An extension cord is the answer to an out-of-reach vacuum cleaner, saw or anything else we use around our homes and workplaces. We rely on the cord's help because we tend to work or play where an outlet is not easily accessible. Here parts of an extension cord are explained for those who wonder how it works.
Many different types of extension cords are available, depending on the work area they're used in. They come in different colors, including brown, white and the industrial orange. Cords can be a few feet long to a few hundred feet, especially for uses in outdoor construction. Here we look at a 20-foot orange industrial cord, traditionally used in home projects.
Although not biologically correct, a cord's receiving end connects to the cord of an electric device. This part of the cord receives the tines and grounded node of the device, as shown in the picture. Be sure to plug this in before connecting the extension cord to an outlet. This step avoids electric shock, which would otherwise be a threat if the extension cord was connected to a wall outlet or surge protector.
Here is where the electricity is transferred between the device and the power source. In this cord, three small wires, respectively cased in black, white and blue rubber, intertwine inside a larger orange casing. Each small wire represents each of the tines and the grounded node, which are wound tight and screwed in at both the male and female ends. According to cableorganizer.com, the thickness of these wires, or gauges, "directly affects the amount of (electrical) current it can carry over a certain distance." For heavy duty jobs, look for a lower gauge number.
This end speaks for itself. The tines and grounded node of the extension cord plug into the wall outlet or surge protector. You should plug this in before turning on the electrical device. On this particular cord, an additional black casing surrounds the connection between the "male" end and the wires--where you will likely grab the cord when plugging it in. Keep your hand on this additional casing to avoid electric shock, especially if you're not sure if a switch is turned on.
Follow a few safety tips before operating with an extension cord. If additional cord lies loose on the floor, neatly coil the cord and place it near the power source. To prevent tripping, tape uncoiled cord every 12 inches between your work area and the outlet, using duct or photographer's tape. And most important, connect the extension cord to the device, cord to the outlet and turn the device on. Do it in that order.
- Photo Credit Chris Neary
How to Make Your Own Extension Cord
Are you tired of having to connect multiple extension cords when performing a job that requires electricity--and there is no outlet nearby?...
How to Rewire an Extension Cord
Extension cords damage easily during use. The damage can occur at the plugs located at the ends of the cord or anywhere...
What Are the Causes of a Melted Electrical Outlet?
Residential electrical outlets are not very complicated. Inside the plastic casing are metal clamps designed to hold a plug, and these are...
OSHA Rules on Extension Cord Safety
Electrical safety is one of the main concerns of any workplace, with electrical issues a major source of violations cited by the...
Craftsman Snowblower Parts List
The Craftsman 9-horsepower Snow Thrower is a snowblower with high power, which throws snow away from the area you need cleared. It...
Using Extension Cords for an Electric Trimmer
Using extension cords for an electric trimmer to cut grass or weeds, having the correct size, plugging it in correctly and learn...