A lot of homeowners use an extension cord to power appliances like the refrigerator, mini fridge or the microwave. Do you do the same? Usually, people do it when plugging the appliance into the wall socket isn’t an option.
While people plug electrical appliances into an extension cord, what they forget to check is whether or not the extension cord is appropriate for powering the appliance.
Ordinary extension cords aren’t designed to power heavy duty appliances.
In this guide we have discussed whether it’s safe to plug a mini fridge into an extension cord. Continue reading below to know more in that regard
Can You Plug Mini Fridge Into An Extension Cord?
Mini fridges are compact, cooling appliances that require little space and provide excellent cooling facilities. But how much power do they consume? Is it safe to run a mini fridge on an extension cord?
Yes, homeowners can plug a mini fridge into an extension cord. However, make sure that the extension cord you choose isn’t an ordinary one but a heavy-duty cable that can handle the min fridge’s power requirements.
Any ordinary extension cord used to power a mini fridge wouldn’t handle such a high flow of electricity and can get overheated or the insulation can melt, resulting in a fire hazard.
Continue reading below to find out what happens when you plug a mini fridge into an extension cord and how you should choose an ideal extension cord to power your mini fridge, if you are looking for a temporary convenient solution.
What Happens If You Plug Mini Fridge Into An Extension Cord?
If you plug your mini fridge into any ordinary extension cord, the cord would fail to handle the amperage that the mini fridge will need while running. This will slowly overheat the cable, leading to major accidents shortly. It’s therefore extremely essential to ensure that the mini fridge extension cord is specially built to handle the needs of your mini fridge.
Some of the major consequences of using the wrong extension cord to plug in your mini fridge are as follows:
If in case, the extension cord you have chosen fails to supply enough power to the mini fridge, the appliance wouldn’t work properly. As a result, the contents of the fridge wouldn’t stay chilled.
If this continues for a longer period, the mini fridge might even stop functioning.
If it’s an ordinary extension cord, chances are that it would fail to handle the amount of electricity the mini fridge requires, ultimately overheating the appliance. If this issue persists, it will cause a major fire breakout. Thus, not only will the appliance be harmed but also others’ lives would be put at risk.
If you are using a random extension cord to power your mini fridge and you hear the cord making some noise, immediately switch it off.
Wear and Tear
If you continue to use an extension cord to use your mini fridge, the longevity of the appliance would be lessened. The compressors of mini fridges are delicate. They can’t handle power fluctuations.
Therefore, if an ordinary extension cord fails to deliver sufficient power required by the appliance to function properly, the compressor and other parts start to suffer, ultimately affecting the quality of the appliance.
Due to these reasons stated above, experts advise homeowners to buy a good quality heavy duty extension cord to power heavy duty electrical appliances.
Is It Safe To Plug A Mini Fridge Into An Extension Cord?
Yes, it’s safe to plug a mini fridge into the right extension cord. Make sure the extension cord you choose has been specifically built for heavy duty electrical appliances. Also, when you plug a mini fridge into a heavy duty extension cord, make sure not to plug other appliances at the same time.
To ensure one can safely use the extension cord to power the mini fridge, make sure it’s grounded. Also, check the cord’s amperage rating and see if it’s equivalent to that of the mini refrigerator.
An extension cord for a mini fridge with at least 10 or 12 gauges is considered to be an effective heavy duty extension cord. Therefore the one that you buy must be at least a 12 gauge cord with appropriate wattage rating.
If the gauge and the cord kind are appropriate, the current needed by the mini fridge would be carried securely. As you can see, the safety entirely depends on the kind of extension cord you use to power the appliance.
Safety Tips: Things To Know Before Plugging A Mini Fridge Into An Extension Cord
Before you find a suitable extension cord for your mini fridge and use it to power the appliance, there are some safety tips you ought to remember.
Prefer an extension cord of shorter length
Always remember that the longer the length of the cord, the harder it will have to work to function properly. Therefore, it’s better to plug a mini fridge into a 3 foot cable and not into a 10 foot cable. The longer the length of the cable, the harder it will have to work to draw the energy required for its functioning.
Your Extension Cord Needs to Be Grounded
Usually, appliances are plugged into three metal prongs these days. The bottom round piece is ground prong. The ground prong is extremely important because it’s responsible for everyone’s safety.
It transfers excess electricity to the earth where the electricity is safely dispersed.
Without the ground wire, the chances of receiving a shock increases.
The same thing can happen if you plug your mini fridge that’s grounded into an ungrounded two-prong extension cord. If you do so, there are high chances of the appliance getting charged, sending shocks to anyone who touches it.
Opt For a Low-Gauge Extension Cord
The thickness of the extension cord is denoted as the gauge. Ideally, a low gauge extension cord is most safe when it comes to plugging an electrical appliance.
The girth of the wire denotes the amount of electrical current that the wire will be able to handle. Thus, the thicker the cord, greater would be its capacity to handle high power surges. Therefore, go for a lower gauge number to get a thicker cord.
However, no matter how well built the extension cord is it’s always advisable to plug all electrical appliances directly into the wall socket. This reduces the risk of fire breakout and electrocution to the minimum. That’s why homeowners are advised to install enough wall outlets to be able to plug appliances as per convenience.
Match the Amperage Rating
While buying the appropriate extension cord, you must check the amperage rating of that cord.
This way it can prevent the mini fridge from malfunctioning. Besides that, the cord with the right rating will also prevent fire breakouts.
As long as the extension cord has the capability to handle the high flow of current, the mini fridge would be entirely safe. Problems arise only when the extension cord you choose is insufficient to handle the required amount of electricity.
If you keep the above mentioned features in mind and buy an extension cord that caters to all these requirements, your mini fridge is safe to be connected to the extension cord.
The Bottom Line
Even though it’s safe to plug a mini fridge into an extension cord, provided it’s properly designed and it has the right attributes, experts still advise homeowners to avoid doing so. They suggest homeowners to plug appliances into their individual sockets for utmost safety. If you go through the manual of your mini fridge, you are sure to get a warning saying not to plug it into an extension cord.
Modern-day manufacturers of electrical appliances like microwave, refrigerators, etc. provide customized, specially designed and warranted power cords with the appliances. Homeowners must plug that power cord into the wall socket and not into an extension cord in the first place.
We have already learnt how choosing the wrong extension cord can lead to disasters. Therefore, if you really need an extension cord for running these appliances, choose very wisely. Ordinary cords will surely fail to handle the amount of current the mini fridge needs for its proper functioning.
Without sufficient flow of electricity, the longevity of the appliance will constantly diminish. Not just that, when the cord fails to deliver sufficient power, it will overheat and can lead to a major fire breakout.
We would suggest homeowners to research thoroughly as there are different kinds of extension cords available in the market. Check the size, length, gauge, amperage rating and everything else before buying a particular extension cord.