Some extension cords you use almost every day. Others get used once a year.
I am talking about holiday decorating. All those cords that are stuffed in the attic or stowed in the garage for 11 months a year.
Time doesn’t stand still, and if you want to insure that they are still safe and usable for next year’s holidays they need to be stored properly.
How you coil them has a lot to do with how long they will last. Work out the kinks and remove all knots now. Don’t give them a chance to get stiff.
If you store them in spaces that rodents have access to, make sure that they are in rat and squirrel-proof containers. These animals need to constantly sharpen their teeth and they love to use rubber insulation to take care of this.
Make repairs now. You will probably forget what needs to be repaired by next year and you may overlook a critical fix and create a fire or shock danger.
Last of call, keep them away from direct sunlight. UV rays can break down the jacket and cause the insulation to crack, dramatically shortening the life of the cable.
Extension cord repair is a common “do it yourself” job, and, if done properly, you can extend the life of an expensive extension cord.
Do it incorrectly, and you can burn down a much more expensive house.
Cloth tapes, like gaffers tape, are great for securing cables to the floor to prevent trip hazards, but they are not good for repairing damaged or frayed cables. Cloth tapes are not intended to proved electrical insulation and, while they may be water resistant, they are not water proof. That means that they can create shock hazards, even if there are not any conductors actually exposed.
For repairing extension cords, you need UL approved vinyl electrical tape. This type of tape both provides a good insulator and also can create a waterproof bond that keeps the cable from shorting out or causing a shock hazard.
For even better, more permanent results, use a silicone fusing tape. This type of tape creates a bond that won’t work loose over time and one that completely seals out moisture.
If you aren’t confident that you understand how to correctly repair the jacket of a damaged extension cord, it is best to discard and replace.
Harrison Bros. Inc. TheTapeworks.com Voice 866-386-8335 Fax 800-327-6651 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Harrison Bros. Inc. 47 North Chatham Pkwy Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Lots of decorators, tent companies and florists welcomed the broad acceptance of LED lighting for temporary special event production.
They like all the new looks that were now possible, but they loved best is the dramatic decrease in necessary electrical power. Low power demand LEDs mean that you can get by with a lot less power and that means you can use lighter gauge, less expensive extension cords.
That may be true if you are going to actually staff the event. If your event is in “set it and forget” it mode, then you have no control over who might also be tapping into your power source by using your cable.
The band, the photographers, the caterers, etc. etc. all use power and you can never be sure that they aren’t going to grab an unused outlet in your cable to power something in their setup, something much less efficient than your LED candles or down lights.
Once they do, if the cable is too small it can quickly overheat and lead to real problems.
Even if power distribution for other vendors is not your responsibility, you can expect to have to answer some tough questions when the tent burns down.