In most kitchens nowadays, there are a plethora of appliances present that make the process of food making easier. Sometimes, we do not have enough sockets to use these electrical appliances whenever needed.
In that case, what a lot of people do is plug them into an extension cord and use them accordingly.
Now the question is whether or not it’s safe to plug electrical appliances like a microwave into an extension cord. If you have been doing it for quite some time, you ought to go through this guide.
Experts say that using an extension cord for small kitchen appliances is still fine. However, they do not recommend homeowners to use it for a microwave. Before you plug a microwave into an extension cord, homeowners are advised to do thorough research.
In this guide, we have discussed the pros and cons of inserting a microwave plug into an extension cord.
Can You Plug a Microwave into an Extension Cord?
Yes, homeowners can plug a microwave into a heavy duty customized extension cord, if there is no suitable socket nearby. Homeowners must also ensure that they do not plug the microwave along with other appliances.
According to the electrical code, each of the motorized & heating appliances must have a dedicated circuit for its use.
A microwave is a permanent heating appliance which is why it has a fairly heavy electrical load.
That’s why it’s extremely necessary to have a dedicated electrical circuit. When you use a microwave along with other electrical appliances, the circuit tends to get overloaded easily causing major accidents.
Also, make sure that the extension cord meets specific criteria. For instance, the extension cord you have decided to use must be a three wire grounding cord. Know the amount of current it is designed to handle. Also, the electrical rating of the extension cord must be as good as the electrical rating of the microwave oven you are using.
These are special extension cords that are tailor made for heavy duty electrical appliances. If you are looking for an extension cord for a microwave, make sure to buy these special ones instead of the ordinary ones to avoid any major accident.
What Happens If You Plug a Microwave Into An Extension Cord?
If the safety measures aren’t taken or if you have plugged your microwave into an ordinary extension cord, not only will your appliance get damaged but you can also risk your health.
Without a proper circuit breaker, an overload can overheat the wiring, which will melt the insulation, ultimately leading to a fire outbreak. Now, the load ratings differ from one circuit to the other.
While some circuits are designed to handle more electricity, some are not. If there are already too many appliances plugged into one circuit, we would advise you to not add the microwave plug into it.
When you plug a microwave oven into an ordinary extension cord, there can be wiring problems. If you notice a burning smell or buzzing sounds and overheated microwave, switch off the appliance immediately.
These are indications of short circuits or loose connections. If these signs go unnoticed and you continue to use the device, a bigger hazard can occur.
Also, while using an ordinary extension cord, you would see that your microwave oven takes longer to cook food, which is again an inconvenience for homeowners. You might also notice the interior light inside the microwave flickering or the vent fan making annoying sounds.
When you use the heavy duty microwave extension cords, you are unlikely to encounter these problems. These extension cords can be found at any home improvement store or hardware store near you.
Is It Safe To Plug a Microwave Into An Extension Cord?
Experts strongly advise homeowners not to use an ordinary extension cord to use a microwave oven because of the potential safety hazards it can cause. Homeowners must make it a point to plug their microwave ovens into its own electrical outlet that’s properly grounded to prevent the variety of dangers that can occur otherwise.
Experts do however find it safe to plug a microwave oven into an extension cord that’s specially designed to handle heavy duty electrical appliances. As long as the extension cord caters to the electrical code, both the appliance and the people around are safe.
We have already mentioned the features that make an extension cord safe and fit for a microwave. Make sure it’s electrical rating and load carrying capacity is high.
Experts emphasise on the need to use the right extension cord because microwaves consume a lot of energy for their functioning and therefore any ordinary extension cord will fail to handle the excess load, resulting in a fire hazard.
Also, if you have found the right kind of extension cord for your microwave, use it only when the gauge is right and plug it into a three pin plug socket.
Safety Tips: Things to Know Before Plugging a Microwave into an Extension Cord
If you are plugging your microwave into an extension cord, you must keep a few safety precautionary measures in mind. Below are some of them.
Secure the plugs
How you insert the plugs is important. Secure the microwave plug into the extension cord firstly. Next, take the extension cord’s plug and insert it into the three prong socket.
Secure both the plugs properly to avoid sparks. If you follow this technique, rest assured the microwave is safe to be used.
Check the specifications of the extension cord
We have already said that any ordinary extension cord isn’t recommended for this purpose. Check the specifications and features of the extension cord you are using. Make sure the current rating of the extension cord is more than 15A since you will plug a heavy duty electrical appliance.
Only then will you be able to run the microwave oven on maximum heat settings. Otherwise, doing so would cause overheating and a fire hazard.
Keep in mind the safety precautions
Besides checking the specifications of the extension cord, you must also check if it conforms to the safety standards. If yes, grab the extension cord immediately.
Usually, the best ones come with a fuse and a short circuit protection. If the extension cord that you have chosen has these items along with it, your appliance will be entirely safe from any kind of damage.
Monitor the insulation from time to time
Sometimes you might notice that the insulation of your extension cord has started to fray. Consider changing the insulation immediately. Using an extension cord with frayed insulation is highly dangerous. The risk of electrocution increases and can be harmful for anyone who touches it.
For homeowners who use extension cords to plug and use their microwaves, these safety measures are extremely important. If you follow them, rest assured both your health and your appliance are completely safe.
The Bottom Line
The plug design of the extension cord and the socket also matters. The plug design should be such that it allows the person to plug it inside without any difficulty.
Also, the plug design must keep the plug secure and tightly in position. Sometimes the plugs aren’t securely plugged, causing loose connections or sparks.
So, while choosing an extension cord, keep it in mind to inspect its plug design as well. When one compares various extension cords on some important parameters, picking the best one becomes easy.
We have already discussed the specifications that must be present in an ideal extension cord. Look for them and make the process less time taking and easier.
We would like to conclude by stating that it’s safe to use a microwave oven by connecting it with an extension cord only if the extension cord is made specifically for such heavy duty appliances.
We hope this guide has been useful for homeowners who are looking for answers and guidance on how to buy the right extension cord for a microwave oven.