Electrical Power Cords in Murrieta Homes
Electrical power cords are used with almost any piece of electrical equipment requiring connection to the main power source, such as domestic appliances, computers, machinery and more, in industries like retail, commercial, food processing and electronics. Damaged electrical power cords can be a source of all types of problems with your electrical appliances, devices, and equipment.
Problems with electrical power cords can result in short-circuits that will flip a switch in your main breaker box, cause your electrical devices to not function properly or may even cause a dangerous electrical fire. One of the most common problems with electrical power cords is that of cracking or fraying.
Properly placing and maintaining electrical power cords is critical to preventing fires and injuries. This article will address common problems with electrical cords how to avoid the problems and also how to correct them when they arise.
Our homes are filled with electrical appliances designed to make our lives easier and more convenient, so that we have more time to pursue more rewarding activities.
We don’t need to wash our clothes by hand or hope for sunlight to dry them. We don’t need to spend hours preparing and cooking meals, only to spend another hour washing all the dishes afterwards. We have the modern convenience of electric lights, hot running water, and hygienically chilled food storage.
However, as you fill your homes with convenient appliances, be aware that many of these modern conveniences are also potentially dangerous. Any electrical appliance has the potential to start fires or cause an electric shock, and each brings with it its own dangers, ranging from frightening to life threatening.
Understanding these potential hazards can help keep you, your family, and your property safe. Read more here.
Basic electrical cords need to be monitored often for fraying and other damage. Cords that are not properly maintained could result in at best a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, or at worst a fire or electrocution. Cords that have obvious fraying or feel like they have insulation missing need to be repaired or replaced before being used.
Electrical cords and extension cords are common everywhere. From homes to the workplace, they are used and are the most likely abused tool that we have.
Often utilized for simple things like plugging in the space heater at work or stringing decorative lights during holidays, the easiest option for consumers is to go online or to the nearest hardware section of a store and purchase an inexpensive cord. If the price, length of cord and type of connector meet our needs, we will likely purchase the item and not think anything else about it.
CHOOSING AN EXTENSION CORD IS MORE INVOLVED THAN THAT.
Before buying an extension cord, plan ahead. Know what it will be used for and where it’s going to go. It’s also important to know how much power the equipment you’ll be plugging into it uses.
IEEE has an informational paper that describes what to do and NOT to do with electrical equipment cords and extension cords. Here are a few examples:
- DON’T plug extensions cords together.
- Get one that is the correct length you need. It may be tempting to just string them together, but resist the temptation. Extending the length of an extension cord by “daisy-chaining” can lead to overheating the cord by overloading it, creating a serious fire hazard. See more here.
Along with choosing the correct cord, you will also have to regularly inspect and maintain the cords you are using. These inspections should look for wear and tear, deterioration, and any type of damage. If you identify any type of damage to the cord, you will need to dispose of it and replace it immediately.
There’s probably a set of guidelines for the proper use of extension cords, and this is almost definitely against the rules.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) publishes rules for using extension cords.
According to the NEC, extension cords and cables should NOT be used:
• As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a device or structure. If the extension cord is a permanent fixture in your home theater or office setup, you should look to other options. (In the case of surge protectors, it’s OK if you’re using it as a device to protect equipment from unexpected surges in voltage and not to merely extend the reach of a cord.)
• When run through holes in walls, ceilings, or floors, or concealed behind walls, ceilings, or floors.
• Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings.
• Where attached to walls or buildings’ surfaces (like snaked around the top of a doorway to avoid the rule right above this one).
It might not seem like a big deal to run a small cable through an open doorway, but extension cord safety should be a concern to everyone for two big reasons: safe use of cords can reduce harm to people from electrocution or fire, and also prevent damage to your devices. Read more here.
Use the right extension cord for the job.
Before you plug in, make sure that the wattage rating of the extension cord you’re using is greater than the pull (or power requirement) of the equipment it’s powering. Using an extension cord to supply more wattage than it’s rated for can cause conductor strain, overheating, and possibly even fire. You must install a safety switch to your home. This safety switch is designed to save lives by monitoring power flow and making sure it is even. It is estimated that if every household installed a safety switch it would halve the number of electrical injuries occurring every year.
If there is a loss of power, the safety switch assumes it is flowing to ‘earth’ and disconnects the electricity supply in one thirty-thousandth of a second. Make sure your safety switches are installed by a qualified electrician. You can call us (951) 805-1262 for any electrical problem need. We are here to help.
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