This Is Why Having Too Many Extension Cords Is a Bad Idea

6 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Electrical problems in your home can be avoided in multiple ways. One effective way of doing this is investing in the correct types of electrical fixtures and equipment and knowing how to use them properly. Among the common electrical equipment you may have around your home are extension cords. Electrical cords can be extremely useful but did you know that having too many of these pieces of equipment can actually cause electrical hazards in your home? Read on to find out.

Too Many Extension Cords Pose a Great Risk of Electrical Fires

If you have too many extension cords, it means you are plugging in a lot of appliances. In case some of these appliances are drawing too much power, your extension plugs could overheat. This is dangerous because unlike wall outlets, the wiring in extension cords isn't protected behind the wall cavities. This means when your extension cords overheat, the wires can start a fire, which can easily spread without your knowledge, especially when run on surfaces such as carpets.

One other reason your extension cords are an electrical fire hazard is damage to the cords. There are high chances your extension cords will be frayed or damaged over time regardless of where you run them. This means arcing can occur at the frayed wires, leading to electrical fires.

Too Many Extension Cords Can Affect the Functioning of Your Electrical Appliances

The main reason having too many extension cords will affect the proper functioning of your electrical appliances is voltage drop. Usually, electrical conductors have some level of resistance. If you have too many extension cords, chances are you are plugging in one cord into another. Since resistance increases with length, the voltage will drop at the end of the cord, meaning your cords may be inadequate to run your appliances. That is, with a low voltage, it will be quite difficult for the electric motors in your electrical appliances to start up. This simply means your appliances won't work perfectly.

If you are wondering how many extension cords are too many, look at how often you need the cords to get your appliances running. If virtually every appliance in your home requires an extension cord to be powered, you are using too many cords. Usually, over-reliance on extension cords is a sign that you have few electrical outlets in your home. Therefore, instead of plugging one extension cord to the next in order to reach your appliances, consider moving the appliance closer to the outlet. It is even better to have more outlets installed.