Selecting the correct power cord for domestic usage is crucial to avoid costly mistakes that can cause problems and increase expenses. Unfortunately, many people make hasty decisions when choosing power cords, resulting in unsuitable products. Selecting the most extended and cheapest option is not always the best solution. To make an informed decision and a wise purchase, you must understand how to choose the appropriate power cable.
To do that, you must know the key factors to consider when selecting an extension cord, power cord, or extension cable. By understanding these factors, you can make a more informed decision about choosing the correct power cord for your needs. So, let’s dive deeper into the details of power cords to help you make the best decision possible.
Why Should You Find the Best Power Cord For Domestic Use?
Finding the best power cord for domestic usage is essential for several reasons. For instance, using the correct power cord can help prevent electrical hazards, such as electrical shocks and fires, caused by faulty wiring.
Furthermore, using the best power cord, such as the switch power cord, ensures your electrical devices work optimally. A high-quality power cord like this one can help deliver a consistent flow of electricity to your devices, which can help prevent damage to them and prolong their lifespan.
Also, choosing the correct power cord can help you save money on electricity bills. A power cord that delivers efficient and consistent power to your devices can help reduce energy waste and lower overall energy consumption.
How To Find the Best Power Cord For Domestic Usage
Here’s how you can find the best power cord for domestic use:
1. Buy Longer than Your Requirement
Buying a longer cable than you think you’ll need is best when choosing an extension cord. Connecting multiple cables (daisy-chaining) can be dangerous and cause electrical resistance between the outlet and the device you’re trying to power.
Daisy-chaining can lead to voltage drops, causing your equipment to run at lower power, and can even cause heat to build up, increasing the fire risk. Additionally, a longer cord is more convenient, allowing you to reach your work area easily.
2. Choose Thicker Cords
The wire thickness inside an extension cord is another crucial factor to consider when finding the best power cord. Thicker wires have a more remarkable ability to carry more power over longer distances. It is important to note that any cable in a big-box store should meet the minimum requirements for running low-power devices, such as lights, battery chargers, or stereos.
However, it’s best to find a cord with a higher wire gauge if you use power tools like drills, saws, or wet/dry vacuums safely and at full power. In the US, cord thickness is generally listed in gauge or AWG, where more significant numbers indicate smaller wires that can carry less energy.
3. Find Cords that Handle 15 Amps
When finding the best extension cord, looking for the amperage rating on the packaging is essential. It’s best to skip cables rated for 10 A or 13 A and instead get one placed for at least 15 A. This will ensure you can safely plug in any household tool or equipment without exceeding the cord’s limits.
Additionally, it’s important to note that they will mark most cords for 125 V or 130 V, the standard domestic voltage in the US. There’s no need to worry about voltage ratings for household use. However, contractor cords for job sites may have a rating of up to 300 V to meet workplace safety requirements.
4. Cords Made for Cold Weather Offers More Flexibility
Choosing more flexible extension cords would be best, especially at lower temperatures. These cords are easier to handle and store and are more convenient to use in tight spaces. Determining which cables are more flexible when tightly packaged on the shelf can be difficult.
One way to find a more flexible cord is to look for cables designed for cold weather, as they tend to be more relaxed at all temperatures. Although not all cord packaging provides temperature information, you’ll discover that cords rated for temperatures below freezing are generally more flexible.
5. Avoid Multi-Outlet Cords
Avoid using extension cords with multiple outlets, also known as banana taps, for powering tools, equipment, or work lights that require high power. These cords are more likely to get overloaded when used for heavy-duty tasks.
For instance, if you use a 15-amp thread for a circular saw and add a few bright work lights, the cable may get overloaded whenever you operate it. It can cause the breaker to trip, making it impossible to work.
Moreover, using a high-power cord with a less common 20-amp or higher breaker can lead to overheating the line. It’s best to use one outlet per cord and per equipment for heavy-duty tasks and general-purpose cords you plan to keep for a long time. However, indoor cables that power less demanding items like phone chargers and lamps may have slightly different rules.
There are many types, brands, and designs for electrical extension cords. Selecting the best power cord for domestic usage requires consideration of the abovementioned factors. Now, it is up to you to always remember them for your safety and for others.