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Don’t Burn Your House Down – The Key to Safe Extension Cords

   
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How to Make Sure Your Extension Cord is Safe: Extension Cord Safety – The Key to a Safe Extension Cord and The Problem With Extension Cords.


Extension Cords The Right Way

Electrical Question: I have been told that one can connect two 110v extension cords and produce 220v. How is that done? Is it simply connecting two cords plugged into two different 110v circuits? My son is trying to burn the house down so I need the risk factors. if it can be done, I need the CORRECT way to do this please!!

This electrical repair question came from: Bob, from Ovilla, Texas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Bob.

How to Make Sure Your Extension Cord is Safe

Unsafe Extension Cords

  • Bob, what you have been told may work, but it definitely not recommended!
  • A power source should not come from two locations or two separate sources because the circuits may not be configured correctly and the source of power cannot be disconnected from a single location.

Safe Extension Cords

  • Let’s think about what an extension cord really is:
    • It is an extension of an electrical circuit, and the circuit must be adequately sized to provide the right circuit power for the device that will be connected to the circuit using the extension cord.
    • It is important that the extension cord is sized correctly to the circuit that it is being plugged into otherwise if the wire size and or the insulation type is incorrect then it is possible that the extension cord may become overloaded and overheated which could lead to a dangerous fire hazard.

The Problem With Extension Cords

  • Extension cords can be extremely helpful when the cord and the application is correct, and that is the key: What is the extension cord going to be used for?
  • This is not even mentioned in this question and that is the beginning point of any electrical circuit, especially when it comes to extension cords.
  • Identifying the electrical circuit load or the required power is essential in order to determine the correct circuit that will be used as the power source.

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