A lot of us are well-aware of the uses of extension cords, but often we don’t know how important it is to use an extension cord of the right gauge with the power rating of the appliance.
Hence, today we will be going into a thorough discussion in answering the question; how many Watts can a 14 gauge extension cord handle?
Let’s get started.
How Are Extension Cords Rated?
Before we get into the specific power ratings for 14 gauge extension cords, let us first take a look at how these extension cords are rated? There are two main factors upon which extension cords are rated. The first one is the amperage that the cords can handle safely and the wattage that they can carry without any safety hazards.
Appliances and tools must always have the amperage and wattage ratings written on an attached label, so it is easy for all the users to buy an extension cord accordingly.
What you must also know is that both the amperage and the wattage that the cords can carry safely depend on the gauge of the wire. Therefore, whenever you buy an extension cord, you need to know its wire gauge. For safety purposes, you must check the amperage and wattage the extension cord will need to handle from your appliance.
16 gauge extension cords are usually the standard for regular household appliances such as televisions, lamps, radios, etc. Meanwhile, if you need extension cords for appliances that need more power or become heated, you will have to use different extension cords; the lightweight ones will not work.
The length of the extension of the cords is also another factor that varies the amount of power that the cord can carry safely. To put it into simple words, the longer the wire, its capacity to current will become lower. When the length of the extension cord is greater, the resistance is greater, which may easily lead to the buildup of heat.
How Many Watts Can a 14 Gauge Extension Cord Handle?
When you are buying an extension cord you have to make sure that it is rated for the amperage and watts that your appliance would require it to carry. However, this is the minimum rating that it must have. We would highly suggest you get an extension cord that has greater ratings than the appliance you are going to be using it with.
Now finally, let’s come to the main topic, how many watts can a 14 gauge extension cord handle? The wattage rating of a 14 gauge extension cord is about 1,440 Watts, but you need to remember that the wattage that the cord can handle will vary with the length of the cord.
However, knowing the wattage rating of the 14 gauge extension cord is not enough for safety. You must also know the answer to how many amps can a 14 gauge extension cord handle. The average amperage that this extension cord can carry is about 12 Amps.
We use the word average because, as we have mentioned before, this can vary due to the length of the wire. 14 gauge extension cords that are under 50 inches in length can carry a current of 13 Amps, while the ones that are greater than 50 inches in length can handle a current of 10 Amps.
If the rating of your extension cord is lower than the power of your appliance, then this might result in your appliances getting damaged. This is especially common in appliances that have a motor.
What is A 14 Gauge Extension Cord Good For?
14 gauge extension cords are pretty decent for regular use, and they are labeled as medium-duty extension cords. Although 16 gauge extension cords are generally used for regular household appliances such as Television, 14 gauge extension cords may also be used for this purpose.
Additionally, these extension cords are great for power tools such as table saws, power drills, circular saws, electric chainsaws, snowblowers, and many more. The 14 gauge extension cord can carry enough wattage safely, so it can also be used for heavy equipment, unlike 16 gauge extension cords which are light-duty.
Although buying a longer extension cord means that it has greater resistance to electrical current and may overheat a bit more, we still recommend it since it will be easier for you to maneuver your tool or appliance with a longer cord. Also, it is always better to have an extra-long cord than a short one which will restrict your movement.
Safety Tips for Extension Cords
As long as the extension cord of the correct rating is used, you can use it with almost all appliances. However, never use extension cords with electric heaters. There have been several house fires when users have used extension cords with their heaters because the heaters have very high power and current demand.
Be careful not to use extension cords that are worn out in any way. If your extension cord has any cracks which expose the wires inside, you might get a severe electric shock even upon body contact for a second. Furthermore, do not use extension cords that have damaged plug ends; this may cause a lot of accidents.
Understanding which extension cord to use is not that difficult; you just have to always check the labels properly. Hence, if you are using a 14 gauge extension cord, it is imperative for you to know how many wattages can a 14 gauge extension cord handle.
Safety always comes first, so when you are dealing with these electrical appliances you should be careful, and if you are very confused, you should talk to an expert and get your appliances’ ratings checked out by them to ensure you’re using the right extension cord.