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Can You Run An Extension Cord Under A Rug?

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Extension cords are an essential item for any home, office, or workshop. But is it okay to run an extension cord under a rug? After doing some research, let's see if this is a safe practice.

It isn't safe to run an extension cord under a rug. Extension cords generate heat and might start a fire. What's more, they can become damaged from foot traffic.

There are more than a few reasons it is appealing to run an extension cord under a rug. However, we will explain in this article the dangers of doing so and some alternatives. Also, we will answer other frequently asked questions about extension cords, so read on!

Minimalist bohemian inspired living room with laminated flooring and a white rug, Can You Run An Extension Cord Under A Rug?

Is It Okay To Run An Extension Cord Under A Rug?

People often use extension cords to provide power to devices that are far from an outlet. They can also connect multiple devices to a single outlet.

If used in emergency situations or when multiple devices need to be plugged in, extension cords aren't out in the open. It might be unsightly and dangerous.

Kids or elderly adults could trip over the cord. Keep in mind, extension cords can become damaged from foot traffic.

So, running an extension cord under a rug seems like a logical solution to these problems. However, doing so can be more dangerous than you might think.

Extension cords generate heat when in use. Depending on the type of appliance, an extension cord can get very hot. If the cord is under a rug, this heat can build up and potentially start a fire.

Worker tripping on a red extension cord

If you must use an extension cord, follow these safety tips:

  • Use a heavy-duty extension cord with a rating for the appliance you are using.
  • Do not daisy chain several extension cords together. This can cause overheating.
  • Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance at a time.
  • Inspect the extension cord before each use. Do not use it if it is damaged.
  • Do not place extension cords in high-traffic areas.
  • Keep children and pets away from the extension cord.
  • When not in use, store extension cords in a safe place out of reach of children and pets.

While it may be tempting to run an extension cord under a rug, it isn't safe to do so. If you must use an extension cord, be sure to follow the safety tips above.

Touching a dangerous broken extension cord plug

Can You Run An Extension Cord Under Furniture?

No, you should not run an extension cord under furniture. Furniture is usually in a high foot traffic area. The extension cord may get damaged or pose a fire hazard.

In addition, furniture might pinch or crush the cord, which can cause a fire.

You are better off moving the furniture and placing the extension cord in a safer location. If you absolutely cannot move the furniture, use a cord cover. This will help protect the cord from damage.

Use the cord cover for the most vulnerable areas, such as an entryway.

Can You Run An Extension Cord Through Walls?

No, you should not run an extension cord through walls because that is a fire hazard. The heat generated by the extension cord can build up and cause a fire.

What's more, the nails or screws used to secure the cord could come loose and cause a short circuit. This could also lead to a fire.

We should only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you need a permanent solution, then you should have an electrician install additional outlets or circuits.

How Long Do Extension Cords Last?

Short length white extension cord

While giving an exact number is tough, extension cords will eventually wear out. The lifespan will vary depending on the quality of the cord, how often it gets used, and how well it is cared for.

However, if you don't abuse the cord, expect it to last several years.

To get the most out of your extension cord, be sure to use it only when needed and store it properly when not in use.

Are There Indoor And Outdoor Extension Cords?

Yes, there are both indoor and outdoor extension cords. The main difference is the insulation.

Indoor extension cords cannot withstand the elements because they have thinner insulation. This makes them a fire hazard if used outdoors.

Outdoor extension cords can better withstand the elements and will have thicker insulation. However, even outdoor extension cords shouldn't stay outside for long periods of time.

If you need an extension cord for an outdoor project, be sure it is designed for outdoor use. Don't use an outdoor extension cord for over a day or two. The elements will eventually degrade the cord, intentionally causing spark and fire hazards.

How Do You Store An Extension Cord?

Different lengths and colors of extension cord hanged on the wall

When not in use, extension cords should be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets.

It's critical to coil the cord and store it in a dry, cool place. Do not store the cord near heat sources because this can damage the insulation.

Don't forget to unplug the cord before you start wrapping it. When you do unplug the cord, pull the plug, not the cord. This will help prevent damage to the cord.

There are different methods for wrapping up an extension cord. The most important thing is to make sure the cord is wrapped loosely. If the cord is wrapped too tightly, it can damage the cord.

Once wrapped, secure the cord with a zip tie or velcro strap. This will keep the cord from unraveling.

Does The Length Of The Extension Cord Affect The Power?

The length of an extension cord does affect the power. The longer the cord, the more resistance there will be. This means that less power will reach the appliance.

In addition, a longer extension cord is more likely to overheat. This can lead to a fire hazard.

So, if you need to deliver more power, then you should use a shorter extension cord. You could blow the appliance motor or trip a circuit breaker if you don't.

Can You Connect Two Extension Cords Together?

It may seem like a viable option to connect two shorter extension cords together to make a longer one. However, this is not safe.

When you connect two extension cords together, you are effectively doubling the resistance. This can cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.

It is better to get the right length of extension cord for your needs. If you need a longer cord, get one made for that purpose.

Can Extension Cords Be Repaired?

Damaged extension cord repaired with electrical tape

Yes, you can repair extension cords, but it's usually not worth the effort. OSHA allows the repair of extension cords in the workplace as long as the cord is repaired to its original state. So, extension cords cannot be materially changed.

What's more, if the cord is damaged, you shouldn't use it until it gets repaired by a qualified person.

At home, you can repair your extension cords yourself if you are comfortable doing so. However, it is best to replace damaged cords. For normal home use, extension cords are relatively inexpensive.

What To Look For When Buying An Extension Cord?

When buying an extension cord, there are a few things you should look for:

Cord Length

It is better to go a bit longer in case you need it. An extension cord that is too short will be much more difficult to use.

Cord Gauge

The lower the gauge, the thicker the cord. A thicker cord will be able to carry more power without overloading.

Extension cords are available in different gauges, such as 16, 14, 12, and 10. Typically, the longer the cord, the lower the gauge you will need.

Cord Rating

The cord rating is the maximum amount of power that the cord can handle. This is typically expressed in watts or amps.

You should always choose a cord with a higher rating than the appliance you are going to plug into it. If you don't, you risk damaging the cord or the appliance.

Outdoor Use

It is better to buy an extension cord that works for both indoor and outdoor settings. That way, you will be prepared for any situation.

Plus, this keeps you from having to buy another extension cord if you need to use it outside.

Final Thoughts

Minimalist bohemian inspired living room with laminated flooring and a white rug

Extension cords are convenient for bringing power to where you need it. But, it is important to use them safely.

Always read the label on the extension cord before you use it. And, if you are unsure about anything, don't hesitate to ask an expert.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles that you might find helpful:

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