Extension cords are very resourceful when you cannot get direct access to a power outlet. You can instead connect them to the main power outlet then plug your other electronics to it. Notably, not all electronics can safely plug into an extension cord. Therefore, this leaves one wondering, “can I use an extension cord for my TV?” The answer to this question lies somewhere in the article so stay tuned.
Extension cord definition and purpose
Simply, an extension cord is an electrical cord that has a plug on one end and a multi-port or single socket on the other end that helps to power one or multiple devices from a distance. In this case, the wall outlet may be too far that the normal cords for these devices cannot reach. In other words, you can refer to it as a power extender.
Extension cords have been in existence for a long time and they help to make work easier in cases where the cord of your electronic device is shorter and cannot access the main power outlet. Usually, it is rare to get a household that is not putting extension cords into use. You will discover that at least one or two appliances are using a cord.
Additionally, cords are only meant for temporary use because of the electric hazards they can cause. However, there are some households that plug in appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves permanently onto an extension cord. This is quite risky but again depends on the type of cord that is in use.
Parts of an Extension Cord
When dealing with an extension cord, it is crucial to know what it consists of and how each of these parts contribute to the safety of your appliance. The main parts include;
Extension cords have different power requirements, the major ones being 240v and 120v (most common in households). Each of the two has their own different plugs. Every extension cord has two flat prongs. Nevertheless, cords that operate outdoors have an additional semi-rounded prong that attaches to the ground wire.
For the two-prong plug, one must be larger than the other to ensure that there is polarization. These ones work well with appliances that feature polarized plugs. When you find an extension cord that has two prong plugs that are of the same size, they are only safe for use with appliances which have non-polarized plugs.
The plugs on outdoor cords have a sheathing for extra protection while those on indoor cords allow you to remove them when need be. Moreover, there are plugs that have an LED light that powers on once you plug the cord into a power outlet.
These are the most vital parts of an extension cord. The conducting wires are responsible for carrying electricity from one end to the other. If you want to know what appliance will work with the extension cord you have, you need to determine how thick the wires of the cord are and their length as well.
For example, a longer extension cord carries less current because voltage drops easily. Wire gauge is also an important factor to note. Larger wire gauges are suitable for carrying smaller currents.
- Wire sheathing
Wire sheathing enables you to know whether you can use the extension cord for indoor or outdoor purposes. Outdoor cords have a rubber sheathing that is waterproof and more flexible. On the other hand, indoor extension cords encompass plastic sheathing.
Is an extension cord appropriate for TV?
You now have a rough idea about extension cords, their purpose and main components. Yes, it is possible to use an extension cord for your TV but not as a permanent solution; only temporary. In order for this to happen, the power rating of your extension cord needs to be higher than the power your TV consumes.
Generally, your TV should have lower wattage if you must plug it onto an extension cord. Also, if you get a good quality cord with a perfect length as well and features a surge protection unit, then you are good to go and can use it permanently. Surge protectors protect your television against unnecessary power surges that may cause damage to it.
Besides, the cord should not be too long; make it short. The longer the cord, the more voltage it is likely to lose making it have a lower capacity. The most appropriate extension cord for your TV is the medium-duty cord. They have a third wire and also plug prong that is suitable for grounding.
Televisions can draw up to 10 amps of power or even less. So, if you have a cord measuring up to 25ft, ensure you use a 16AWG wire. A cord length of up to 50ft uses a 14AWG wire while that of up to 100ft uses a 12AWG wire. And if you do not want to use a surge protector, get an extension cord that has a thick wire.
Safety Measures when using an Extension cord
- Do not plug multiple cords together.
- Do not use extension cords meant for indoor purposes outside and vice versa.
- Do not bend cords when they are in use.
- Place cords where they can be seen to avoid somebody tripping over them.
- Ensure that you do not power more than one appliance using a single cord.
- Whenever you feel that your extension cord becomes too hot to touch, quit using it immediately.
How to take care of extension cords when not in use
- Make sure to store the cords indoors after using them.
- If you have any cords that are damaged, get rid of them.
- Once you finish using your extension cord, always unplug it from the power source.
- When disconnecting the cord from the power outlet, only pull the plug and not the cord.
It is very possible to use an extension cord for your TV as long as its wattage is lower than that of the cord. Also, it is not advisable to use the cord as a permanent solution but if you incorporate a surge protection unit, then you can. Always consider the length of cord and wire gauge before getting the cord for your TV.