Continue to the second of seven sections below. An extension cable is a bundle of insulated electrical wires with a plug on either end. Electrical current traveling through wires creates heat, and too much current can overheat and melt the plastic insulation of the wires, resulting in short circuits and fires. The risk of this happening is increased by heavy use of extension cords because more current flows through them when they are being stretched across large areas.
The first thing to understand about what happens if there is too much current in an extension cord is that it depends on how the cord is plugged into the wall. If the cord has a built-in fuse, then it will always shut off before anything serious happens. Otherwise, the voltage across the resistor pack inside the plug body determines how much current can flow through the cord. This is called the "hot" line, and it should not be connected to any other part of the house wiring or be accessible without a protective cover. If you try to connect another hot line to a plug meant for one cord only, then you're asking for trouble.
In addition to the hot line, most extension cords have a black wire called the "grounding conductor" or "third prong". This is the line that connects back to the main panel whenever you connect one end of the cord to a metal object such as a fence or a power pole. It's important to remember not to connect this conductor to anything else, especially not to earth ground.
An extension cable can quickly degrade with constant usage, posing a potentially severe electric shock or fire threat. Do not overload extension cables or allow them to run through standing water or snow. Extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring.
If you are still using extension cords from the old era that use four wire power supply cords, then they will need to be replaced with two conductor power cables if you want to continue using them with modern appliances. Old style three-wire plugs will not work with four-wire power supplies. It is important to take care of these problems before they become serious, otherwise, you might end up killing your whole house off.
It is very easy to overload an extension cord. If you have several extensions cords running throughout your home, it is easy for someone to forget which one of them is being used and put too much load on it. This could cause it to heat up and produce sparks that would be dangerous if not treated properly. Always keep this in mind when putting multiple loads on one extension cord. It is also important to remember not to cross-feed power between extensions cords. This means that you should not plug a lamp into both ends of the same cord. This could cause damage to either the cord or your appliance.
Extension cords have two parts: the plug that connects to a power source and the cord itself.
Extension cords range in length from a few feet to 100 feet. Although copper wire is a highly excellent conductor, it does have some resistance that causes heat to be generated. This heat has the potential to harm the extension cable as well as the gadgets and appliances to which it is connected. To prevent this from happening, extension cord manufacturers add insulation around the conductor within the core of the cable. This prevents current from flowing through the cable itself and also helps it not get too hot under load.
The actual length of an extension cord is determined by how many outlets it has. Usually these are either two-wire flat cables or four-wire round cables. Flat extensions are best for small spaces while round ones are useful for large areas.
Each outlet on an extension cord can handle up to 15 amps. The amount of power that can be delivered by an extension cord is limited by the number of outlets it has. If you need more power, you will need to buy another extension cord. Extension cords are available with from one to six outlets. Six-outlet extension cords are also called "split power cords" because they can supply power to six separate devices without any confusion about which device is getting what share of the current.
One hundred feet is a long extension cord. It will allow you to deliver power to a space that would otherwise be inaccessible. Extension cords are useful when you need to deliver electricity to a location away from a wall socket.