People nowadays use extension cords with almost every appliance in their house. Be it a lamp or a television or dryer or computer, extension cords have made using appliances easier, if a wall outlet isn’t in close vicinity or the outlet is already connected to bigger electrical appliances. Let’s accept it, extension cords are a convenient solution.
As tempting as extension cords appear to be, one cannot neglect the potential risks and dangers associated with them. People have obvious reasons to
worry whether an extension cord is actually safe to be used with a computer or laptop. If you own a laptop and your battery runs out while using it, you must have thought of plugging the device to an extension cord to continue using it.
Are you doubtful whether it’s safe or not? Don’t worry, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we have answered various questions that users usually ask. So, without wasting any further time, let’s go through this guide in detail below.
Can You Plug A Laptop Into An Extension Cord?
Yes, one can plug a laptop into an extension cord. However, the amperage rating of the laptop must match the rating of the extension cord. If the rating of the extension cord is lesser than that of the laptop, do not think of using that extension cord to power your laptop. If you do so, the extension cord would fail to handle the flow of current that the laptop requires, leading to overheating or a fire hazard or electrocutions.
Even though extension cord is safe to be used with a laptop, experts advise people to connect a laptop or a computer into a wall outlet directly.
Now before you run into a store to pick a suitable type of an extension cord for your laptop, you must know that certain models of laptops have higher amperage than some electronic appliances. If your laptop falls under that category, using an extension cord isn’t advisable.
There are various risks that are associated with plugging a laptop into an extension cord, especially if its amperage is quite high. We have discussed some of the dangers below.
What Happens If You Plug a Laptop Into An Extension Cord?
When it comes to powering a laptop, do not go for the ordinary extension cords you see in the market. Though an ordinary extension cord can supply the amount of current that a laptop requires, it’s better to go for a heavy duty extension cord to be extra safe.
Plugging laptops into an extension cord isn’t harmful. However, if you plug too many appliances into the same extension cord at the same time, the consequences can be dangerous.
Extension cords are definitely an easy and convenient solution to power appliances. However, if you do not follow the safety measures, it can be a potential danger. Being a responsible homeowner, you must know what are the potential hazards and how to prevent them when plugging your laptop into an extension cord.
If you plug your laptop along with other electrical items into the same extension cord, it might overload a circuit. Overloading a circuit is a serious risk and can cause a fire to break out. Electrical fires are dangerous and can even burn down an entire house.
When multiple devices are connected through the same extension cord, the cord fails to handle the heavy requirement of electricity. In the process, it gets overheated. That’s also another reason for a potential fire hazard. Therefore, one mustn’t plug any other device while powering a laptop.
If you choose the wrong extension cord, which has a thin wiring, the resistance and voltage drops would increase. Both of these are harmful for the laptop. A laptop comprises several sensitive components, which might be damaged in the process. Thus picking the wrong extension cord reduces the longevity of the product in the long run.
Is It Safe To Plug A laptop Into An Extension Cord?
Yes, it’s safe to plug a laptop into an extension cord if the amperage rating of both the items match. If you use an ill-equipped extension cord for this purpose, not only will it harm the laptop’s components or parts but also expose the user to electrocutions and fires.
There are different kinds of extension cords available in the market . Some of them are designed to handle more current and offer less resistance than other ones. Pick these heavy duty extension cords for ensuring safety of the laptop as well as the user.
For years, people have been using laptops with extension cords safely. So, as long as one follows the safety measures and uses the laptop cautiously, one is completely safe.
We have enlisted the important safety tips below. Make sure you follow them every time to connect a laptop with an extension cord.
Safety Tips: Things To Know Before Plugging A laptop Into An Extension Cord
By now you must have understood that using an extension cord for a laptop is safe only when the safety measures are taken and followed. That’s why we have given a detailed account of the important safety tips that one must remember while powering a laptop with an extension cord. Let’s go through them one by one.
One must know how to use the extension cord properly. Make sure to push the plug of an extension cord firmly into the wall outlet. While taking the plug out, don’t pull the cord. Also, when the purpose of the cord is fulfilled, remember to switch it off.
Placing the extension cord
Picking the right extension cord constitutes only a part. How you use the cord is also equally important. Never run the cord underneath rugs, carpets or behind doors or furniture. Hiding them underneath increases chances of shocks or fires. One must obviously keep the extension cord out of everyone’s reach, but shouldn’t hide it anywhere.
If the cord is placed on the floor and people constantly walk on it, it will wear out faster. A damaged extension cord is extremely dangerous. Therefore, keep it in the open space, somewhere safe and out of everyone’s reach.
Heavy duty extension cords usually come in 12 to 14 gauge sizes. The lower the gauge, thicker is the cord and more is its current carrying capacity.
Another important criteria to note is the amperage rating of the cord you choose to buy. While shopping for an extension cord, enquire about two things. First is the wattage it’s designed to handle while second is how much current it can carry.
Make sure the extension cord you choose has a rating of at least 1,825 watts and can handle about 125 Volts of current. A 15 amp cord would suitably qualify the above criteria.
Besides being a heavy duty, the cord must be a three prong, grounded cord. The third pin is the grounding pin and the most important one as it takes care of everyone’s safety. In case, there’s overloading and excessive heat generated, this grounding pin would transfer the extra electricity to the earth, thereby preventing a major fire breakout.
Imagine if the third pin or the grounding pin is absent and you are using a two prong extension cord. Now, upon overloading, the excess electricity would be transferred to the metal body of the laptop. The laptop would become charged with electricity. If anyone happens to touch the laptop, the individual would receive severe shocks.
Do not connect any other appliance while using the laptop
We have already talked about this precaution previously in this guide. While using a laptop or any other electronic device, one mustn’t connect the extension cord to another device.
The extension cord in that case can become heavily overloaded, causing a major fire breakout. Thus it’s for everyone’s safety that one doesn’t connect multiple devices to an extension cord at the same time.
The Bottom Line
We hope we have been able to answer the question whether or not it’s safe to plug a laptop into an extension cord. Yes, it’s absolutely safe only when the safety measures are followed and the right kind of extension cord is used for that purpose.
Nevertheless, we do not promote using an extension cord to power electronic devices. We urge our readers to connect electronic appliances to a wall outlet, always, as it’s the only safe practice. An extension cord must only be used as a temporary solution.