Extension cords are very useful tools when you need to extend circuits to work areas that are far away from the nearest electrical outlet. Unfortunately, many individuals often overlook the importance of the quality of the extension cord and the length of the extension cord. Don’t use cheap extension cords just to save a few dollars, use only the best quality.
Extension cord length is an incredibly important factor as the longer the extension cord is, the more resistance. Cords vary in lengths: few feet to 100 ft extension cord. Although copper wire is a very good conductor, it does have an amount of resistance that causes heat. This heat can potentially damage the extension cord as well as the devices and appliances that are connected to it.
The longer your extension cord length, the more resistance will be created, therefore, more heat will be produced. It’s important to know how the difference in a 10 ft cord and a 50 ft extension cord might directly affect you. Electrical devices and appliances draw a certain amount of amperage in order to operate properly. In some cases, the electrical load may be too much for the size of the extension cord that it is attached to. There are several variables that can damage the extension cord as well as the devices that are connected to it, such as the size of the wire, the resistance of the wire and the voltage drop due to the extended length of the cord.
When a voltage drop occurs, the devices that are connected to the extension cord will not be able to operate as they should. As a result, both the extension cord and the device will emit heat and will often cause damage to them. In addition, the wiring that is inside of the extension cord will likely melt, damaging the contacts. By not using the right length of extension cord, you could be risking the overload of the circuit breaker.
In order to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others, you will want to be sure that you obtain the perfect length of extension cord for the device you will be connecting it to.
For example, 50 ft extension cord length will usually have a maximum amperage of 5 to 15 amps. The wire gauge will vary between 14 and 18 as well. For a 100 ft extension cord length, the maximum amperage will range from 5 to 15 amps and the gauge will usually be between 12 and 16.Caution: Longer power cords tend to pose more hazards compared to shorter extension cords.