While decorating your home you may find your AC placed in such a place where there is no outlet nearby. At the moment you may think of an extension cord as solution. But wait, can you plug an AC into an extension cord with proper safety assured?
Yes, you can plug an AC using an extension cord. But it is a very sensitive issue. You have to consider the current carrying capability of the cord. As well as the length of the cord also matters here. Choosing the wrong cord can lead to catching fire.
I am going to discuss the factors that are related to the topic to help you choose the right cord.
What Is An Extension Cord?
An extension cord is a kind of power cord that is used to put connection between a device and the power source. It helps to connect devices that are at a distant from the outlet you are aiming for. Since the devices have power cords of a limited length.
Extension cords can be of several types depending on some factors. Selecting the right extension cord for the job is a crucial part. We have to determine the required cord by matching the capacity of the device and the cord.
There are many advantages of extension cord. To learn about it visit the article
Extension Cord For An Air Conditioner
To select the correct extension cord for your AC you have to choose one which can carry heavy-duty current. You may notice the wires that are used for heavy-duty machines like AC or freezer is comparatively thicker than other wires in your house.
Since AC uses a lot of power. For example, a 2 Ton AC can consume about 1875 Watts of power. So it will take in about 15 amperes. To carry this amount of current we need a high capacity cord.
In such case we will need an extension cord with a low Gauge value. Since, a lower gauge numbered cord can carry more current and have more wattage. I am going to discuss about this terms in the next two articles to give you a broader aspect.
What Are The Factors To Choose The Correct Extension Cord?
Extension cords are classified by their capacity. The factors that defines the capacity are-
Voltage: Voltage is kind of force, that makes the current flows through a circuit. The flow of the current depends on the voltage. Without proper voltage, there will be no current flow in the circuit.
Amperage: Amperage is kind of a rush of flowing electrons just like water flowing through the river. When there is an increasing current flow, the path needs to get wider. Otherwise, the path will be flooded. Just like a river.
Wattage: Wattage is the power. It is the product of voltage and current. Depending on these factors an extension cord is varied and a unique unit is used to express the class of an extension cord known as ‘Gauge’.
So, what is Gauge?
Gauge is a kind of rating that is based on AWG (American Wire Gauge). It is expressed in numbers. Extension cords are found in market in various gauge values.
The characteristic of gauge is that, with the increase of gauge number the cord becomes thin and can carry less current. So for heavy duty works you need cords with low value of gauge.
The table below shows the characteristic differences between various types of gauge.
Determining The Right Gauge For You AC
To determine the correct gauge of your extension cord you need to know the capacity of your AC. Air Conditioners use certain unit like-Ton. Let’s see different AC according to its capacity:
1 ton AC has a capacity of about 1 KW or 1000 Watts. It draws a current of about 8 Amps
1.5 ton AC has a capacity of about 1400 Watts. It draws 12 Amps
2 ton AC has a capacity of about 1800 Watts. It draws 15 Amps
Here, the capacities may vary from AC to AC. It is a generalized value. You should check the labels of AC to know the exact capacity.
Now, that you know the current rating of your AC. Select the right gauge using the data. The current capacity of the AC should not exceed the capacity of your extension cord.
If you have a 2 ton AC you must choose 12 or 14 gauge wire and cord.
Length Of Your Extension Cord
Regarding the length, you must keep the length as low as possible. For example, if you can get your work done with 10 feet extension cord; do not go for a 50 feet.
The reason is that, when the cord is too long, it may result in a voltage fall at the consumption end.
Precautions You Should Take:
You should always take some precautions before using any electrical device or apparatus.
- Make sure the extension cord is the right one to use for the task. Below graded cord will result in accidents and damage to property
- Make sure the cord is a good one. The plugs and ports of the cord must be well furnished and strongly attached
- Check if there is any leakage in insulation. Since this is a heavy duty cord, any leakage may end up disastrously.
I hope you get to know what you were searching for, right?
Yes, you can plug an AC into an extension cord but with the proper considerations. So, if you need to a cord for you AC why are you waiting for?
Check the labels on your AC, read this article for the data you need to select the correct gauge. It is fun to learn something new and apply it practically. Good luck…