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Extension Cord Questions

An extension cord, also called as an extension lead or power extender is a length of flexible electric wire or power cable. It consists of a plug on one end and one or more sockets on the other end. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding extension cords answered by Experts.

Is it safe to use a 14 gauge extension cord plugged into a washer/dryer?

Using a washer/drier through an extension cord is not advisable as these are made to plug into the wall socket. Also the washer/dryer would probable need a 20 amp circuit which would be a 12 gauge inner circuit wiring.

Can a 5000-6000 BTU air conditioner that uses 125 colts and 15 amps safely be plugged into an extension cord if the air conditioner cord is too short to reach the wall socket?

With a 15 amp load you would need to use a #14 copper wire. A 12 gauge cord would work well and the lesser the length of the cord, the better, as the efficiency of carrying the load would be higher.

Is it against electrical codes to have a extension cord connected to a double pole light switch?

In most cases, you will not be allowed to do this as you will be violating the NEC code. It could be highly risky as there will be no way to grip the cord in order to ensure that it cannot be pulled out. Moreover, you may not have the proper wires to do so in the switch box. However, you can purchase a switched extension cord from a Home Depot and use the nearest receptacle for the power to the tank which will not violate the NEC code.

What is the best properly gauged extension cord to use to hook up to a different window and plug it in to the electrical outlet?

You need the heaviest gauge of cord you can get and for this unit a 12 gauge cord rated for 20 amps will be best suited. A length of about 6 feet would be optimum as you need to keep the cord as short as possible to allow it to work properly.

Will it be safe to make an extension cord from a 220v dryer plug through 30 feet of 6/3 wire with ground terminating in two duplex 110 receptacles?

You should be able to do this but be careful to use only 6/4 wire with a small breaker box on the end. This seems to be a 30 amps circuit and usually 110V outlets cannot be protected if it exceeds 20 amps. Also the extension cord will be usable only in a dryer which is set up for 4 wires since in a 3 wire outlet no separate ground and neutral wires are available and if you happen to have a problem in the future with the outlets, it is unlikely that a combined ground and neutral will protect you from a fatal shock.

How would one connect the wires if they are making an extension cord for a 220v 20 amp pump using a NEMA 6-20P and NEMA 6-20R with a 12 AWG in-between?

Examine the plug closely. Each terminal is slightly differently colored. Wire the cord to the plug in this manner: the black wire to the gold terminal, the white wire to the silver terminal and the green wire goes to the green terminal. You need to do the same at the other end as well. Once this is done, your extension cord is ready for use.

How would one repair a 3-wire extension cord if the wires were accidently cut in half?

It is recommended that you convert this into two extension cords. In most cases the best would be to make this into 2 extension cords. What you need to do is put a male end on the half which has the female end and a female end on the one with a male end. Ensure that the white wires connect to the silver screw and the black wire to the brass screw. The green wire will need to be connected to the green screw. Retain the same amperage devices which are already part of the cord. Not only will this ensure your cord is repaired but now you have two very usable extension cords.

There are a variety of extension cords available in the market and you need to be sure that you use the right type for your appliances. Sometimes you may have problems with extension cords and if you have any doubts or questions regarding extension cords, you can always ask the Experts who are available to clarify doubts and give you answers for your questions.
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