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1) An extension cord, based on its gauge, can power an appliance of a certain wattage only at specific distances. As the cord gets longer, the current carrying capacity of the cord gets lower. For example, a 16 gauge extension cord less than 50 feet in length can power a 1625 watt (W) appliance. A 16 gauge cord that is longer than 50 feet in length can only power an appliance up to 1250W. if your appliance indicates that it uses 5 amps at 125 volts, then its wattage rating is 625W (5x125). All extension cords sold in the U.S. and in most other countries, must have its rating printed on the packaging or on the cord. 2) It is never a good idea to leave any electrical device connected and unattended for an extended period of time. That said, if the cord is undamaged, used in accordance with its UL rating and recommendations, and undisturbed (you're not going to leave it someplace where earthquakes, floods, critters, human or otherwise can gnaw on it or damage it in some manner,) it should be able to safely withstand continuous use for months or even years.
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Posted:Dec 29, 2009
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