Extension Cord For Small Home Appliances?

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  #1  
Old 10-31-05, 04:11 AM
Dee53
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Question Extension Cord For Small Home Appliances?

Hello,

I'm new here and have a few questions:

I live in a very small apt. and have several small appliances setting on a steel shelving unit in my tiny kitchen ... and many of them will not reach the wall plug, they have VERY short cords.

There is no other way to plug them in other than using an extension cord.

I just bought a 16 gauge triple outlet cord (3 way grounded). Is this safe enough for these items?

Countertop convection oven (120V-60Hz (1500W)
Breadmaker 600 watts
Toaster
Coffeemaker
Slowcooker
Microwave 2450 MHz

Now of course, I won't be using them all at the same time ... but there are times I use 2 .. possibly 3 at the same time .. but for the most part, 2 at the most.

Is the cord I have sufficient .. or do I need something else? I sure would appreciate all suggestions and advice.

Thank you,
Dee
 
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  #2  
Old 10-31-05, 04:34 AM
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Dee,

Extension cords are meant to be used for temporary situations. They are not meant to be used for permanent installations. That being said, I understand your dilemma.

Kitchen appliances have short cords for a reason. The goal is to not have the cords getting in the way, and possibly hanging over the counter where a child could pull the cord and then end up with hot grease (for example) being dumped on them. This short size matches exactly with the NEC requirement that counter top receptacles be spaced no more than two feet from the edge of the counter and no more than four feet apart on a continuous section of counter.

Let's address the extension cord you are wanting to use. 16 gage wire in the setup you have can carry 13 amps. That means 1560 watts. Some of those appliances you mention require almost or even more than that amount of power by themselves. Put two of them them together and you exceed what that cord can handle.

You are renting, so you can't add new circuits and address this problem correctly.

My recommendation is that you store the appliances on the shelves, and move them to the counter where you can properly plug them in when you need to use them.

If you absolutely insist on using an extension cord, then I suggest you spend the money on two or more at least 14 gage extension cords (better would be a 12 gage) and then use them for a single appliance at a time. make them as short as possible.
 
  #3  
Old 10-31-05, 05:58 AM
Dee53
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Hi Racraft,

Thanks so much for the reply!

The problem is ... I have a tiny little area beside the sink, and the food processor is there, on the other side is tiny also .. and that's where the dish drainer is for the dishes. No space .. no counter.

I'll take this cord back today and look for either a 14 or 12 gauge. I'll try hard to use only one appliance at a time ... or buy more cords later and use one per appliance. Thanks for the help.

One other thing: As it looks in my circuit box, the tv, lamps, and computer are also using the same electrical area (not sure of the jargon) as the appliances ... so does that mean I can't use the appliances while the tv, computer and lamps are on?

Dee
 
  #4  
Old 10-31-05, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee53
One other thing: As it looks in my circuit box, the tv, lamps, and computer are also using the same electrical area (not sure of the jargon) as the appliances ... so does that mean I can't use the appliances while the tv, computer and lamps are on?
I'm not sure what you mean by this. It would not make sense that any of these items would be on the same circuit as the kitchen counter receptacles. Can you word your question differently?
 
  #5  
Old 10-31-05, 06:47 AM
Dee53
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Originally Posted by racraft
I'm not sure what you mean by this. It would not make sense that any of these items would be on the same circuit as the kitchen counter receptacles. Can you word your question differently?

What I mean is: the outlet on the wall .. where I have the steel shelving unit, and where all these appliances are sitting ... is on the same area as the living room .. since it's on a wall that is between the kitchen and living room.

Hard to explain .. but the steel shelving (where the appliances are sitting), is not in the kitchen actually .... it's further back toward my living room, because I'm actually in an efficiency apartment ... one whole room. And that's where the countertop stove, breadmaker, etc... are sitting, and they plug into the outlet on the wall that is between the kitchen and living room.

Does that make more sense?
Dee
 
  #6  
Old 10-31-05, 07:33 AM
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Dee,

As soon as practically possible, completely map out your electrical system. Go to the circuit breaker panel and one at a time turn off each circuit breaker. With the breaker off, determine what no longer has power. Use a small light to test each receptacle, and check each and every built in light and appliance. Donít forget the smoke detectors.

Your goal is to figure out what circuit breaker controls power to each and every receptacle, light and built in appliance in your apartment. Make a chart and post the chart next to the circuit breaker panel.

After you have done this you will know whether any of the devices you mention are on the same circuit. It is not reliable to go by whether or not the receptacles are close together or in the same room. You will not be able to exceed 15 or 20 amps per circuit, depending upon the size of the breaker, and the breaker will have a 15 or 20 stamped on it.
 
  #7  
Old 10-31-05, 07:34 AM
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A 16 ga. cord is not adequate for ANY of these appliance. Even a 12 gauge is not adequate for TWO, since EACH of them may draw as much as 12 amps. I think you will have a lot of trouble with blowing circuit breakers, because unfortunately you have "all the modern conveniences" in an apartment built before any of these devices were envsioned. There is no good answer unless the owner is willing to have the electrical service updated and some new circuits installed.

Please be cautious, as the Number One cause of home fires is extension cords and overloaded circuits.
 
  #8  
Old 10-31-05, 08:19 AM
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You will have to resolve this problem in a way that has the approval , consent, and permission of the building owner.

Either you or the B-O could hire an electrician: if you use/hire an electrician, the work must be accomplished with the full knowledge and consent of the B-0.

It MAY be possible to extend from an existing outlet to a point that eliminates the X-C's with a Code-Approved Wiring Method known as Surface Metal Raceway, trade-name "Wiremold" (W-M)
. All you may need is a W-M "extension-box", X-ft of W-M, and a W-M outlet-box.

As advised, attempt to determine if there are kitchen-receptacles protected by a 20 amp circuit-breaker.

Good Luck, & Learn & Enjoy from the Experience!!!!
 
  #9  
Old 10-31-05, 11:30 AM
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Please be cautious, as the Number One cause of home fires is extension cords and overloaded circuits.
Ummm, not sure about that... other states might be different, but according to TXFIRS, number 1 is cooking, followed by arson, open flame (candles...), heating equipment and, finally, electrical distribution... but extension cords and overloaded circuits are certainly in there...

As I think all the others have made clear, extension cords are not the ideal solution and need to be watched while in use, but use of a cord sized similarly to that of the circuit (at least 14 gage for a 15 amp circuit and 12 gage for a 20 amp circuit) helps ensure that the circuit breaker will trip before the cord is overloaded, adding a greater level of safety. A common problem with extension cords is poor connection at the outlet end. Inspect the outlet(s) often and make sure everything is plugged in tightly. When using an appliance like the slowcooker, that has to be on while you're not home, move the food processor and plug directly into the wall. Consider buying an extension or power strip with built in overload protection. Never plug another extension cord in to the extension cord.

Doug M.
 
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