Extension Cords: A Complete Guide

Extension Cords: A Complete Guide

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If you have multiple electronic devices at home or office, extension cords are a great way to keep everything in place. Extension cords are electrical cords that allow an appliance or other electrical device to be plugged into an electrical outlet farther from the device than the cord itself allows. They come in various lengths and are typically used to plug large appliances. This definitive guide will take you through the uses, types, and variety of extension cables.

Extension cords allow appliances that cannot reach nearby outlets to be powered. This is why extension cables save so many people’s time and energy. Extension wires are helpful for various tasks due to their flexible nature. Not all of the add-ons are suitable for everyone. If you’re buying it for the first time, keep reading to learn how to pick which ones are best for you. 

Different types of extension cords: 



Flat Extension Cords 

A flat extension cord can be anywhere from 2 feet long to 10 feet long, but it has no definitive length because it is made with multiple wires instead of one solid piece of wire. It is also not required by any building codes to have a certain level of gauged thickness to carry enough power throughout the unit. 

Standard cords 

These are the most common types of extension cord and are typically used for everyday purposes. They come in various lengths and colors and are available in grounded and ungrounded versions. 

Heavy-duty cords 

These cords are thicker and more durable than standard cords, making them ideal for heavier loads or outdoor use. They come in both grounded and ungrounded versions and are available at various lengths. 

Twist-lock cords 

These cables feature a twist-lock plug that ensures a secure connection. They are available in both grounded and ungrounded versions and come in various lengths. They are primarily used outdoors. 

Appliance cords 

These are shorter extension cords typically equipped with a polarized plug for use with appliances. They are available in grounded and ungrounded versions and come in various lengths. 

T-connection cords 

Also called “Y” connection or “triple tap” cords, these extension cords feature three plugs that allow you to connect multiple devices at once. They are available in grounded and ungrounded versions and come in various lengths.  

Guide for Buying an Extension Cords 

When buying an extension cord, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.


  1. Gauge of the wire: If you run heavy equipment or plan to operate many appliances on one cord, the wire will need to be thicker. The wire gauge is usually printed on the cable somewhere, but it’s typically not labeled.
  2. Length of Cord: For indoor use, typically, 12-15 feet is sufficient to get power to your device while still moving around without too much trouble. If you are running a very long cord, be sure to consider buying one with a power strip at the end of it.
  3. Power Strip: Make sure you buy a power strip if your extension cord is run outside. Cords meant for outdoor use typically come with a built-in circuit breaker which should help protect against overloading.
  4. Mount Outlets if Needed: Some circuits are located inside walls or floors and may be difficult or impossible to access where you want to plug in your appliances. In this case, it’s often best to mount new outlets outside the wall so cords can be plugged directly into them.
  5. Suspend Wires Properly: When running wires, be sure they are adequately suspended so there isn’t tension on them, which could cause damage over time.

How to choose the right extension cord for your needs? 


When choosing an extension cord, you’ll need to consider the type of equipment you’re using, the length of the cord, and the amount of power it requires. For example, if you’re using a heavy-duty tool like a drill, you’ll need a higher-powered extension cord that can handle more wattage. If you’re using a laptop, you’ll need a shorter cord that can plug into an outlet close to the device. 

How to use extension cords safely? 

With so many types and shapes of cords, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Carry a full line of extension cords and power strips for all your needs- so whether you’re looking to hang Christmas lights from the eaves outside or plug in the grill next to the patio, they have something for you. 


Extension cords are a must-have in any home. It not only gives you outlets to connect appliances, but it also saves time by putting everything together in one spot. Furthermore, some extension cables come equipped with surge protection for your pricey equipment from lightning strikes. If you’re going for a long extension cord, it’s possible to stretch it as far as 100 feet. It’s recommended you go through this guide carefully.

Featured Image Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels 

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