The Types of Extension Cords and their Best Uses

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Also known as power extenders, extension cords are helpful devices that typically extend or expand the reach of our household circuits for us to use our tools within a certain range. They are not a complete substitute for permanent wiring but they are acceptable to be connected for as long as we need them to increase operating efficiency of our household appliances and tools. In this article, we will discuss the types of extension cords and their best uses.


1. Light Duty Extension Cord with Two Wirescheap extension cords

This type of extension cord is best used for small appliances. They can only be used and operated for one or two devices such as lamps, clocks and other electrical devices up to 7 amperes. The cords are light and portable and they come in various lengths and gauge sizes: Gauge size 14 measured up to 1000 feet of cord length; gauge size 16 is paired with up to 50 feet of cord length; and gauge size 18 has up to 25 feet of cord length. Light duty extension cords are portable and they can be used either outdoors or indoors.



2. Medium to Heavy Duty Extension Cords with Three WiresMeiji extension cords

Medium to heavy duty extension cords are mostly approved to be used in outdoor setting. They are ideal to support devices such as the laptop computer, outdoor vacuum, portable compressor, mosquito killer, and entertainment devices. They are designed with a grounding wire on the plug which should not be plugged to any ungrounded electrical outlet, unless the device connected is double insulated.

For medium extension cords can power up devices up to 10 amperes. The gauge sizes and cord lengths likewise vary accordingly. The gauge size of 16 measures 25 feet of cord length; gauge size 14, 50 feet; and gauge size 12, 100 feet. On the other hand, heavy duty extension cords can extend power of appliances of up to 15 amperes. Gauge size 14 measures to 25 feet; gauge size 12, 50 feet; and gauge size 10, 100 feet. Heavy duty cords are used more in commercial industries such as construction sites.

3. Telephone Extension Cords

Commonly adapted in homes and offices, the telephone extension cord is simply plugged at one end in the jack and the other end in the telephone or data port. Its primary use is to extend telephone lines and fax machines. With two extra wires (making to the sum of four), it helps to accommodate certain multiple phone line systems and show when a line is in use.


The extension cord can really be a lifesaver but also to save lives, users must be able to use it properly and with care. Before purchasing an extension cord, determine the size of gauge and length of cord needed to power up your appliance at specific distances. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and enjoy usage for long.

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