Extension cords are very useful tools when you need to reach work areas that are far away from an electrical outlet. Unfortunately, too many individuals often overlook the importance of the quality of the extension cord and the length of the extension cord. Don’t use cheap extension cords just to save a few dollars, use only the best quality.
Extension cord length is an incredibly important factor. The longer the extension cord is, the more resistance. Extension cords come in various lengths, from a few feet to 100 feet. Although copper wire is a very good conductor, it does have an amount of resistance that generates heat. This heat can potentially damage the extension cord as well as the devices and appliances that are connected to it.
Longer extension cords produce more resistance which, in turn, produces more heat. It’s important to know how the difference in a 10ft extension cord and a 50ft extension cord might directly affect you. Electrical devices and appliances draw a certain amount of amperage in order to operate properly. In some cases, the electrical load may be too much for the length and gauge of the extension cord that it is attached to. There are several variables that can damage an extension cord, as well as the devices that are connected to it. These variables include factors such as the size of the wire (gauge), the resistance of the wire and the voltage drop due to the extended length of the cord.
When a voltage drop occurs, the devices that are connected to the extension cord will be "starved" for electricity and unable to operate as they should. As a result, both the extension cord and the device will emit heat and will often cause damage to themselves. In addition, the wiring that is inside of the extension cord will likely melt, damaging the contacts. By not using the right length of extension cord, you run the risk of overloading the circuit breaker.
In order to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others, you will want to be sure that you obtain the optimal length of extension cord for the device you will be connecting it to.
For example, a Bad Ass 50 ft extension cord will usually have a maximum amperage of 15 amps, depending on it's gauge. Bad Ass 10 and 12 gauge extension cords pull a full 15 amps. Our 100Ft 14 gauge cords carry 13 amps.