8 Important Things to Remember to Prevent Extension Cord Overloading

Improper usage of extension cords may lead to serious electrical problems such as overloading.

Some residents in the Sutherland Shire use extension cords in ways that do not conform with its appropriate handling. Thus, resulting in damage and electrical failures.

An extension cord is a tool used to connect a distant appliance to a fixed electrical outlet. It is a long power cable which contains one or more sockets on one end and an electrical plug on the other. Also, extension cords are available in various types, sizes and measurements.

Since extension cords offer a sense of convenience, some people tend to misuse them, causing electrical congestion. To address this problem, here are some ideas to prevent an extension cord from overloading.

Use Only Certified and Tested Extension Cords

Buying a certified extension cord is the first thing you should remember. For safety precaution, always look for an extension cord with electrical safety compliance markings. Extension cords without security markings may not be reliable and efficient to use. Some may cause damage which can lead to injuries.

Determine Your Extension Cord Capacity or Rating

There are different types of extension cords, depending on their cable diameter and length. An extension cord’s diameter determines the amount of electricity it can carry; a thicker wire means additional power. 

On the other hand, its length indicates the voltage drop or the amount of energy eliminated due to internal wiring resistance. The longer the cord, the lesser power that goes through your appliances.

Avoid Plugging in Multiple Appliances

Powering several appliances through your extension cord may cause overheating and damage. Keep in mind that an extension cord cannot accommodate all your electrical devices since it has a power limit. Therefore, never plug in multiple appliances that would exceed its energy rating to avoid overloading and destruction.

Always Check Your Extension Cords Before Usage

Thoroughly examine your extension cords for possible damage before using it. Doing this will help you keep your appliances safe from electrical failure. If you ever notice that your extension cord has cuts and burns, do not plug it in as it may cause fire and electrical shock when connected to the wiring system.

Unplug Your Extension Cords When Not in Use

As long as it is plug in an outlet, electricity will flow through your extension cords whether you are using it or not. To keep your home safe from potential hazards, always remember to unplug your extension cords when you are not using them.

Avoid Chaining Your Extension Cords

Connecting one extension cord from another to create a longer cable is not advisable. Doing this may reduce the capacity of each cord to deliver power and may lead to its gradual failure. Besides, in worst cases, using chained extension cords may overload your mains and cause a fire within your residence.

Do Not Use Extension Cords as a Permanent Solution

Extension cords are suitable only for temporary usage. They should not be a replacement for your permanent wirings as they do not have the same electrical stability. Continuous usage of extension cords can lead to significant damage to your long-term electrical system.

Install More Electrical Outlets

The best solution to avoid extension cords from overloading is installing additional standard outlets in your home. Through this, lesser appliances will be needing the aid of an extension cord for electricity supply. 

Also, having more outlets will reduce the electrical hazards of using extension cords on your valuable appliances.


Overloading your extension cords may lead to significant damages such as fires, electrical shock and appliances breakdown. Hence, it is essential to know if you are using your extension cords correctly to avoid electrical threats such as overloading.

On the other hand, you can always choose to decrease your dependency on extension cords by having additional electrical outlets at home for a much safer wiring system. Sutherland Shire Electricians is more than willing to help you with your new outlets and wiring installation.

Our professional and highly skilled electricians will provide any electrical service you needed. From outlets and wirings installation to home electrical inspection, we guarantee an exceptional service 24/7.

Team up with our Level 2 electricians today and call us at (02) 8378 2825.

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