Extension cords are very handy, especially when you do not have an outlet at your nearest disposal. However, can you use an extension cord permanently? The straightforward answer to this is a simple no.

Extension cords are delicate wires that are meant for temporary use. They need ventilation and proper care for the cords to work properly.

The slightest damage or possibility of overheating of these cables can cause electrocution, short circuit, or cause a fire.

There are a number of reasons that make extension cords unsuitable for permanent wiring. Read on more to learn more about it!

Can You Use An Extension Cord Permanently?

Can the Extension Cord be Used Permanently?

Extension cords are very handy for using appliances that are away from a socket. In addition, extension cords will start wearing off soon and are not generally very long-lasting. Extension cords should not be used on a permanent basis as they can be hazardous. A damaged cord is a fire, electrocution, and short circuit hazard.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why you shouldn’t use extension cords permanently.

Susceptible to Damage the Cord by Tripping or Walking on it

Extension cords are long wires that can be placed anywhere. They are usually 100 feet long, so it is natural to have them lying around in the ground, but that creates a major problem as you can easily trip over these long, useful cords.

In the process of tripping, you will hurt yourself and damage the exterior and the interior wiring. At the same time, walking on top of the cord will damage the interior wirings of the cords, too, so you have to replace the extension cords often.

Extension cords are delicate in general as water exposure of heavyweight over the cords can easily damage them, so they are not suitable as a permanent fix.

Overheats if Not Ventilated Properly

An extension cord at the middle of a floor can be a health hazard as people can trip over it and is not very aesthetically pleasing.

To tuck the cords away safely, people often have them inside walls, floors, etc. They might take it a step further and cover the areas that have a cord tucked with rugs or heavy objects.

This restricts air circulation and obstructs areas for the heat to transfer and for the cord to cool done. As such, the possibility of overheating increases significantly, and these heated areas become danger zones of electrical fires, short circuits, and much more.

Overloads the System

Extension cords come in standard size with voltage markings. However, often one extension cord is connected with another to make the cord longer, which can overload the system.

Moreover, plugging in an appliance that uses more voltage than the cord can handle will also overload the cord. Often the cords get damaged, but sometimes, this overload can start an electrical fire, too, which will be extremely dangerous.

Another reason for overloading is plugging in multiple devices at the same time to an extension cord that has more than one outlet. This susceptibility to overloading hinders the performance of the cord and makes it unsuitable for permanent use.

What Can You Use as a Permanent Wiring?

It is better not to use an extension cord as permanent wiring, but instead, you can use designated wire assemblies in lieu of building regulations. Another option is investing in a power strip, especially the ones that have circuit breakers.

How Long Can an Extension Cord Be Used

According to OSHA, you can not use an extension cord for more than 90 days. So, if you need it for more than three months, get a permanent solution.

A List of Don’ts for Extension Cords

There are certain things that should be absolutely avoided with extension cords to ensure better longevity of the cord and to avoid any hazard.

  • Do not run the cords through the floor, ceiling, or place heavy weight on the cord.
  • Use a single cord for a single appliance
  • Do not plug in an appliance that uses a lot of power that the cord cannot handle.
  • Do not use indoor extension cords outside or vice versa, as the cords are designed for a particular use.
  • Replace an extension cord immediately after the expiration date or on the first signs of damage.
  • Do not let indoor extension cords be soaked in water.
  • Do not use an extension cord as a permanent wiring solution.

Conclusion

Can you use an extension cord for permanently? In this article, we see a number of reasons why using an extension cord permanently might not be the smartest decision. Their long length is a hazard for tripping and getting easily damaged. Additionally, if not used properly, the possibility of overheating and overloading increases. All of these can be a health and safety risk. As a result, extension cords are used temporarily. Instead, approved wiring and power strips are more suitable permanent wiring.

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