5 Tips to Keep in Mind While Choosing an Extension Cord for Generator
In this day and age, everyone uses extension cords to reach those inaccessible power outlets. However, most individuals are unaware of the dangers of using the wrong extension cord. The use of the wrong cord size poses a significant risk in our homes. Every year, cord incidents kill over 50 people, inflict 4,000 injuries that require hospital care and cause over 3,000 house fires.
The majority of extension cord mishaps are avoidable by just using the proper cord for the job. Read on to learn a few things to keep in mind when picking an extension cord for your generator.
1. Cord Length, Gauge, and Amperage
Selecting the most suitable generator extension cord requires knowledge of gauge ratings, cord length, and amperage. All of these features have an impact on the extension cord’s power and performance.
A cord’s amperage is the amount of power (amps) the cord can handle. For instance, the 12 gauge extension cord design allows them to handle 20 amps of power. All cords also have an AWG rating, a standardized wire gauge metric for determining the size of electric wires. A lower AWG rating denotes a thicker wire with a higher capacity. Thus, the lower the rating, the greater the cord’s power delivery capacity. Also, you can check the number of wires inside the cord indicated alongside the gauge. For instance, a 14/3 cord comprises a 14-gauge wire and three conductions.
The length of an extension cord determines its power capacity. With every additional foot of the extension cord, electrical resistance increases. This reduces the power supplied to connected gadgets. For the best outcome, utilize the shortest cord possible.
Impedance is the resistance inside the wire measurable in Ohms. An electric current produces heat when it encounters resistance, which can be dangerously excessive for the cord to handle. Raising the impedance produces more heat, leading to the conductor or insulation melting and igniting a fire.
Irrespective of the metal used, the wire’s thickness should handle the current without overheating. To allow for enhanced electric flow when transmitting a high ampere current over a more considerable distance, you’ll need a thicker lower gauge cable. A thicker cable will permit additional current to pass through it with lower resistance.
3. Extension Cords VS Surge Protectors
An extension cord makes it possible to reach your generator while a surge protector shields expensive electronic gadgets from damage caused by power surges or electrical spikes. These power surges, usually common during storms, transmit more voltages through appliances and devices than they can safely manage. Surge protectors absorb electricity and divert it away from the gadgets to which they are connected.
Check the joule rating that specifies the amount of energy a surge protector can handle. The ratings can move from 200 to 1000. The greater the joule rating, the more protection the protector provides. For expensive gadgets, opt for a surge protector with a high joule rating.
4. Cord Size
Depending on what you intend to use the generator for, you could use one or more extension cords. You will come across several extension cords on a worksite, some of which are attached to others or partitioned to supply power to different areas. However, joining extension cords can be dangerous. Using a cord to connect a 50A power to your house necessitates more precise load calculations. The same logic applies when determining the best generator extension cord.
We need to grasp the relevance of distance to current if we intend to utilize extension cords properly. This applies to generators, homes, gardens, garages, and workshops. Overloading a cord beyond its capacity can lead to a fire or electrocution. When accessing cord size, consider both its thickness and length. Electrical conductors constitute different metals, and the electrical impedance of other metals varies.
Users should remember safety when purchasing and utilizing an extension cord. The cord should have the appropriate thickness for the amps and chord length, meaning, at no point should you exceed the cord’s amp rating.
You may evaluate your total usage and see if a longer extension cord is safe to use. For example, say you’re using a 20A extension cord to deliver a 10A load; this will enable you to use a longer cable since you’re not using the entire 20A rating. You may determine your load by dividing the device’s wattage by the voltage. Besides ensuring you’re using the proper extension cable for the job, there are a few other things to consider. Generator extension cords have their set of safety regulations indicated due to unique situations.
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Always select the most appropriate extension cord for the location and device. The ideal extension cord can provide you with the power you require when you require it. It increases the reach of power outlets and makes it possible to place devices wherever you want. If you required a background Removal Software, then Here is best background remover software to Use Effectively. Remember that extension cords are ideal as a temporary solution. Make sure to disconnect the cords when you are not using them. Always use a surge protector to protect your expensive electronics or equipment.