Choosing the Proper Retractable Extension Cord

Published: 05th May 2011
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A retractable extension cord is useful in everyday life providing absolute convenience especially throughout holidays like Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Decorating with lights to celebrate these events is just not straightforward if the outlet isnít where you want it. You can select various lengths of retractable extension cords that you will need, from 6-feet and 10-feet, to lengths of 20-feet or more.





More important than choosing the lengths of a retractable extension cord, you need to select the correct gauge (i.e., size and current capacity of the cord) as well. The gauge of the cord will help you determine the right kind of cord that is safe for use. It is best to decide on the high-quality cords for your operations, so investing just a little more money to make sure your safety is a good idea.





Types of Extension Cords





There are usually two types of retractable extension cord: the basic extension cords and the heavy-duty retractable extension cords. The basic extension cords are the standard double-wire cords you can find in a brown, green or white housing. They are commonly used for smaller appliances like hand and iron mixers, alarm clocks, desk lamps, and other small family appliances. The lengths of those cords range from 6-feet to a hundred feet, and may be readily found in the marketplace. However, the lengths of the cords do not serve the same objective of a retractable extension cord. These cords are not ideal to be used outdoors and on appliances that use large quantities of voltage. They arenít advisable for power tools and space heaters, as they are thin and may get hot and dangerous.





For outside appliances that draw a large amount of current, it's best to make use of heavy gauge extension cords that are triple-corded. They can be found in highly visible colors such as bright orange or bright yellow. The reason for this is to permit easy spotting of these cords around power tools. It is strongly recommended to use a grounded electrical outlet when using the heavy gauge cords to make the third prong correctly grounded.





Choosing the Best Retractable Extension Cord





When choosing the best cord, you need to first think about your intended use for it. Since you know the basic types of a retractable extension cord, it's simpler to decide the right cord to use. For small appliances like desk electric fans or alarm clocks, the two-wire extension cord will be enough to complete the job. For larger appliances like a power saw, it is strongly recommended to make use of the three-wire extension cord for improved safety. You can also decide to make use of a heavily-insulated cord when utilizing major appliances outdoors. When buying a cord, make sure it is certified by UL or United Laboratories. The stamp of UL signifies that the cord has met or exceeded all of the standards of extension cords set by the industry.











Discover more features, advantages, and precautions for retractable extension cords here. More by Dr. Stoker: Optimum Nutrition Whey Proteinand Mutual Fund Fees






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