All About Extension Cords

All About Extension Cords

Extension cords offer a lot of benefits for property owners. They help provide access to power in areas where normal outlets are too far away. However, it is important to keep in mind that misuse of extension cords is a common cause of electrical fires and personal injury. At Mr. Electric of Atlanta, we offer premium residential and commercial electrical services for customers in Atlanta, Georgia and nearby cities. We enjoy helping our local clients find ways to improve the safety and security of their electrical system and devices, and we want to help you achieve the same results. Here are some tips that can help you use your extension cords safely and effectively.

How to Choose the Best Kind of Extension Cord for Your Unique Purpose

Many people assume that all extension cords are the same, however this isn't the case. There are a wide range of models that are specifically designed for unique purposes. For convenience, extension cords are labeled with a specific letter, which indicates its intended use.

  • S - General Use
  • W - Outdoor Use
  • J - Standard 300-Volt Insulation
  • P - Household Use with Parallel Wire Construction
  • O - Oil-Resistant
  • T - Vinyl Thermoplastic Cord Jacket
  • E - Thermoplastic Elastomer Rubber (TPE) Cord Jacket

Why It is Important to Buy Extension Cords with Three Prongs

Extension cords are available in both two-prong and three-prong varieties. Both cords have a "hot" and "neutral" prong. However, a three-prong cord also provides a path to the ground wire, which helps to reduce the risk of electrical fires or personal injury.

Avoid Using Extension Cords with Sensitive Electronics

While extension cords provide access to electricity, they do not protect against power surges. Be careful plugging sensitive or expensive electronics and appliances into an extension cord that is unprotected. Otherwise, you could risk harming the device. Whole home surge protection offers an opportunity for property owners to defend themselves from power surges from any outlet.

Never Overload the Extension Cord

Extension cords have a maximum amperage for each individual type. Before plugging in your power tools or electronics, it's important to know both the max amperage and the amount of energy needed to fuel your needs. A 16-guage extension cord should be used for light applications like decorative string lights, hedge trimmers, fans and similar items. 14-guage cords are designed for medium use, such as table saws, drills and lawnmowers. A 10 or 12-guage cord is for heavy duty use, including shop vacs, air compressors and chainsaws. Always use the appropriate cord for your project and avoid plugging in too many devices at once.

Do You Need a New Circuit Installation or Whole House Surge Protection? Call Mr. Electric

Do you need more places to plug in your tools, appliances and electrical devices? Then get help from the experts at Mr. Electric of Atlanta. Our certified and insured electricians offer a variety of quality residential and commercial services including whole home surge protection, dedicated circuit installation, GFCI outlet installation and more. Contact our office for more information about the offerings available in your area, or to schedule an appointment with a licensed local electrician in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Marietta, Georgia or a nearby metro area neighborhood.

Schedule Your Electrical Service Now!

Call or submit your request here and we'll call to confirm your appointment time. We're available until 11pm weekdays, 10pm weekends. Your Mr. Electric technician will provide an electrical repair or installation cost up front, and options if applicable.