number of 18 gauge.
- Extension Cords for medium-sized electrical appliances would need at least 16 gauge of diameter.
- Light Fixtures call for a smaller AWG for optimum functioning. You can fetch the cords with AWG number 14 gauge for such purposes.
- Air-conditioners & Kitchen appliances run on greater voltage and lesser gauge. Get a cord with a ten gauge diameter for better durability.
- Dryers, Ovens, and Heaters need the highest amount of voltage and current flow. This makes the AWG number to be the lowest, i.e., 8-10 gauge.
2. Keep The Length In Mind
Along with the diameter, you must take care of the length of your extension cords. This is because the voltage drop depends on how long the cable is. Voltage drop refers to the amount of voltage lost due to the resistance that the cord offers. This varies as the more significant the extension cord, the more the voltage drop. That means a longer cord will cause much more voltage drop than the shorter one with the same gauge. While getting yourself the ideal extension cord, make sure to consider the average length.
The extension cords less than 50 feet in length and with 14 gauge diameter work fine for the household purposes. Also, it handles the loads between 10 to 15 amperes, which is ideal for basic usage.
3. Type Of Extension Cord Matters
There are a variety of cords available in the market. These are suitable for particular types of electrical appliances. Hence, you must know more about the kind of cord for specific devices to fetch the right one when the time comes. If you don’t use the correct type of cord, there are chances of disruption of both the cord and appliances due to either higher or lower load supplies.
Types & Related Appliances
- Light-Duty Extension Cords are the ones that prove to be of use in light-duty devices like lamps, clocks, and small lights. It would be best if you did not use these cords for heavy appliances like heaters, coffee makers, or microwaves. Due to the absence of grounding, these don’t prove to be of use in the case of huge devices. Also, they contain a two-prong plug which is devoid of earthing prong.
- Medium Duty Extension Cords, the grounded extensions that include a three-prong plug for the earthing purposes function on huge electrical appliances. You can use these extension cords for computers, televisions, and radio.
- Heavy Duty Extension Cord is the cord that works on hefty appliances. These can draw the power of around 10 to 15 amperes. Along with this, they are grounded and contain the third prong and wire for earthing.
4. Consider The Environment
Have you ever thought of the environment of usage before getting your hands on the right cord? Whether you require the cord for indoor or outdoor use matters while fetching the right one. The outdoor cords differ from the indoor ones in numerous aspects. From variable materials to differences in load capacity, you will find significant differences in both.
Indoor Vs Outdoor Cords
- Indoor Cords are ideal for usage inside the houses. Hence, they don’t possess rigid insulations with rubber or plastic materials. As far as the length is concerned, the indoor extension cords are rarely beyond 25 feets length. Also, the plug type is a two-prong plug, and there is no earthing plug. Lastly, even the amperage load is different from the outdoor ones. The indoor cords generally function on lower amperage.
- Outdoor Cords possess the capability to be used under harsh weather conditions. This is because they contain proper insulations created out of rubber or plastic materials. Their lengths can go as high as up to 150 feet. Hence, you may use the cord for versatile purposes. Also, the plug type of three-prong, and it contains proper earthing. Being quite sturdy, it offers an amperage load of up to 15 amperes.
5. Plug Type Variations
Most of the people tend to overlook the plug type and the variations available in this. The majority of the extension cords contain either two or three-prong plugs. Two-prong plugs are devoid of the earthing feature, making it susceptible to shock. However, the three-prong plugs are well-grounded and contain an extra prong for earthing. While the two-prong plugs work best for smaller appliances like lamps, light bulbs, and clocks, the three-prong plug is suitable for heavy items. Hence, the three-prong plug prevents accidents by diverting the extra flow of current towards the ground.
Getting the ideal extension cord can be a difficult task, especially with so many parameters to consider. However, it would be best if you gained some insights regarding the types and their variations. Not only will this prevent future accidents, but also save your smart appliances from deterioration in the long run. Firstly, consider the gauze as it determines the voltage drop and ampere load significantly. Further, you must consider the right length based on the appliances in use.