Can You Run A Space Heater On An Extension Cord

Carole Stephens
• Monday, 04 January, 2021
• 7 min read

I have a small space heater in my bedroom, so I stay extra warm when I sleep. The problem is the wall outlet is too far away from my bed and the electrical cord on the space heater is only about 3 feet long.

extension space cord heater use
(Source: heatertips.com)


The small portable ceramic space heater has a thermostat, so it shuts off when it gets to the set temperature. ANSWER: DO NOT USE AN EXTENSIONCORD OR POWER STRIP WITH AN ELECTRIC ROOM PACESETTER.

IT CAN OVERLOAD THE CIRCUIT OR OVERHEAT THE EXTENSIONCORD AND CAUSE AN ELECTRICAL FIRE. There are many space heaters that plug directly into the wall that are highly rated and available online.

-If you use your space heater on a power strip or extension cord, you have a much HIGHER RISK OF FIRE. -Never use an extension cord on an any type of space heater.- Space heaters draw heavy amperage and should always be plugged directly in to the electrical wall outlet.

Special Note: Some people do use “” and say it is safe as the extension cord is a “heavy duty” type. We DO NOT recommend this as even the heavy duty extension cord may GET HOT and cause a fire risk.

NOTE: A thicker gauge wiring on a space heater is safer to use but there are no guarantees it is safe unless you truly know the space heater safety ratings, amp ratings, and wire gauge requirements. You should treat space heaters with special caution when it comes to installing them in your house.

space heater fire heaters dangerous outlet cord why extension safety plug into strip ways appliances never survive honey hottest wanted
(Source: simplisafe.com)

If you need an extension cord, for example, you have to spend additional attention to some safety aspects. Most extension cords can not handle the high currents space heaters draw.

Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Hermiston, Oregon Here’s some more explanation: Extension cords are oftentimes meant to handle lower amounts of current.

On top of that, even if you have a cable rated at 15A, these high amounts of current can significantly heat the insulation and cause it to meld. If you have kids or pets at home, it is just a matter of time when someone trips over the cable.

This could cause damage by the impact of hitting the floor and might even burn or melt something. Pay special attention to older heaters that don’t shut off.

When they fall over on your carpet they can leave visible black burned stains that toucan ’t clean. Heaters rely on having a strong power source that supplies them with lots of energy.

(Source: www.rvtravel.com)

If you interpose a long extension cord between your space heater and your wall plug, you effectively increase the resistance for the flowing current. Even though this is just a tiny effect, extension cords might increase your electric bill in the long run.

This voltage drop is compensated by your power supply by delivering higher currents. Using power strips can be even more dangerous than using an extension cord in case you have more devices than just your space heater plugged in.

This means that the risk of a fuse melting or the cable overheating is even bigger than for regular extension cords. Oftentimes, modern space heaters have the ability to limit their power usage.

When you run your heater at 750W, the increase of current caused by the extension cord will not harm your cable because it’s still well within the boundaries. This will avoid dangerous accidents that happened in the past, where people left their space heater unattended and lost their home due to a fire.

If you run your extension cord with too much power (e.g. a space heater that draws 1500 watts), here’s what usually happens: The reason is that with a thin cable, the amount of “current per diameter” increases.

water chickens freezing drinking keep
(Source: www.blackberryland.com)

Pressing a lot of current through a thin cable causes a big number of electrons to bump into the metal atoms of your extension cord. Sadly, lots of the extension cords that look thick aren’t suited for high-power applications.

Some extension cord manufacturers just use a lot of insulation to make it look thick and save money with thin copper wires. A thick cable usually stays cool, because there’s more space for the current to travel.

If you absolutely need to use an extension cord with your space heater, for example, when you want to heat a room that has no access to electricity, then I highly recommend getting a heavy-duty cord. Still, stay safe, even when you are using such a heavy-duty extension cord and preferably run your heater on low power settings.

For example, an extension cord will cause an increase in current that your power supply has to deliver. Even though heating your room will take a little longer, this is a much safer approach than running your heater at full power.

Too many times it is the extension cord that is underrated, overheats, and causes a fire. For a safe margin, never use any cord or strip for more than 80% rated capacity.

space heater cord repair replace he decided puppy adorable chew got while brand
(Source: www.reddit.com)

If you have a power strip that is rated at 1875 watts or more, that will work as long as you never plug anything else into it. This leaves absolutely no room for even a cell phone charger.

Can I plug my 1500 watt space heater into an extension cord ? The manufacturer recommends direct plug in to wall socket but my space heater cord is just a few inches too short.

1- If you have to go to the panel, notice what the amperage is on the fuse or breaker. Now if there are more circuits in the same line as the one for your heater, their wattage has to be added (watts) as well.

Now as for the extension cord, it has to be capable of handling the current for the heater. If it is a small wire it can get hot or warm and can blow the fuse or breaker.

(like an air conditioner plug, kitchen receptacle, refrigerator, etc). If not, then a heavy-duty extension cord to a 20 amp receptacle.

snow joe blower cordless ion uncrate gonna meh fault storm gear snowblower
(Source: uncrate.com)

Never plug it into a regular household extension cord or a power strip, neither are rated for that. I would never recommend putting a heater on an extension cord for a long period of time, you are asking for trouble.

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