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Can I Plug Two Extension Cords Together? (Explained)

Sometimes, you run out of electrical outlets to plug in an electrical appliance for it to work. At that time, you can use extension cords that can plug into a single outlet and power multiple outlets at the other end of the extension cord for you to use. 

Usually, we use extension cords to avail electrical outlets where there are none.

Can I plug two extension cords together?

You should not plug two extension cords together. Plugging two extension cords together can cause a fire risk, so, should not be done. You can buy longer extension cords to fulfill the purpose of using two extension cords together. Keep your home safe, and do not use two extension cords together.

Extension cords are used to extend an outlet. These are used to create an electrical outlet where there is none. As extension cords are usually long and thin, they cannot allow high power to flow through.

Using two extension cords temporarily can be a solution. However, if you plan on using two extension cords together permanently or for a long time, it can be risky. You can temporarily connect two extension cords for use.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission stated that an estimated 3300 residential fires started because of the misuse of extension cords. When two extension cords are connected, the wattage decreases. 

As a result, when a lot of power is drawn by a device connected to the extension cords, they melt and cause fires.

It is ideal to avoid the use of extension cords. You can use short extension cords with adequate insulation, an insulated power strip, and sufficient protection to prevent short circuits. 

Refrain from using devices that use a lot of power, such as ovens and heaters, on extension cords as the extension cords cannot handle high power flow.

Is it dangerous to plug two extension cords together?

Using multiple extension cords in a chain is dangerous. So, plugging two extension cords together is a risk factor. It can result in fires and injure people nearby.

Extension cords are not designed to handle heavy wattage. So, as extension cords are used over time, they deteriorate and become potentially dangerous. As a result, plugging in appliances that draw a lot of power can be damaging as it can cause fires.

Running an extension cord through water, snow, or walls is dangerous. If the heat released by the wires is trapped, the wires will heat up to high temperatures and melt. Eventually, the wires will catch on fire and cause complications.

If you need to connect two extension cords to avail an outlet somewhere, you should buy a single extension cord that is long enough to reach that place. Using a longer extension cord with thicker cables is better than connecting two extension cords. 

As connecting two extension cords are dangerous, you should avoid doing it.

Can I plug two 100 ft outdoor extension cords together?

You should not plug two 100 ft outdoor extension cords together. Using one extension cord that is 100 ft is dangerous enough if used for heavy-duty appliances. Connecting two extension cords doubles the chances of severe consequences.

Amperage ratings of extension cords are determined by cord length and thickness. So, a short extension cord is safer than a long extension cord. Also, if the cable is thick, the extension cord can deliver more wattage than an extension cord consisting of thinner wires.

Additionally, extension cords should not exceed 100 ft in length for safety reasons. However, if you connect two 100 ft identical extension cords, the 100 ft limit is easily crossed. Crossing the 100 ft limit can cause electrical fires or cause the plugged-in appliance to fail.

Can I plug multiple extension cords together?

Even though you can plug multiple extension cords together, but you should not do so. Connecting extension cords in a chain are dangerous and can result in fire. It can also cause loss of life in a worse scenario.

The wattage ratings of an extension cord depending on the cord length and the thickness of the cable. If you plug in multiple extension cords in a chain, the wattage will decrease. Therefore, using light machinery can cause the burning of the wires and the wires to melt.

As mentioned earlier, extension cords should not exceed the 100 ft limit. If you connect multiple extension cords, the 100 ft limit is crossed. Crossing the 100 ft limit will cause the wires to overheat and catch on fire.

How many extension cords can you plug together?

You can connect multiple extension cords. You can keep on connecting extension cords limitlessly. However, what you want to use on the final outlet limits the number of extension cords you can join in a series.

For example, if you want to light a bulb, you can connect two or three extension cords. The wattage will not be a problem if the bulb is a LED light bulb. However, if you want to use a table saw, you should not connect two extension cords.

Therefore, there is no limit on how many extension cords you can connect. The limit is infinity. The more extension cords you connect in series, the lower the wattage ratings.

Why shouldn’t you plug two extension cords together?

There are several reasons why you should not plug two extension cords together. Some of them are:

Power overload:

When you connect multiple extension cords, the chance of overloading the extension cords increases. For example, you can effortlessly use a power drill on a single heavy-duty extension cord. However, if you connect two extension cords in a chain, the power drill will not work efficiently. 

The power drill will receive insufficient power and not work as intended. Also, as the power drill will draw more power than the extension cords can handle, the extension cables will experience a power overload. And, both the plugged-in appliance and the extension cord will be damaged.

Overheating of wires:

If you connect multiple extension cords, the amperage or wattage ratings of the extension cords are affected. As the length of the extension cords increase, the ratings decrease. 

So, when you connect a high-power consuming device to the extension cords, the wires overheat. The overheating wires will melt the insulation of the cables and cause electrical fires.

How to connect two extension cords together?

Since it is dangerous to connect two extension cords, you can make the two extension cords into a single one. Follow the steps to do so:

Cut the plug side of one extension cord and the outlet port of the other extension cord:

Take an extension cord and cut the plug side. You can use a wire cutter to cut the wires. Then, take the other extension cord and cut the outlet part.

Separate the wires inside the extension cords:

Place both the extension cords on a flat surface, such as a table. If the extension cord has three wires inside them, the other extension cord must have three wires inside. You cannot connect a three-wired extension cord to a two-wired extension cord.

Connect the cables:

Gently connect the corresponding wires of the two extension cords. Connect the hot to the hot, neutral to the neutral, and the ground to the ground. Then, solder the wires to secure them in place.

Apply electrical tape over the connection:

After you are done with the above step, apply electrical tape over the link. Electrical tape will prevent electrocution and loss of electricity.

Once done, connect the extension cord and use a device for testing. If done correctly, the extension cord will work as expected.

Final Thoughts

Plugging in two extension cords together is dangerous. If you need a long extension cord, you can make a single extension cord from two identical extension cords. Avoid using extension cords for permanent uses as, over time, they deteriorate rapidly and may result in electrical and fire risks.