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:
You can plug multiple cords together, but you should never overload it. The maximum load is determined by the gauge of the wire. So, if you have two 100-foot extension cords with 14-gauge wires and a maximum load of 15 amps each, they can be plugged together because they are both 14-gauge.
However, if one has 12-gauge wire and another has 16-gauge wire, they cannot be plugged together because their maximum loads differ by more than 10 percent (the 16-gauge wire has double the current capacity).
The most common gauge used for extension cords is 12/3 — 12 gauge (smaller number) = smaller diameter and 3 conductors (2 hot + 1 neutral). Because it’s such a common size for extension cords, you may find that many stores carry them in this configuration.
Can You Plug Multiple Extension Cords into Each Other?
Yes, you can plug extension cords together. But, it’s not a good idea to do so.
The main reason is because it will put too much strain on the cords and may cause damage to your appliances or even start a fire.
With that being said, there are some instances where plugging extension cords together is OK. Read on to find out when it’s safe and when it’s not safe to connect multiple cords together.
Can You Use Two Different Gauge Extension Cords Together?
It’s perfectly fine to use two different gauge extension cords together.
When you’re using two different gauge extension cords, you’ll need to make sure that the extension cord with the higher amp rating is plugged into the outlet.
If you plug both cords in at once, then it will overload the circuit and cause damage to your appliances.
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.
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.
The same applies if you try to use an indoor/outdoor cord indoors. It will not deliver enough power to run anything in your home.
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?
You can plug multiple outdoor extension cords together if they have different female ends (aka outlets).
This is known as daisy chaining, and it’s a very common practice with outdoor holiday lights, which often come in strings of 100 or more bulbs.
However, you should only daisy chain two cords at a time to avoid overloading your circuit breaker or risking fire because too much electricity is being drawn through one outlet/outlet receptacle.
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.
Unlike an extension cord, it does not have a female end for connecting to devices or appliances as they have built-in female ends themselves.
Can You Plug 2 Extension Cords into One Outlet?
The answer to this question is yes, you can but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t.
The reason why you shouldn’t do this is because each extension cord has a maximum wattage that it can carry. If you plug two extension cords together and then plug them into an outlet, the total wattage of both cords 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.
What About When You Want To Connect Multiple Extension Cords Together?
If you need more power than one cord can provide, then yes — you can connect multiple extension cords together in order to receive the additional power you need for larger appliances or high wattage devices.
However, there are some rules that must be followed in order for this process to be safe:
- Make sure all of the extension cords are rated for the same current and voltage (~110V). This means they have the same amperage rating as well as similar wire sizes which will allow them all to carry the same amount of current without overheating or melting down.
- If you have different sized wires, it may be necessary to use a larger gauge wire or even a heavier duty extension cord splitter.
- Test your connections with an electrical tester before using them. You don’t want to start using these extension cords only to find out they will not carry enough power for your needs.
Butt Splicing Two Extension Cords Together
To begin butt splicing two extension cords together, strip about 1 inch from each wire so that you have bare copper exposed on both ends of each wire (this is called “tinning”).
Use your tin snips or strippers for this step if possible since it will make it easier for your soldering iron to heat up and melt the solder onto each end of both wires simultaneously.
The short answer is yes, someone can plug together extension cords. The trick, though, is to ensure that you are plugging them into an extension cord socket and not directly into a wall outlet. This way, the devices will get their power from both extension cords and it should prevent any issues with overloading the cords.
And there are other considerations to keep in mind before plugging extension cords together. As long as you’re using them safely, you’ll find that they really do come in handy when you need them the most.
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?