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My cord is too short, can I use an extension cord?

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

The concern is that an undersized or unsafe type of insulation found with most general purpose extension cords is unsafe and….

Electrical Question from Ian about Electrical Safety

Question: I’ve seen various places online that state you should not use an extension cord with a washing machine. I’ve also seen others that say you can. Which is accurate? My cord is about a foot short of my outlet and I want to use a heavy duty cord to connect it. Is this safe?

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Ian. The concern is that an undersized or unsafe type of insulation found with most general purpose extension cords is unsafe and I totally agree. However there are specific use cords which state they are designed to be used for devices such as microwave ovens. These cords are short and the wire gauge and insulation type is safe for the stated application. If you find one of these specific application cords and its states that it is safe for your application AND it has a Genuine UL Listing AND you will not be altering the cord in any way then it should be safe for your application. However if your electrical appliance explicitly prohibits the use of any extension cord then I advise against it.

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