Oftentimes, while using a coffee machine in a cafe or home kitchen, we do not find a suitable wall outlet near us. That makes it hard for us to power the coffee machine.
This problem makes us wonder if we can use an extension cord to power the coffee machine and get done with the task. If you are a homeowner or running a small cafe, you must have wondered the same. If yes, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, we have discussed whether one can plug a coffee maker into an extension cord and how safe that practice is. So if you are curious to know more about it, continue to read below.
Can You Plug A Coffee Maker Into An Extension Cord?
Yes, coffee makers can be connected to an extension cord, only if it’s a heavy-duty extension cord.
There are different kinds of coffee makers that require different amounts of power. For instance, a standard coffee maker requires 5.4 A while an espresso machine requires around 13 amps. Some coffee makers require 8.5 A.
For a coffee maker drawing 5.4 A, a heavy-duty extension cord wouldn’t be necessary. However, for safety reasons, we advise homeowners to use a heavy-duty extension cord whose amperage rating matches that of the coffee machine.
Though coffee makers work extremely well when connected to a heavy-duty extension cord of 10 or 12 gauges, one shouldn’t make it a permanent practice.
Before proceeding to whether or not it’s safe to plug a coffee maker into an extension cord, we would like to discuss the potential dangers of using an extension cord with a coffee maker, so that next time you use an extension cord with your coffee maker, you remain extra careful throughout.
What Happens If You Plug Coffee Maker Into An Extension Cord?
Plugging a coffee maker into an extension cord is risky. With a heavy-duty extension cord, chances of accidents are reduced. But, even then, accidents can occur at any moment. Before you use an extension cord for a coffee maker, you must be informed of its potential consequences. We have discussed some of them below.
Overheating and electrical fires
Different models of coffee makers draw different amounts of current. The latest models draw a high amount of power for proper functioning.
Choosing the wrong extension cord can easily overload the cord and cause a meltdown. Or if you use a thin extension cord, it’s most likely to fail at handling the heavy flow of current, get overheated and cause a major fire breakout.
Malfunctioning of the coffee maker
Ordinary cords create more resistance because they are thinner and lengthier. Electrical appliances don’t like resistance and voltage drops. The lesser they are, the better.
When the resistance is more, the appliance is more likely to get damaged as it has to work harder to draw the necessary amount of current. This puts pressure on its components, ultimately reducing their longevity.
Is It Safe To Plug A Coffee Maker Into An Extension Cord?
No, plugging a coffee maker into an extension cord isn’t safe. We do not recommend our readers to follow this practice as it’s extremely dangerous and risky. However, one can power a coffee maker via a heavy-duty extension cord only for temporary purposes. We would like to warn homeowners against making it a regular practice and get a separate wall outlet installed at a suitable spot for the coffee maker.
Also, if your coffee maker draws 1500 watts, and your extension cord is also rated at 1500 with watts, we would advise you not to use that extension cord and instead choose one with a higher amperage rating. That’s because if the coffee maker draws more than 1500 watts, your extension cord would overload and major accidents can follow. Therefore it’s safe to give the extension cord some breathing room.
Keep in mind it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, while picking a suitable extension cord for your coffee maker, try to buy one with a higher amperage rating to be on the safe side. Picking any ordinary extension cord for a coffee maker is wrong and can even put an entire house on fire.
Apart from choosing an appropriate heavy duty extension cord with the right amperage rating, there are other things to take care of, while using an extension cord with a coffee maker. Below are some such safety tips which makes this practice even safer.
Continue to read them below and don’t forget to follow them whenever you use an extension cord.
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Safety Tips: Things To Know Before Plugging A coffee maker Into An Extension Cord
Being a responsible homeowner, you must strive to find out ways to use an extension cord safely so as to reduce the chances of accidents due to electrocution, overloading, meltdown, and electrical fires and keep both your house and the electrical appliance in proper condition. Here are some tips you must go through.
Picking an extension cord of the right length
The length of the extension cord, just like its amperage rating, is important in this case. The length shouldn’t be too little or too much. It must be sufficient to connect the wall outlet and the coffee maker.
Now, you must be wondering how the length of the extension cord is related to safety. As the length increases, the resistance also increases. When there’s more resistance, the machine has to work harder to draw the required amount of electricity. Consequently, it has to overwork and this leads to its breakdown.
Increasing resistance also produces more heat. Sometimes, the cord might fail to handle the resistance and get overheated, leading to a meltdown or fire breakout.
Ensure proper connection between the extension cord and the wall outlet
Check whether you have plugged in the extension cord into the wall outlet firmly. Also, check if the connection between the extension cord and the coffee maker is properly established. When the connection is loose, there’s more resistance. Therefore to eliminate resistance, tightly secure the plugs.
When there’s a loose connection, the electric current has to overcome the resistive force and flow forwards. When this continues for long, heat accumulates. After a long time, the extension cord is bound to meltdown. In fact, even if it’s a heavy-duty extension cord, a loose connection can cause overheating and melt down the cord and major accidents are bound to follow.
Pick a grounded extension cord
Make it a point to buy a three-prong extension cord and plug it into a three-prong socket. The grounding wire is extremely important as it transfers excess electricity into the earth, when there’s overloading.
Had the grounding wire not been there, the electricity would have been transferred to the metal body, charging it fully. Anyone who touches that body, without knowing it’s charged, would receive severe shocks. So, the grounding wire prevents potential electrocution or a fire hazard and therefore is the most important wire.
Do not plug multiple devices
The latest models of coffee makers like the Espresso coffee machine draw a large amount of electricity. If you are using one such machine that draws more than 1000 watts of electricity, never plug other devices into the same extension cord at the same time.
It can severely overload the extension cord and cause potential accidents. Even if it’s a heavy-duty, grounded extension cord, homeowners are advised not to run multiple appliances in one extension cord simultaneously.
Let’s understand this with an example. If your Espresso coffee machine draws 13 A of current while the other appliance draws as little as 2.5 A of current, and you are using a 15 A extension cord, the cord’s rating is exceeded. This means that the cord would surely fail to handle the extra flow of electricity needed to run both appliances simultaneously.
Ultimately this will overload the cord, leading to a meltdown, electrocution or fire breakout.
Therefore, don’t make the mistake of plugging multiple devices unconsciously.
Do not run the extension cord on the floor
A lot of people have the tendency of running extension cords on the floor. Sometimes they hide it under the carpet or rug, so as to prevent people from tripping on it and falling down. This practice also is risky.
Firstly, exposing the cord to continuous foot traffic can wear it down faster. Now, if you hide a damaged, worn out extension cord under the carpet, people can unknowingly step on it and receive shocks!
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The Bottom Line
We have talked extensively about whether one can plug a coffee maker into an extension cord and how safe it is. Plugging a coffee maker into an extension cord for whatever purpose is not safe. One mustn’t follow this practice nor should one promote it to others.
However, if you have no other option and you need to run the coffee machine urgently, only then one must resort to using a heavy-duty extension cord. Do not forget to follow the safety tips mentioned above while using the extension cord.
That’s all. Hope this guide was informative and useful. Use your coffee machines judiciously and enjoy sipping hot cups of coffee day and night!