Today you will learn how to choose an electric extension cord for the home. We will help you make the right choice of extension cord and protect yourself and your home from troubles. You will be able to independently decide which extension cord you need, based on the necessary parameters in each case.
There are many different extension cords available. How to avoid mistakes when choosing it?
To do this, you must be able to check the parameters of the extension cord. How to do this, we will teach you now.
The extension cable must indicate the permissible power of the connected devices.
On the wire itself, its cross section should be indicated, and the withstand current on the socket block.
If such markings, all or at least one, are not on the extension cord, in no case should you buy it. Even if you really liked him.
Do not buy an extension cord with grounding if you have sockets and plug-in appliances with a plug without grounding in your home. Such an extension cord is more expensive, and there is no point in using it with outlets and plugs without grounding.
And now directly about the differences in household electrical extension cords. They are conditionally divided into three groups.
The first group.
These are extenders of a cheap price category, from not very high-quality materials, with incomprehensible designations and, as a rule, without specifying the manufacturer. Such extension cords are quite dangerous in operation, so the manufacturer hides his involvement in them in order to avoid liability.
For such extensions, the wire usually has a cross section of 0.35 to 0.5 mm2.
The marking on the wire and the socket block is either absent at all, or does not correspond to real indicators. Different may also be indicated on the packaging and on the extension cord itself.
You can connect electrical appliances with a maximum power of 500 watts or 0.5 kilowatts to such extension cords at your own risk. It can be a table lamp, a fan, a charger for the phone and the like. That is, devices with very low power. If you connect an oven or kettle to it, such an extension cord may overheat and burn out.
In this case, the machine in the switchboard, in the absence of a difavtomat, may not work to turn off the power, because it is designed for a wire with a cross section of 2.5 mm2, which connects the sockets. And then everything can burn, along with the extension cord.
It is advisable not to buy such extension cords at all. But, if you have already bought it, do not use them to connect powerful electrical appliances.
The second group.
This is a surge protector. It differs in that it has protection against power surges. When the voltage in the network goes beyond the standard limits or the power of the connected electrical appliances is exceeded, such a surge protector is turned off, saving itself and the connected electrical appliances from breakage.
The wire cross section of the line filter is from 0.75 to 1.0 mm2. Withstanding power of about 2 kilowatts. Such an extension cord needs to be bought to connect office equipment and low-power household appliances. This is a TV, computer, printer, game console, satellite receiver, receiver, etc. over, it has 5 sockets and is also equipped with a switch that allows you to turn off all office equipment in one motion and not spoil the plugs of devices and sockets, and also contributes to energy savings. office equipment will not be constantly on standby "Stand-by".
The third group.
Extension cords of well-known manufacturers. For such extension cords, all parts are marked and made of quality materials. As a rule, these are extension cords of well-known brands. Wire cross section from 1.0 mm2 and above. The outlet block indicates a withstand current of 16 amperes, which corresponds to a power of approximately 3-3.5 kilowatts, which is also indicated on the package. Such an extension cord can be safely used to connect any household appliances. heater, kettle, oven, washing machine. But only you can connect not all at once of course, but one device at a time. It is also suitable for connecting low-power household appliances.
Now we draw conclusions from what we read.
We buy an extension cord that is cheap and incomprehensible for weak electrical appliances. Better not buy at all. We buy a surge protector for office equipment. We buy an extension cord, marked, for powerful household appliances.
If you are not satisfied with the proposed extensions, then you can do it yourself with the parameters you need by applying a wire with a sufficient cross section, preferably at least 1.5 mm2. I think that now everything is clear to you. Read the article. How to make an extension cord (carrying)?
Video. How to make an extension cord (carrying)?
And one more tip. If you bought an extension cord on the reel, then, with a long-term connection of a powerful electric device to it, you need to completely unwind it. Wound on a reel, it can overheat, melt and close.
Video: What Extension Cord Is Needed For An Electric Trimmer
- Cable cross section, length and type
- The design of the plug and sockets, their number
- The presence of a surge protector and a power button
- Which is better for different conditions
Cable cross section, length and type
The main thing to check when choosing is what power or current the electric extension cord can withstand. This information should be indicated on the packaging or determined by the product itself, now we will tell you more.
Sometimes people mistakenly believe that if an amperage of 16A is written on a socket or plug, then the entire extension cord will withstand this current. not a fact! To choose the right amperage, some electricians use rules like:
10 A per 1 square. mm conductor cross-section
And this in most cases works, albeit with slight deviations. That is, an electric extension cord with a cross-sectional area of conductors:
- 0.75 sq. mm. suitable for 6 A;
- 1 sq. mm. 10 A;
- 1.5 sq. mm. 16 A;
Extenders of large lengths (from 25 or 50 meters, including those made in the form of a coil) are made with a wire with a cross-sectional area of 2.5 mm in length. mm Firstly, to reduce losses, and secondly, to make the product more durable.
But for everyday tasks, such as connecting a washing machine or for a heater, it is enough to choose an extension cord of 5-7 meters long with a cross-section of conductive wires of 1.5 square meters. mm
For an extension cord, an electric wire of the PVS brand is excellent. It has thick insulation, a circular cross-section, and the gap between the cores is filled with a dielectric, which improves operational properties and damage resistance. It bends well, but this design is rather dense and an electric extension cord with conductors of 2.5 square meters. mm is quite heavy and voluminous.
This wire is great for assembling an extension cord with your own hands. Often, electricians use a flat cord brand ШВВП. Its insulation is not too thick compared to the previous example, however, it is quite suitable for laying and permanent work, while at the construction site it will quickly become worthless.
And for working in difficult conditions it is better to choose an electric extension cord, which is made of KG cable.
The thicker the wire. the easier it will carry mechanical stress. But its thickness does not guarantee equally thick veins. On cheap products on the wire do not indicate the marking at all. beware of it.
So, first of all, the extension cord is selected according to the power of the equipment that you will be connecting to it, and the distance from its installation to the nearest outlet.
The design of the plug and sockets, their number
By the design of the plug and socket, you can choose an extension cord with or without grounding. At the same time, it will be difficult or impossible to insert plugs of Soviet electrical appliances into the embodiment with grounding contacts and deep sockets. To connect not too powerful household appliances (up to 1 kW), the universal version will be a version with shallow sockets.
Structurally, forks can be cast and collapsible.
Cast forks will last longer, and collapsible forks to replace faster. Consider when choosing an extension cord the fact that instances with collapsible forks can often be counterfeit products, that is, the so-called samopal.
It is also important to choose the right degree of dust and moisture protection. For use in the open air, for example, in a summer house for connecting a lawn mower or in construction for a welding machine, you must take into account possible drops of water. In this case, you need to choose an extension cord with the highest possible degree of protection, it is marked as IPxx, where xx-digits and the more they are, the more protected the device. In the photo below you see an example of a model with lockable outlets.
Sockets can be from 1 to 4. Less common are models with 5 or more connectors for plugs. Do not buy a carrier with 4 outlets if you know for sure that you need it for a particular device and you will not connect anything else. In this he will last longer and will be safer.
The presence of a surge protector and a power button
An important feature of using an extension cord to power the electronics is the presence of a surge protector and buttons for disconnecting from the network. The surge protector is a device for suppressing electromagnetic interference caused by your equipment in the mains. Their occurrence is due to the principle of operation of pulse converters and will not be considered within this article.
In addition to the filter, a varistor is installed in such devices, which protects the connected electronics from high-voltage surges and power surges, as well as a fuse and a button to turn off the power. It is convenient to use by de-energizing the equipment when you are not using it. Thus, you further reduce the risk of damage due to power surges if you decide to choose an extension cord with additional protection.
Which is better for different conditions
Consider several typical cases when you need an extension cord and which one is better to choose.
Workplace connection. Usually in this case there is a set of equipment for which you need to provide sockets:
- For a computer. a system unit and a monitor or laptop.
- For speakers and printer.
- For a modem or router.
Total need from 3 to 5 connectors. The power consumption of this kit rarely exceeds 1, and even less often 2 kW (if there is a laser printer). Then you definitely need to use a surge protector similar to the topic in the figure below, but which one to choose?
The best manufacturers of extension cords for computers:
- Pilot. sometimes filters are called by this word, because this company in the market has long been well recommended.
- SVEN is a brand under which an assortment of additional equipment for a PC of good quality is produced.
- APC. Also known for their uninterruptible power supplies.
- Defender is a Russian brand; good products are sold under it.
- Xiaomi. no comments needed.
For a drill, it is best to choose an electric extension cord with one outlet, because it will last longer, it is easier to pull it on the wire when you drill the ceiling or holes for cornices and there is less chance that debris will fill in the unoccupied sockets and something will close.
For a garage, a power extension cord on a reel with a length of 25 meters and a thick wire will be useful. It is suitable for connecting a small machine or welding inverter.
The same option would be a great solution for a cottage, if you need to connect an electric trimmer or lawn mower. But note that you can not overload the extension cords on the coil, because in this design the wire can not be completely cooled when it is wound and its insulation can float.
For the home, for example, for a TV and similar equipment, any model of the appropriate length and with the right number of connectors is suitable, because modern appliances consume a little electricity. Whereas for a hair dryer, it is better to choose an extension cord with conductors of 1.5 square meters. mm
For an electric stove, it is generally undesirable to use an electric extension cord and connect it directly to the circuit breaker and RCD. But if we are talking about a small portable tile with one or two burners with a total power of 2-3 kW. choose an extension cord with grounding and a cross-section of conductors of at least 1.5 square meters. mm
Finally, we recommend watching useful videos on the topic:
Now you know how to choose an extension cord and which is best for connecting household appliances, electronics and garden tools. We hope the provided tips have helped you choose the best option for your own conditions!