Ideally, it is not recommended to use an extension cord for a space heater. On the contrary, many use heavy-duty extension cords and claim it works absolutely safely.
If you dig a little deeper, some facts will arise that will make you clear about the topic. However, there is a lot of confusion over safety.
There are a few things to consider while using the heater safely. As: what’s your space heater power efficiency and how is the cord capability matters a lot.
Regular extension cords generally can’t handle the high voltage of giant space heaters. Using any wrong type of extension cord for the space heater will damage/burn/ melt the heater parts.
Fortunately, other days you can get modern space heaters with extra protection to keep it safer.
Can You use an extension cord for a space heater?
You can’t use any normal extension cord for your space heater.
They are unable to bear the high voltage power of the heater. As a result, you might have to experience tragedies. If you’re in absolute need of using an extension cord for a space heater, go for a heavy-duty one. There are a few brands that offer quiet string and efficient heavy-duty extension cords.
According to the reviews ratio, heavy-duty extension cords are pretty wise pick heaters. These heavy-duty cords are specially designed to deal with high-power devices. These are safe if you follow the basic tips.
Even when you’re using heavy-duty extension cords, they need to be run in the lower heating system. That might heat the space slowly and take a few more hours. But it’s a safe way of using an extension cord for a space heater.
What are the risks of using a normal extension cord for a space heater?
Using any regular extension cord for a space heater is never recommended. Unless you’re using any modern space heater with tip-over protection, avoid these traditional types of extension cords. It is likely to cause major damages, short circuits and fire accidents.
Running any regular space heater with an extension cord will create fire damages because such extension cords are way too beyond handling a high current level. This will also depend on your space heater size. Most regular extension cords seem to be thin and get overheated too soon.
Generally, a medium-sized space heaters’ power supply is around 1500 W. Such high power is unbearable for the extension cord to handle. If your space heater doesn’t have power controlling capability, you might experience major hazards.
Using extension cords will increase the current and drop the voltage. It will deliver higher currents, and Even if the extension cord gets overheated, that will also create burns. Basically, using some inefficient space heater can trigger major damages. Such overheating can melt your heater parts. Any high power causes electrons to bump into metal atoms. Such high heat will cause overheating.
Even the long extension cords also hold the possibility of someone tripping over. Especially if you’ve kids or pets in your house, be safe while using such space heaters.
How to determine if the extension cord is safe enough or not?
Well, there are some essential factors that will determine if an extension cord is safe enough or not. The thinner extension cords are never recommended for space heaters.
These will get hot very soon and create fire damage. So, for thicker and heavy-duty ones. These can provide better performance and safety together. High-quality, heavy-duty space heaters are pretty powerful to handle all the power supply issues.
Besides, if your space heater has a tip over the system, these will be efficient enough. Mostly all modern space heaters hold all the facilities. The best thing would be checking your space heater power demand. Generally, a good space heater holds 750 w to 1000 w capability. The extension cord you’re using should be capable of handling such pressure.
Tips for using an extension cord for a space heater:
Well, no matter how expensive/high-quality extension cord you’re using, ensure following some basic tips. Give a quick check over these suggestions and make these safe enough:
- Consider using only a heavy-duty extension cord and running them in lower power. It will heat up the room slowly but keep the process safer.
- Don’t keep the space heater besides anything that can influence fire hazards.
- Your space heater will require high voltage. So, always try to connect it to the wall directly.
- Consider checking your space heater power requirement and go for the extension cord. Generally, a 15 Amps space heater requires a 14 gauge extension cord.
- Always pick the thick cords to ensure maximum safety and effect.
- You should pick extension cords that the independent testing laboratory approves.
- Never ever try to use one extension cord with multiple devices.
- Don’t use it for your space heater if you notice any damage/torn in the extension cord.
- If you’ve pets and children at home, cover the cords with safety covers.
- You should never place an extension cord under rugs/ maps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the extension cord a risk?
Can I use a power strip instead of an extension cord for the space heater?
Well, using a regular extension cord for a space heater is never a safe idea. Even it is pretty risky in many ways. If you’ve to use an extension cord, choose something heavy-duty yet strong. Heavy-duty extension cords are super capable of handling a high power supply. But here also you’ve to maintain all the safety tips and suggestions. You better be more careful while choosing the right extension cord too.