When Should You Replace Your Extension Cord?

An extension cord in a home is essential for power supply for outdoor and indoor needs. It is critical to ensure all the devices are powered, including in areas like the kitchen where you need to power multiple devices simultaneously, but limited power outlets are available.

Extension cords will always guarantee a reliable power supply regardless of the energy needs. That is, if they are in perfect working condition. Otherwise, you risk short-circuiting, accidental fires, and other harm.

Due to such concerns, it is good to always replace them whenever there is a need. Rather than repairs, sometimes all you have to do is replace for safety concerns and prevent other future harm. For most people, the best solution is to always repair them, i.e., tape open wires, fix a few buttons, and other interventions.

Frequent replacement is ideal for safety, energy conservation, cost-saving, and ensuring durable home appliances. Therefore, if you notice any of these conditions, then the best remedy is always to buy a new one and discard the old one.

1. Changing Household Needs

When the household electrical needs change, you also need to change the extension cord to keep up with the energy demand. Whenever you buy new appliances, think of the impact it could have on your extension cords. Therefore, you can replace the existing one with a high-power extension cord. These cords can serve your needs longer and remain stable and efficient even when buying additional appliances.

In the long run, they help you save on costs by avoiding frequent replacements. When buying the high voltage extension cord, ensure it is suitable for household and outdoor needs. Do not buy an industrial extension cord for household needs since you risk damaging your devices with a higher voltage supply. They can also short-circuit the main power sources when they draw more energy than is supplied.

2. Extension Cord  Getting older

If you are worried about how long your extension cord should last, it depends on how you handle it. When carefully handled, they can serve your need for a whale before any issue. Also note that the lifespan will also likely depend on the quality, brand, usage, and the type of extension you are buying.

Generally, the rule of thumb requires you to use it for about five years and then consider replacing it. By then, some of the best and upgraded ones will be available. Always strive to have the latest extension cord for energy-saving purposes, home safety, etc.

3. Observe Signs of Electrical Faults

Sometimes, it may be challenging to notice any electrical faults with your extension cords; however, you need to inspect frequently for certain signs of faults. First, if you notice any damage in one of the ports or outlets, it could be a sign of internal damage that could extend to other outlets. Next, you need to observe for any change in colors. For instance, black colors in the extension cord or around the outlets could be a sign of short-circuiting, hence compromising the cord’s ability to protect connected devices.

If you notice a burning smell, you should also replace the extension cord, as this may indicate a blown-out fuse or progressing burn that could extend to your devices. When the fuse or the breakers trip, there will be a burning scent, and sometimes, you can see evidence of burnt outlets. Finally, if the buttons are damaged, or the connectors are no longer connected to the extension cords, it is time to consider replacing them with new ones.

4. Damaged Cables or Wiring

If you notice any cuts, you should replace the cord or the entire extension cord. Sealing the cuts with tape can lead to the wires coming into contact with each other, hence short-circuiting. Even if you cover the cables with duct tape, the heating can lead to the tape melting, exposing the wires. Exposed wires can easily lead to accidents, harming people passing and damaging the devices.

Therefore, if you notice any cracks or cuts on the insulation, it is best to replace the cord rather than using duct tape. If you also notice any discoloration or swellings on the insulation, it could be a sign of progressive burns, meaning the internal wires are already compromised. For such cords, it is only a matter of time before they cease to be functional.

5. Technological Changes

Over time, extension cords become obsolete as new ones are introduced to the market. Over time, electrical and appliance companies are working towards major goals like sustainability and energy conservation. This means that there are significant changes to make extension cords better and more suited for household needs.

There are also frequent changes to make the new extension cords safer for everyone in the house. Modern ones tend to have innovations like GFCI, child protection features, and other integrated technologies for safety and sustainability. Some of these cords can be used in different environments without worries about environmental impacts; hence, you do not have to worry about selecting one best suited for the environment.

Practices for Extending The Extension Cord’s Lifespan

It is quite expensive to keep buying extension cords, especially if you get faulty ones or mishandle existing ones. To ensure they serve you longer, you should learn some safety protocols and precautions to avoid frequent damages due to negligence.

Extension cords are usually vulnerable to dust, vapor, and exposure to water; hence, the first precaution is to insulate them and protect the cables. Regardless of the voltage limit indicated, don’t overload them with connected devices. This is the fastest way to destroy the extension since too much power demand will trigger short-circuiting, starting with the fuse destruction.


With all the safety measures and precautions, extension cords should last longer to meet all your household needs. Frequently inspect the cord for any signs of burning or overheating so that you reduce the number of devices connected or buy one with a higher voltage capacity.

With time, the buttons and connectors may be compromised, which is a sign you need to get another one. In case of wear, tear, and frayed cables, you can repair them or buy another extension.

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