Filed under: Cable Management, Cables and Wires, Electrical
When it comes to installing power strips and extension cords it is important to install them correctly to ensure that they not only function accordingly but also provide a safe means of power for any application. Here are some of the don’ts of power strip and extension cord usage you may need to consider when installing them.
Don’ts Of Power Strip and Extension Cord Use
1) Extension cords are designed for temporary use only and should only be used for short periods of time. Never use an extension cord for weeks or even months at a time as this may cause harm to your devices and may result in overheating or overuse of the cord.
2) Power strips and other uninterruptible power supplies should never be used if they don’t have a resettable circuit breaker integrated into the design. Circuit breakers are designed to cut power instantly to the compatible devices causing them to avoid the risk of overloads. If your power strip doesn’t feature a resettable circuit breaker then it is best to replace it with a newer version for added safety.
3) Another no, no of power strip use is daisy chaining your power cords. Daisy chain is the method of plugging one device into another and then into another off the same power supply outlet. This form of installation can cause lowered power functions throughout the installation and can cause your devices to overheat.
4) Another thing that should not be done when installing a power strip is to overload it. Overloading your power strip with multiple devices running at once can cause the circuit breaker to trip. If this happens do not force the installation to function as it may cause it to overload and overheat resulting in a fire. You should also not cover any electrical boxes or strips as this may also cause the device to overheat resulting in a fire.
5) Lastly this may be common sense, although you should never use any sort of electrical device near moisture or wet areas. The risk of electrocution is extremely high when used in combination with water and may result in a fatality. Always use your power strips, extension cords and other electronics in dry areas.
It’s not sly or sexy, so I’m not sure why they call it the Fox™, but you have to admit – this cord cover has a simple, straightforward design that just has a certain appeal. What makes the Fox different from other medium to heavy duty cable protectors? As I was reminded as I traipsed over an endless sea of cord covers at a local Fall festival a few days ago, the first obvious difference is that they don’t have the standard hinged, flip-open tops of most other rugged cable protectors on the market. And secondly, they don’t have the “easy-to-kick-out-of-place-if-it’s-not-actively-anchored-down” dropover design that’s characteristic of many medium capacity cord covers. It like a perfect best-of-both-worlds hybrid of the two. Let me tell you what I mean.
The Fox cable protector has a heavy duty polyurethane body that encloses cables all around and sits firmly on the ground, just like a high-capacity cord cover. But on the other hand, its interior is made up of a single, unsegmented channel, and it’s incredible simple to load, just like most medium-capacity cord covers. Mix those seemingly opposing attributes together, and you get a cable cover that can withstand just over 10 tons (per axle) of vehicle run-over weight and some pretty heavy pedestrian traffic, but is as easy to use as running your hoses and cables through the narrow, flexible open channel along the top.
Flexible, open channel? Of course – how else did you think you were going to get your cables in if there are no hinged lids? The Fox’s cable entry point is a narrow lengthwise channel with flexible sides that let you easily push in or pull out cabtles without the need to open and close covers – it’s really pretty cool, and a perfect solution if you don’t need multiple channels to keep several different cables separate along their path.
Ever notice how beat up extension cords seem to get? I’m not talking about the delicate, super-flexible little ones that you use to stretch lamp cords or plug in indoor Christmas lights, that never come into contact with anything tougher than a dust bunny. I’m talking about the ones that are skulking in your garage, workshop or basement – the heavy-duty ones that are good for power tools and always look like they’ve been run over by the lawnmower, chewed by the dog, and recently dragged through paint and sawdust – right before someone took a hammer to the plug.
How does anyone in their right mind feel safe using an electrical component in such sorry shape? And how, again, does someone in their right mind let a highly useful yet potentially damgerous piece of equipment get into that state of disrepair? I’m not really sure on either count, but there’s one thing I do know: most of us can’t be trusted, and our extension cords should be better protected from, well… us.
Luckily, General Cable got a clue about the sad plight of working extension cords, and came up with the Powr-Reel™, a retractable 3-outlet extension cord that’s packed safely away inside a sturdy metal casing. When you’re ready to use it, just pull out the length you need (it will automatically lock into place), do what you’ve got to do, and when you’re done, retract it back into the enclosed reel with nothing more than a tug.
This is a great product on multiple levels: not only is the electrical cord saved from constant repeat beatings by its case, but you’re also spared the clutter of cable slack thanks to the lockable length. And did I mention that it makes transport just a little easier? Instead of slinging a loosely-coiled/semi-tangled cord into your trunk or truck bed, just grab the Powr-Reel’s handy case and stow it wherever you need it, without worry of damage or knots.