Tips to Consider while choosing extension cords

Extension cords are very handy when the appliance’s cord you’re using will not reach the nearest power outlet. But it’s important that you chose an extension cord that properly matches the appliance you’re using. If you are not sure, ask your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast to advise you on the correct size you’ll need. By choosing the correct type of extension cord, it helps to prevent fires and to ensure electrical safety for everyone.

These things should be considered while choosing the right extension cord for your appliance;

Length of the Extension Cord

An extension cord can deliver power over long distances, but it’s always best to use a cord of the right length as the longer the extension cord the greater the power drop.

  • Because the electrical efficiency is reduced with every meter of extension cord, it can affect the performance of appliances and possibly their safety
  • It also saves energy using a short extension as opposed to a long cord

Extension Cord Gauge or Thickness

All appliances and electrical devices have their amperage ratings written on them. These can usually be found plate permanently attached to the device or appliance, so you can check you have matched the correct extension cord to your device.

All extension cords are categorized by gauge or their thickness, the lower the number, the higher the higher their amperage ratings are, so an extension cable with a low gauge number is rated for heavy duty.

This table will give you an idea of which gauge extension cord to use

  • A 16 gauge cord is meant for light duty such as low wattage lights, portable fans, radios
  • A 14 gauge cord is meant for medium duty applications such as power drills, electric lawn mowers, electric hedge cutters, table saws and other medium wattage appliances
  • A 10 to 12 gauge cord is meant for all heavy duty and extra heavy duty applications such as portable air conditioners, air compressors, shop vacuum cleaners

A light duty appliance can be used with a heavy duty extension cord, but you should not use a heavy duty device with a light duty cord.

Indoor or Outdoor Use

Some extension cords are rated for outdoor use and are made to withstand the elements such as rain sunshine and freezing conditions. This will be clearly marked on the packaging the cord comes in.

High end extension cords

High end or higher quality extension cords can come with handy features such as power flow indicator lights and ground fault circuit interrupters. These are designed to help prevent electric shocks. They can also come with connection boxed that prevent accidental unplugging

Safety

Follow these basic safety tips:

  • Have you extension leads checked regularly by an electrician on the Gold Coast
  • Don’t connect extension cords together, get the right sized extension cord
  • Always check the cord before using and never gather or roll up a plugged in, extension cord
  • Be aware of where you’re in use, extension cords are
  • Don’t place extension cords under mats, rugs or carpets
  • Don’t overload extension cords

 

Always consult your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast if you have any concerns about any aspects of your home or electrical system, including the types and sizes of extension cords to use.

5 signs your switch board is wearing out

Many people live in older homes that although are very sound and comfortable usually still have the original wiring and switch board. These homes were designed with a wiring system that matched the average usage of the day, but now with people using so many more gadgets the old wiring systems and switch board are often overloaded and wearing out. Ask your friendly local electrician in Palm Beach to check your wiring and switch board if you notice any of these signs:

  1. Flickering Lights and Poor Appliance Performance

Flickering lights or if your lights seem to dim on and off, it’s a sure sign your switch board and wiring needs to be checked. If you notice that your oven never seems to heat up properly or your dries just shuts down in the middle of a cycle, it’s more likely to be the switch board than the appliance it’s self

  1. Damage to Appliances and lights

When your switch board starts to wear out and circuit breakers don’t properly control the current, light bulbs seem to always be blowing out and your microwave is hardly working properly, it’s really way past time to have your local electrician in Palm Beach check your electrical system.

This can cause overheating which is not only a fire hazard, but can cause irreparable damage to electronic circuit boards in your appliances especially computers, TV’s and amplifiers as well as damaging coils and elements

  1. Potential for Smoke, Fire and Water Damage

A faulty wiring system starts at the switch board, when your circuits are overloaded because the’re faulty and too much current is drawn through a power cord or a length of wiring, it can heat it enough to cause a fire.

When you have a fire, it usually results in smoke damage and damage from the water used to put the fire out.

If you smell a burning smell coming from and power outlets, appliances or your switch board it means that the wires have overheated and the insulation material has failed and will no longer protect your home or anyone who comes into contact with them.

Turn off your mains switch and call your electrician in Palm Beach for an emergency checkup

  1. Breakers Trip Frequently

If you have circuit breakers that keep tripping out, it’s probably because they are worn out. Your switch board and circuit breakers are designed to protect the whole of your electrical system and home.

Usually when a breaker frequently trips when you plug in an appliance then the breaker and switch board need to be examined by an electrician, so they can determine the exact cause and find a solution

  1. Old Age

If your switch board has not been serviced for ten years or more it is due for servicing and modernizing.

Having your switch board inspected is a wise investment in safety

When you find that your lights often dim and appliances do not run as well as they should, or you smell a burning odour, Its’s time to call in your friendly local electrician in Palm Beach. This will help to prolong the life of your appliances as they will not get overloaded and prevent safety and fire issues from developing.