It is common for the refrigerator to have a short power cord than required. If you are confused about connecting the refrigerator with an electric outlet that is too far, this article is for you.
If your refrigerator power cord is short and cannot reach the outlet, you can extend the same by connecting it with a 12 or 14-gauge electric cord extension. Always choose the heavy-duty cord that can handle the power requirement of your refrigerator to avoid any electrical damage.
In this article, I will help you choose the right cord extension for your refrigerator. You will also understand the importance of safety measures while using an extension cord. So, keep reading.
How long is the power cord on the refrigerator?
The power cord will be 3 to 6 feet long when you purchase a new refrigerator.
However, the power cord length may vary depending on the company and the model of the refrigerator.
If you want to know the exact length of your refrigerator power cord, consider referring to your user manual.
Can you extend a fridge cable?
If the electric cord of your refrigerator is long enough to reach your electric outlet, you don’t have to extend your fridge cable.
If the electric cord of your refrigerator is too short of reaching the electric outlet, then you can extend it.
Extend the electric cord using a heavy-duty extension cord instead of a low-quality one.
As refrigerators run all the time, it is important to use power cords to handle their power consumption.
While doing so, you should understand the importance of choosing the right electric code.
Not all electric codes are the same and will not suit your refrigerator.
Using an electric cord that doesn’t suit your refrigerator’s voltage will burn the wires and bring electric hazards.
It can even cause damage to the appliance.
Select the electric cord after considering the voltage standard and your refrigerator’s power requirement.
Most importantly, purchase an electrical cord extension that will be long enough to reach the electric outlet.
How can you make your electric cord longer?
As discussed earlier, you can make your electric cord longer by connecting it with the extension cord.
Let’s assume your refrigerator needs less than 15 amps of power and is 9 feet far from the outlet.
Then, you have to choose the 12-gauge or 14-gauge electric cord.
Choose an electric cord considering the amount of power your refrigerator requires and how far it is from the electric outlet.
If your refrigerator needs more power and is still farther than 9 feet from the outlet, you will need a 12-gauge or 10-gauge cord of extension.
You might have understood that the more the voltage required, the less gauge number will be.
I personally recommend this extension cord for a refrigerator.
Extension cord to power a refrigerator
Plug your refrigerator into the extension cord with all the required specifications and the ground pin configuration.
Here are some of the hazards you might face if you use a low-quality electric cord:
The refrigerator works continuously without rest.
The three-prong power cord with the refrigerator is designed to handle the constant power supply.
It has thick wires to handle the voltage supply.
Fire accidents will happen if you plug the refrigerator with a regular electric cord extension.
This cheap electric code extension has thin wires, mostly with two-prong plugs with ground connections.
Connecting the appliance with this type of power cord extension will cause wires to burn.
It will put both you and the appliance in a hazardous situation.
Avoid connecting two or three electric appliances to the same electric extension.
As the refrigerator is a heavy-duty appliance, there will be a voltage drop when it is connected to the same electric cord extension to which other electrical appliances are also connected.
It will burn the thin wires and affect the various parts of the refrigerator.
Hence, this will result in reduced efficiency and the loss of longevity of the refrigerator.
As regular electric cords are low in price, they usually don’t come with a covering box.
Using this uncovered electric cord extension has more chances of giving electric shocks.
These electric cords are more prone to repairs and wear out soon.
Using this will cause the wiring issue in the refrigerator.
Things to consider while buying an extension code
Considering the factors below is important before buying an electric cord extension.
Type of plug
Two types of plugs come in two different types of extension cords.
One of the types has two prongs, and the other one is a three-prong plug.
The one with two prongs doesn’t have ground connections.
While in the three-prong plug, the third prong is grounded.
The latter is safe because when the malfunction occurs, it will pass the electricity to the ground without causing any damage to your hands.
Let me explain a little more about why the three-prong plug is better.
The third prong, which fits into the electrical outlet of 120 volts, is directly connected to the ground wire.
This wire will carry the electric charges to the ground when an electric shock occurs.
In contrast, the regular electric code will directly pass the electricity to your hands if any malfunction occurs.
With that said, a three-prong plug is the safer choice without question.
As you try to understand if it is better to have an electric code extension, you must know what the basic terms like the voltage, amperage, and wattage mean to end up in the best choice.
Let me simplify these terms to give you a basic understanding.
Starting with voltage, it refers to the electric force that keeps the electrons in movement.
Amperage refers to the flow of electrons in an electric conductor.
Lastly, the amount of electricity consumed is measured as wattage.
You can calculate the wattage by multiplying the voltage and the amperage.
Amperage capacity is important when choosing the electric cord for your refrigerator.
Not all electric cords are designed to withstand high amperage.
Connecting the high current requirement appliance with the normal electric cord will face electrical hazards.
If you want to know the amperage requirement of your refrigerator, check the manual handbook, or you can check the refrigerator itself.
When choosing an electric code extension, ensure it meets the refrigerator’s voltage and wattage requirements.
As I mentioned earlier, connecting more appliances to the one electric cord extension is not recommended.
If you are doing this for unavoidable reasons, calculate the excess current that the electric code extension wants to handle and purchase accordingly.
If you are unaware of what gauge is, it is the size of the wire inside the electric cord extension.
The gauge number is important because it determines the amount of amperage an electric cord can handle.
An electric cord extension with a lower gauge number will have thickened wires capable of withstanding the high voltage of current.
In contrast, high gauge number electric cord extensions have thin wires incapable of handling high voltage current.
Four common electric cord extensions have 16, 14, 12, and 10 gauge numbers.
It can be classified as light-duty, heavy-duty, and extra-duty electrical cord extensions, where an electric cord extension with 10 gauge comes under an extra heavy-duty, capable of withstanding the highest current.
And 16 gauge extension cord is light duty, capable of handling the low currents of electrical appliances like trimmers and fans.
So, a 14 gauge extension code for the refrigerator will be suitable if it requires 15 amperes.
Or it is recommended to use a 10 gauge extension code if your refrigerator requires more power.
Extension cords vary in length and thickness.
There are both long and short extension cords available.
The voltage drops in the long extension cord as the current travels along the length.
So, it would not be the best choice for appliances with high current requirements.
Use a short electric cord extension with a thick wire for the refrigerator.
Choose a GFCI electric code.
As we already discussed, a three-prong plug electric cord extension for refrigerators is best.
The third prong is connected to the ground wire.
Sometimes, the ground connection will be interrupted when an unexpected fault occurs.
In the scenario, using a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electric cord extension is the best choice because it provides safety by disconnecting the electric supply to the cord when the ground connection is at fault or interrupted.
Safety measures while using electric cord extension
Professionals don’t recommend using an electric cord extension for the refrigerator.
If you have no choice left, use electric cord extensions specially designed to handle the constant power consumption of the refrigerator.
If not, you will face fire hazards in your home.
Here are the safety measures you must ensure while using an electric cord extension:
- Avoid overuse of the electric cord by overloading it. When overused, heat is produced, resulting in fire hazards or electric shock. It is better to use an electric cord temporarily.
- There are separate electric cord extensions for both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor electric cord extension has protection by insulation, and it is moisture resistant. There will be severe damage if you use an indoor cord extension outside. So, remember to use an appropriate electric cord extension.
- While extending the cord extension by connecting the multiple extensions will cause burning and even fire.
- Some people will try to fix the three-prong plug into the two-prong plug outlet after removing the ground pin. It is a dangerous practice you should avoid doing at any cost. Removing the ground pin will lead to electric shock if any fluctuation occurs.
- If you are running the extension cord through the walls and the high ceilings, stop doing it. It will also put you in a dangerous situation.
- If you put the cord extension wire in the doorway, under the furniture, or through the windows, there are chances of the cord extension wire getting damaged. So, inspect if you are doing this.
- If you see the cord extension damaged, throw it immediately. Carelessly using it will cost your life.
- As I have mentioned several times, calculate the refrigerator’s wattage and power requirement before purchasing the cord extension. Use a cord extension capable of handling heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators.
- When you are not using a cord extension, remember to unplug it.
- When cord extension is in use, don’t coil it.
- Some cord extension indicates danger by overheating. If your cord extension feels hot, stop using it.
- Avoid putting the cord extension in the area where children can reach out.
- Don’t buy cheap cord extensions for heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators.
- Move the refrigerator near the outlet instead of using the extension code. It will avoid any damage or hazards.
Can you use a short extension cord on a refrigerator?
As mentioned earlier, the length of an electric cord extension is an important factor you must consider while buying.
Long extension cords are suitable for light-duty appliances like movable fans, hair dryers, and trimmers.
Heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators will drop the voltage along the length of the cord extension cable.
Using a short extension cord on a refrigerator is the safer choice because the voltage is maintained equally.
A short electric cord can handle high voltage power for a long time.
So, you can use a short electric cord for a refrigerator.
Is a 14 gauge extension cord OK for a refrigerator?
For a heavy-duty refrigerator that requires 15 amperes of current, a 14-gauge cord extension will be suitable.
But this varies based on the power requirement of your refrigerator.
Depending on the company and a specific model, some refrigerators have higher power consumption than this.
You can even use a 10 gauge electric cord extension if there is a higher power requirement.
Before concluding on which electric cord extension to use, refer to your manual book or check the refrigerator to know its power requirement.
As discussed in the article, use an electric cord extension designed to handle the power consumption of a heavy-duty appliance like a refrigerator.
It is important to ensure safety measures while using an extension cord.
The type of plug and the length of the cord are not to be taken lightly in the case of an extension cord because they can pose a hazard if misused.
Keep an extension cord in a safe area with less traffic to avoid danger.
Reference: ASAP Refrigerators and Freezers, Electricity usage of a Refrigerator.