Multi-outlet power extension cords are an excellent way to add some additional sockets, given the right circumstances. Most multi-outlet power extension cords, or power bars, come with an internal fuse for safety purposes. But, no matter what your reasons are for using a multi-outlet power cord, there are a few safety precautions you need to remember.
- Never Overload, or Piggyback
While there are usually multiple outlets in a power extension cord that does not necessarily mean you can automatically fill everyone. You need to appreciate that certain items pull more wattage and loading your outlets with electrical things that draw a lot of power will trip the cord breaker. A good rule of thumb to follow to avoid overload is to never plug any major appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, or other types of appliances that rely on electric to generate heat.
You also never want to piggyback two multi-outlet power cords together. If you find that you need more outlets, then be safe; install an additional wired wall outlet, not a series of multi-outlet power cords.
- Not Permanent Wiring
Do not try to use power cable extension cords to replace what should be permanent wiring. Using a power cord is okay to operate the tools necessary to install new wiring, or as a temporary source of electrical power while getting a room prepped for electric wire.
Multi-outlet bars, or power extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring. There is too much of a risk of overload, and when used as a permanent source of electrical power, cords and multi-outlet bars can get hot. This is simply not a smart alternative to permanent wiring.
- Keep in Good Maintenance
Be certain to unplug any type of electrical cord before you check the condition of the cord. Periodically check your power extension cords for cracks, or other cuts in the protective outer layer.
While you may think it is okay to cover a cut in the outer layer with electrical type, or put in a splice, it is not a good idea. If you cord has a nick in the protective outer covering, be safe and replace the cord.
You will also want to keep the outlets of a multi-outlet power cord clean. You can purchase a can of compressed air to clean out the socket holes, or you can use an air compressor. Do not use water, or any other type of liquid inside the sockets on any electrical cord. Clean the outside of the power extension cord with a damp cloth and allow it to completely dry before plugging it back in.
Power extension cords are a great way to add a few more electrical outlets, but only if you keep them in good condition, and never overload their circuits. When deciding where to use a power extension cord, or how what kinds of things you can plug into them, air on the side of caution. Safety first is always the best choice.