There is a range of essential components, like electrical cords, switches, sockets, fuse, wires, and insulation pipes, and more that make the electrical system complete. Extension or electrical cords are the handy solutions that temporarily connect the appliances to the main switch. Also known as the power cables, it is available for both indoor and outdoor connections comprising of different features and functionality. While it’s a crucial electrical component that bridges the distance gap between an appliance and main switch, sometimes we hardly pay attention to its quality and functionality and end up purchasing faulty cables, which may lead to severe accidental situations.
Needful Tips To Know Before You Buy Electrical Cords
- The Specific Use Cases And The Surroundings
Extension cords are either used indoors and outdoors. Accordingly, its composition and material matter the most. When used for outdoor connections, the outer layer of the electrical cords protects the inner metallic wires from direct sunlight, wind, and rain. This outer covering has a sequence of letters that have a distinct meaning. Such sequencing determines the flexibility, insulation, and wire protection capacity.
Now, When you are buying the electrical cords, be clear about the intent of using it. If you purchase it for the outdoor purpose, make sure the outer covering of the cable is heavily insulated. If you use indoor cords for external use cases, it may lead to overheating and may cause short-circuiting as well. Hence, it’s super-important to consider your requirements and the surroundings before deciding which extension cords you should buy.
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- Plug type
Most of the electrical cords come with three or two-prong plugs. If you require cables for higher current ratings or in case it needs to comply with certain safety standards, you should look for a specialty plug type instead of regular ones. However, a three-prong cap is the best option as the third plug leads to the ground wire, and therefore the chances of getting electrical shocks greatly reduce.
- Cord Length, Current Rating, And Gauge
Each extension cord has its current rating. If it is attached to the appliance with higher amperage, it may lead to overheating and subsequently, a short-circuit incident as well. Know the current rating of the device and purchase the electrical cords accordingly. Gauge is the total number of conducting wires in the cable. Hence, a 15/3 cord means it has 15 gauge wires and three conducting sides. You can find the gauge reading in the cord jacket.
- Get Your Cords Checked Before Purchasing
Only selecting the correct extension cord is not enough if it does not function appropriately. Safety is the most crucial factor which you cannot ignore while handling the electrical components. For safe usage, it is highly essential to check the cables before using them. Cables deter with time and show usual signs of wear and tear, so keep an eye on these minute details to avoid any electrical damage due to faulty wires.
Although the extension cords are handy tools, its improper use, and false plugging may lead to a problematic situation. Never use an extension cord as permanent wiring as it is not as durable as the electrical wiring running throughout the house.
Instead of relying on heavy extension cords, get the additional outlets installed wherever you need them. Extension cables are the temporary electrical components, so use them occasionally. Go through the details appropriately before you invest in them. People tend to overlook things when it comes to buying extension cords, don’t do that mistake. You must ensure maximum safety by investing in the right one only.