Electrical Cords

Different Types of Extension Cords

An extension cord

For many people, extension cords are seen as a necessity. Although nearly everyone uses these cords, few people realize that there are different types that pertain to different uses. Here are some of the characteristics that help differentiate each type of extension cord.


When it comes to purchasing any extension cord, it is always best to buy a longer cord than you think you need. This allows you to have enough cord when you need it in a pinch. If your cord is too short, resistance will build up within the cord. This causes voltage to drop which can result in bigger appliances—such as vacuums and drills—running at lower power.

Thickness (Gauge)

Thickness is typically listed in terms of gauge or AWG. Thicker cords can allow for more power to be safely carried through the wires. They are also able to carry more power over longer distances. A larger AWG number means the cord carries less power and has smaller wires. A smaller AWG number means the wires are larger and carry more power. If you’re looking for an extension cord to use with lights or a stereo, a standard cord found at a the grocery store will work. If you wish to use power tools, you will need to go to a more specialized store to get an extension cord with a thicker width to ensure it will have enough power for your appliances.

What to Look For

As stated above, extension cords can come in various lengths and sizes. It is important that you choose the right length and gauge to best fit your needs. Typically, nothing below a gauge of 14 is recommended. 14 AWG works best with a shorter cord, a 25 foot cord for example. A thicker gauge (such as 10 AWG) works best with a longer cord, such as a 100 foot cord.

Extension cords are a household staple, but knowing which type of extension cord works best for your needs is important. We hope that this post has given you more insight on different types of extension cords and helped you in choosing the right one. For more information on our services or to set up a consultation, call 210-899-2430 or Request a Service today.