Overloading an extension cord is dangerous and could cause a fire or electrocution. So it’s important to know what the maximum load is for your extension cord before you use it.
The load rating of an extension cord tells you how much power it can safely handle without overheating or failing.
The more amps and volts an extension cord has, the more power it can handle.
In this article, I’ll answer the question — can you plug extension cords together as well as some other questions regarding this topic.
Here’s If You Can Plug Extension Cords Together:
It is not advisable to plug multiple extension cords together. The maximum load is determined by the gauge of the wire. Plugging two extension cords together can result in overloading and this is a potential electrical hazard. It is best to use a cord that is the correct length for your needs.
Can You Plug Multiple Extension Cords into Each Other?
Many people will connect two extension cords together to increase the length of the cord in order to power an appliance that is far from the wall socket.
However, it is never a good idea to have two extension cords plugged into each other because of the increase in resistance and heat.
This causes a greater chance of the extension cords being an electrical hazard as the higher resistance and heat can cause the cords to be overloaded and cause a fire.
Additionally, for every foot of extra cord you add, there will be a voltage drop. This means that not only will there be an increase in heat, but this will also result in poor performance of the appliance you are trying to power.
Rather get the right length or an extra-long extension cord the first time around; it will be much safer than taking the chance with daisy chaining (connecting cords together).
Can You Use Two Different Gauge Extension Cords Together?
It is not advisable to use two different gauge extension cords. To do so increases the chance of the lower gauge cords being overloaded.
In addition, daisy-chaining extension cords together in the first place is not a good idea.
Why Is It Bad to Daisy Chain Extension Cords?
It’s unsafe to daisy chain multiple extension cords together because they may not all have the same current capacity or voltage requirements.
This means that there is a great risk that one of the cords may be overloaded or overheat due to the higher resistance and load of the electricity.
If one cord goes out or gets damaged, every cord plugged into it will also be damaged.
This can cause them all to overheat and possibly catch on fire. Even if they don’t catch on fire immediately, they could still pose a shock hazard until they’re replaced or repaired.
What Is the Maximum Length Recommended for Extension Cords?
There are two main types of extension cords: indoor and outdoor.
The maximum lengths for each type are as follows:
- Indoor extension cords – up to 25 feet long (7.62 meters)
- Outdoor extension cords – up to 100 feet long (30.48 meters)
The maximum length of an extension cord is determined by the amount of current it can handle. A 15-amp cord, for example, should not be used on anything larger than a 15-amp circuit breaker.
If you have a 20-amp circuit breaker and use a 20-amp extension cord, you increase the potential for fire or other damage to your home.
You should have a circuit breaker that has a higher amp than the extension that you are using.
Check this blog of ours out about 13 things you shouldn’t plug into an extension cord.
Can You Plug Two OUTDOOR Extension Cords Together?
It would be better to get an outdoor extension cord that is very long than to daisy chain.
As mentioned already, daisy chaining increases the chances of overloading the circuit breaker as well as being a fire hazard.
Keep in mind, we are referring to extension cords in this article, not outdoor Christmas lights.
Can I Plug Two Power Strips Together?
Power strips are made to be used as individual units, so they should not be plugged together in order to increase the number of outlets available at once.
In fact, connecting two power strips together may cause them to short out and catch fire.
This is because they are not designed to handle the extra load created by having more than one device plugged in at once.
The best way to increase the number of outlets available at any given time is with a surge protector strip (also called an extension strip) that has multiple outlets on it.
You can plug your computer, printer, and other electronics into these multiple outlets without worrying about overloading or damaging them.
What Is The Difference Between Extension Cords And Power Strips?
An extension cord is used when you need to extend the distance from an outlet to where your power tool or appliance will be used.
It comes with a male end that goes into an outlet or receptacle and a female end that plugs into your device or appliance.
A power strip is a slim box that has multiple outlets on it so that you can plug multiple devices into one single outlet.
Can You Plug 2 Extension Cords into One Outlet?
Some outlets have the capacity to plug in two appliances, or people may plug in a power strip in order to power more appliances.
There is the temptation to plug multiple extension cords into one outlet/power strip. However, it is very unsafe to do this.
If you plug two extension cords into an outlet, the total amount of power drawn will be more than what the outlet can handle.
This will cause a power surge that could damage your appliance or even start a fire.
The short answer is yes, someone could plug together extension cords. But, this is dangerous and may cause damage to the house and people around.
If you are needing a very long extension for different tasks around your home or business, we recommend consulting an electrician.
Read this blog about should you unplug an extension cord when not in use?
- E-Hazard: What Does OSHA Say About Plugging Extension Cords Together?
- Your Nifty Home: Can I plug Two Extension Cords Together?