What Is An Extension Cord, And What Are Its 5 Benefits?

Many electrical faults are often due to the overuse of electrical equipment. Many of these accidents also result from sheer ignorance of the various electrical parts. Fortunately, you don’t need to have attended an electrical engineering class to understand the basic operation of most electrical components. Not when there are plenty of online resources to go on.  

This article explores an electrical product that’s unmissable in most homes and workplaces worldwide – an extension cord. Read on as we introduce what extension cords are before narrowing our focus to their primary benefits. 

Introducing Extension Cords

An extension cord is a flexible electrical power cable designed with a plug on one end and at least one socket on the other. The sockets are typical of the same type as the plug. In other words, a three-prong plug will equally have a three-hole socket.  

However, it’s not uncommon to have an extension cord whose plug differs from the power outlet. An adapter may connect the plug to the power outlet in such cases.  

Extension cords go by many other monikers, depending on location. The term’ extension cord’ is primarily used in North America, while ‘extension lead,’ ‘power extender,’ and ‘drop cord’ are common in the United Kingdom.  

It’s also worth noting that the term’ extension cord’ mainly refers to main extensions. However, the word may be applied in other contexts to denote extensions for different cabling types.  

As already indicated, extension cords are among the most common electrical components. There’s no shortage of electrical stores where you can shop for a high-quality extension cord for use at home or in the office. But before you hit the stores, it’s imperative to understand the benefits of investing in these electrical components in the first place. 


Photo Credit: Pixabay.com 

Benefits of Extension Cords 

1. Extension Cords Bridge the Gap between Electrical Equipment and Power Outlets

This is unarguably the biggest reason to invest in an extension cord. Not all electrical equipment can be used closer to the wall socket.  

For instance, you may prefer your refrigerator positioned at a corner furthest from the power outlet. You could also be working in tight spaces outdoors and need to power a bulky machine that cannot be maneuvered through the narrow alleys.  

An extension cord helps bridge the gap between the wall sockets and the electrical equipment you wish to power. The cord can help you charge a laptop by your bedside when the nearest socket is by the doorway.   

2. Extension Cords Let You Power Multiple Devices Simultaneously 

Besides bringing power closer to an electrical device, extension cords are also helpful when connecting multiple devices simultaneously. They save the time you’d have wasted powering the same appliances individually.  

Remember that most properties (both residential and commercial) only have a few power outlets. You can imagine the inconvenience of running your fan while watching a scintillating movie on a hot summer afternoon, but there’s only one wall socket in the room.  

Experts recommend purchasing relatively long extension cords with numerous sockets. That way, you won’t have to daisy chain whenever you need to connect several appliances located a considerable distance from the power outlet. 

3. Extension Cords Enhance Personal Safety 

We’ve highlighted how longer power extenders with multiple sockets can help avert the risks of daisy chaining. Another way these components may improve safety is due to their discrete nature.  

Extension cords can easily run along the walls undetected. Therefore, they can reduce the mess and entanglement often caused by several wires strewn over the floor. The cords also minimize the risks of people getting tripped while walking past them.  

This safety-enhancing feature of drop cords is handy for households with many people and busy, open-plan offices.  

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com  

4. Extension Cords Can Work In Different Environments 

Extension cords may be common in indoor setups. But these electrical components are equally useful in outdoor environments.  

So, besides helping you connect your kitchen appliances and home theater, power extenders can also come in handy when you need to hold a late-night backyard party. The cords can also be resourceful in powering your lawnmower, electric chainsaw, construction equipment, etc.  

For outdoor usage, you’ll need to invest in high-quality cords designed for this purpose. Outdoor extension cords typically feature thicker jackets designed with weather-proof materials like ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) and polychloroprene (PCP). 

5. Extension Cords Save Money 

Extension cords do not consume electricity when plugged in. That’s because they merely work as conductors of electricity between the wall socket and the appliance that needs powering. Buying a power extender is far more affordable than setting up an extra wall socket.  

However, we must underscore the importance of purchasing premium-quality extension cords. As with any electrical component, quality reflects on durability.  

You’d also match a power extender with the correct device. That means heavy-duty drop cords should equally be used with heavy-duty appliances. The best way to do this is to check an extension cord’s amp rating. Then, use the cord with electrical devices with similar or lower amp ratings.  

Final Word 

Extension cords provide many benefits, making them a must-have electrical component in any home.  

To make the most of these resourceful products, always purchase top-rated cords and use them, bearing in mind their amp rating. 


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