Can You Plug TV Into An Extension Cord? (Yes, BUT…!)

Recently, if you have installed a new TV, or if you have shifted your old one, you need not to really worry much about it. You only need to find a receptacle in close vicinity to connect your TV and enjoy watching it.

If you fail to find any receptacle within the range of the power cord, either you have to install a new receptacle near the TV or you would be left with another option of adjusting the TV’s position suitably.

But, if you are unable to utilize any of the two options mentioned above, using an extension cord is the only option left. However, experts forbid homeowners from connecting a TV with an extension cord because every extension cord is different and might not be suitable for powering an appliance like a television.

If a homeowner picks the wrong extension cord without being much aware of it, it can be dangerous. That’s why it is extremely important to be aware and informed of the kind of extension cord that must be used for powering heavy duty appliances.

ln this guide, we have discussed whether or not it is possible to plug your TV into an extension cord and how to make the connection safe.

Along with that, this guide also clarifies several queries of homeowners regarding the safety measures that should be followed while connecting a TV with an extension cord. Keep reading below to know more.

Can You Plug TV Into An Extension Cord

Can You Plug TV Into An Extension Cord?

Yes, one can plug a TV into an extension cord. Plugging the TV into an extension cord is safe only when you follow all safety standards.

You must not connect your TV to any ordinary extension cord as the consequences could be fatal. Keep in mind that a heavy duty extension cord which is specially structured to supply the required amount of power to heavy duty electrical appliances must be connected to your TV.

An ordinary extension cord is likely to fail while supplying the high amount of electricity that a TV requires. Ultimately, there can be dangerous mishaps like overheating or melting of the insulation that can in turn result in a fire hazard.

What Happens If You Plug TV Into An Extension Cord?

What Happens If You Plug TV Into An Extension Cord

Using an ordinary extension cord for your TV can overload the cord. If the cord continues to be overheated, objects in close vicinity are likely to catch fire. In extreme cases, overheating can put an entire house on fire.

Thus, the most dangerous risk of plugging a TV into an extension cord is a fire hazard. A fire breaks out usually when the extension cord continues to get overheated. This occurs when the flow of electricity is resisted, generating heat in the process.

High resistance is produced by small cables and this in turn generates a larger amount of heat. So, if you use an ordinary extension cord to power a television set, you are basically making the cord handle a huge flow of electricity, something that it isn’t equipped to do.

Thus the cord fails to handle such a high flow of electricity. If this remains neglected, the insulation melts due to overloading, causing a fire hazard.

Furthermore, when there’s high resistance, frequent voltage drops are likely to occur. When frequent voltage fluctuations remain unnoticed, the television set is likely to get damaged beyond repair.

You must be aware of the fact that TVs are badly affected by voltage fluctuations caused by an overheated cord. So, connecting your TV with an extension cord is definitely risky even if it seems to be quite convenient option to some people.

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Is It Safe To Plug A TV Into An Extension Cord?

Is It Safe To Plug A TV Into An Extension Cord

Yes, it’s safe to use a heavy duty extension cord to power a television set. One must be cautious when using an extension cord to power a TV. You must be aware of the fact that extension cords are made up of wires and their power of handling electricity is determined by their gauge rating.

Lower gauge cables are thicker in comparison to higher gauge cables and they conduct more power than the higher gauge cables. You must keep in mind that you should get an extension cord of the suitable gauge.

Try to buy higher gauge cables to ensure your safety as well as the product’s safety. You must select an extension cord with 10 or 12 gauges with a suitable wattage rating to ensure sufficient power supply to the TV through the extension cord.

Make sure to check the extension cord regularly and look for any kind of damage or malfunction. The use of damaged or malfunctioning extension cord can be fatal. In fact, there have been cases of fire hazards caused due to these issues which were neglected for days.

You can get hints of internal damage by tracing out burn marks and cuts or scratches on your extension cord. If you aren’t sure if the cord is fine, get it replaced. That’s the safest option. Also, while plugging the cord into a wall outlet, make sure it’s firmly inserted into it.

It’s better if your TV has a separate circuit. This is tremendously useful as it prohibits overheating and ensures safety. In case you are not able to find a new circuit, make sure that you have selected the suitable extension cord that is fit to serve the purpose well.

Also, remember to keep the extension cord at a safe distance from areas where people are likely to come and go. People may fall or trip over the cord. You mustn’t keep your cord covered under mats or carpets.

Moreover, make sure to check the cord’s amperage rating and ensure that it’s equivalent to the amperage rating of the TV. The cable should also be long enough to reach the intended location.

Safety Tips: Things to Know Before Plugging A TV into an Extension Cord

Safety Tips Things to Know Before Plugging A TV into an Extension Cord

It’s safe to connect your television set with an extension cord only when you follow the safety measures. Following the safety tips reduces the chances of damage to the appliance or probability of fire hazards. Some of the safety tips are as follows:

Using the suitable gauge

A medium-duty extension cord that ranges from 12 to 16 AWG is suitable for operating a Television set.The thickness of an extension cord depends on the gauge. Smaller gauge number amounts to greater thickness, and ultimately transmits more current through the extension cord.

Choose a cord with the appropriate length

The length of the extension cord is equally significant as a longer cord offers more resistance than a shorter one. Longer cords demand high gauges to compensate for the resistance. It is always safer to use cords with shorter lengths.

The voltage fluctuations increase with increasing length, something which is unwanted and dangerous in this. The greater the length of the cord, the appliance is likely to be more damaged.

Use a single extension cord.

The electrical code and the fire code prohibit homeowners from using two extension cords at a time. You should avoid this even if you don’t have a cord that’s long enough to reach the nearest receptacle. Instead of using two cords, buy a cord that’s comparatively lengthier.

Make sure the extension cord is grounded

As you know, the power cord on every electrical appliance consists of a ground pin. Therefore, always buy a three-wire grounded extension cord and plug it safely into the grounded three-pin receptacle.

There shouldn’t be any cracks or exposed wires in the extension cord

If anytime you use an indoor extension cord for outdoor purposes, you must ensure the cable’s condition is decent,  devoid of cracks, exposed wires or damages. It is highly risky to use a damaged or malfunctioning extension cord.

Don’t secure the cord

In case the receptacle lies on the opposite side of the wall, it’s a dangerous idea to run the cord across the floor and keep it covered under a rug. The entire carpet can get burnt if the cord becomes damaged. If this issue gets unnoticed for a longer period, the fire can spread to the surrounding area and burn down the entire house.

The electrical codes as well as the fire codes strongly forbid homeowners from doing this. Homeowners must use an extension cord to generate power into various electrical appliances only for temporary purposes.

It is advisable to make the necessary arrangements and install suitable electrical circuits that have the potential to conduct electricity to various electrical appliances. One mustn’t use extension cords as a permanent solution for powering heavy duty electrical appliances.

Create a dedicated circuit

This particular caution should be taken into consideration by every homeowner with extra attention and should be abided by.

According to the electrical code, every heavy duty appliance must establish a connection to a dedicated circuit with a 20 amp circuit breaker to prevent the possibilities of overloading.

Even though power requirement of TV is lesser compared to other appliances, to reduce the chances of overloading in future, you need to make sure that no other device or appliance is plugged into the same circuit.

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The Bottom Line

By reading the information shared above, you are aware of the dangers that you may face if you use an ordinary extension cord. It is your duty to be alert of the risks, being a conscious homeowner.

One must follow the safety measures not only to ensure the longevity or proper maintenance of the electrical appliances in your house, but also to ensure the safety of people inside the house.

Before buying an extension cord, inquire about the variety of extension cords that are available in the market. Picking the right extension cord is extremely important as the use of the wrong extension cord can be disastrous.

An ordinary extension cord lacks the ability to handle high flowing current.  Ultimately, it may result in a mishap. Therefore, stay alert and awake and use your appliances carefully.