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Old 01-06-2019, 08:26 PM
 
3,611 posts, read 1,271,241 times
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I know, more of an electrical question than an electronics question, but bear with me (I wasn't sure if it was more likely to belong here, or in "house" forum)...

For any electricians or those in the know, how dangerous is it to leave an extension cord plugged in permanently? Here's the deal-- my bedroom has two electrical outlets. One falls behind my bed, the other behind a dresser (not much of a chance to rearrange the layout of the furniture to avoid this). This means I can't really plug anything in in my bedroom without moving furniture. It's a pain in the rear. How bad is it if I move furniture *once* to hook up extension cords and use those as... well, extension cords, or rather, an extension of the outlet? For alarm clock, charging phones, plugging in a lamp periodically, Christmas lights, vacuum cleaner, etc. Except for something like an alarm clock, nothing will probably be plugged into these permanently; they'll just be there for the times I need them (preferably the type with the flatter/low-profile plug so I don't have to have my furniture out 6 inches from the wall to accommodate the plug, but I don't know if these come in heavier cords-- 14 gauge should handle the 12-amp vacuum, right?). It only needs to be 2-3 feet long, if that; it literally only needs to clear the space between the furniture and outlet. Something like this could even work even though it doesn't need to be GFCI, or this.

I tried Googling, but it seems the main concern with this is cords getting walked on and damaged, people tripping over cords, or people using extension cords for major appliances like space heaters and microwaves. That won't be happening in this case; the cords will stay coiled under my bed/dresser until they're needed, and even then I won't be walking on them. I won't be plugging in anything three-pronged or that I expect to produce a ton of heat; the vacuum is the only thing that will probably draw a lot of power.

I would really like to be able to use these outlets without damaging my (wood) floors by dragging furniture around. (It is an apartment. I do not have the choice to install additional outlets.)

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:39 PM
 
13,624 posts, read 6,750,451 times
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If it’s a problem I’ve been doing it for a long time.

Cautions I’ve heard:

1) Watch the total circuit load.

2) Don’t use cords for window AC or heaters that pull a lot of amps.

I’m not an electrician but seems fine.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
13,030 posts, read 15,133,319 times
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Yes, you can do that.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
4,934 posts, read 3,427,586 times
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Get a power strip/surge protector with a long cord that will handle the sufficient number of amps you need. 15 amps are usually enough and what you find in most. You plug it in behind the furniture and place it where the outlets would be accessible all of the time.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:35 PM
 
3,611 posts, read 1,271,241 times
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Thanks, everyone. That was what I thought, but figured I'd better ask to make sure there weren't some kind of safety considerations besides those I cited, that I wasn't thinking of/weren't mentioned on the sites I read.

I did think of a power strip, but it just seemed like overkill since I probably won't actually need more than one thing plugged into it at any given time.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:37 AM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
4,934 posts, read 3,427,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
Thanks, everyone. That was what I thought, but figured I'd better ask to make sure there weren't some kind of safety considerations besides those I cited, that I wasn't thinking of/weren't mentioned on the sites I read.

I did think of a power strip, but it just seemed like overkill since I probably won't actually need more than one thing plugged into it at any given time.
Not really overkill since they cost about the same as a quality extension cord. Not to mention they protect your electronics from spikes/surges, something that is recommended anyway.

https://www.amazon.com/Surge-Protect...F8&node=761520
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,279 posts, read 4,206,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
Not really overkill since they cost about the same as a quality extension cord. Not to mention they protect your electronics from spikes/surges, something that is recommended anyway.

https://www.amazon.com/Surge-Protect...F8&node=761520
IT nerds, like me, say "thumbs up!" to surge protectors.

Had a nasty situation not too many years ago that resulted in a big old spike and blew just about every one I had. Fortunately, just about everything I cared about was on them. My total loses were less than $500 as opposed to maybe $5K otherwise. I felt dumb for even having that much "not" on them. Times like that, as a homeowner, will make you a believer.

This is a town and area of weird weather, I wouldn't put it beyond the pale that similar can and will happen again to our grid.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:54 AM
 
3,611 posts, read 1,271,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
Not really overkill since they cost about the same as a quality extension cord. Not to mention they protect your electronics from spikes/surges, something that is recommended anyway.

https://www.amazon.com/Surge-Protect...F8&node=761520
But I doubt there's going to be a power surge for the 10 minutes my vacuum is plugged in. Remember, this is for temporary use, not having things plugged in long-term (except alarm clock or a night light).
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:50 AM
 
4,160 posts, read 1,539,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
Thanks, everyone. That was what I thought, but figured I'd better ask to make sure there weren't some kind of safety considerations besides those I cited, that I wasn't thinking of/weren't mentioned on the sites I read.

I did think of a power strip, but it just seemed like overkill since I probably won't actually need more than one thing plugged into it at any given time.
My advice would be to purchase a quality power strip since it’s definitely possible to find them for less than $10 for a pair and I have to imagine they can’t be as good or built with the same components.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:23 AM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
4,934 posts, read 3,427,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
But I doubt there's going to be a power surge for the 10 minutes my vacuum is plugged in. Remember, this is for temporary use, not having things plugged in long-term (except alarm clock or a night light).
Surge doesn't usually come from using a vacuum, it will come from something like a lightning strike. Either way, the surge protector will give you what you were asking about to begin with, an extension cord with multiple outlets and surge protection and yes you can leave it plugged in permanently. If you do get it just make sure to get it with the length of cord you need.
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