Is Joining Two Extension Cords Illegal?

extension cord legalThe legalities of joining two extension cords vary state by state, most states it is legal to join two extension cords together. The important question to ask, though, is:

Is joining two extension cords safe?

In reality, nothing is really dangerous as long as the limitations of the cords are realized and they are plugged into the proper plug. Different cords and configurations will have different outcomes but in order to be completely safe, it is best to read as much as you can about the extension cords you have on hand.

It is important to use properly rated extension cords in any situations, especially if you are joining two together. Check the extension cord’s label for the wattage the cord can handle. If you can’t find any information, you might want to dispose of the cord as it might be very old. Make sure the two extension cords you want to use are the same rating. Be careful of the trip risk and everything should be fine.

It’s very easy to just plug in any extension cord into another one but this is not recommended. Cords can easily get overloaded as you are added on additional elements to the total power coming from the outlet. If you are to use an underrated extension cord there is a possibility for danger. Improper use on extension cords can lead to an excessive voltage drop which can cause overheating and fires. Be sure to check the wall for the temperature after 10 or 15 minutes of use. If it feels warm, you are nearing the maximum level for the cord and should not add any more devices.

To ensure you are properly using an extension cord, it might be best to just get one that is long enough to reach whatever you are trying power up. This way you won’t have to worry about finding the ones with the correct amperage to work together. You will also reduce the chances of tripping and unplugging one from the other.

Also, be sure you are using the extension cord with recommended devices. Never user an extension cord to power the following items:

  • Welders
  • Hot Water Heaters
  • Air Conditioner
  • Refrigerator

If you are unsure if you have the correct extension cords, please contact an electrician who can help you out. A professional electrician can give you more information and advice about extension cords and the possibility of just adding more outlets in your home. Additional outlets can bring power to the places you need them most and remove the risk caused by adding too many extension cords and power strips. If you are unsure, be safe and ask an electrician first.

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