An extension lead (also called an extension cable or extension cord) is a length of power cable with one or multi sockets at one end and a plug at the other end. Electrical extension leads allow you to use appliances at a greater distance from the mains power socket than the integrated cable within the device. Electrical extension leads offer a simple, effective and efficient way of managing any length or combination of wires. Multi-plug extension leads can have numerous sockets and are able to power multiple devices from just one mains socket.
Depending on the equipment you're powering and the distances between sockets and appliances, different types of extension leads may be most suitable. Some of your options include:
Single extension leads only have one socket and are commonly used to provide power to a part of the room where there is no power outlet. They must never be combined in series with other extension sockets or multi-socket adaptors.
Multi socket extension leads sometimes referred to as multi-gang extension leads have more than one socket (or gang). They can be used to power multiple devices and increase the number of plugs that can be connected to one mains socket.
If you are looking for an industrial extension cord, you may consider cable reels that come with one or more sockets or gangs. Cable reel extension sockets allow you to power devices from a greater distance. The cable is supplied on a reel with integrated sockets. Some models have an auto-rewind function without needing to manually wind the cable back in after use. Some cable reel extension leads also feature built in RCDs (residual current devices) that prevent electrical shocks if there is a fault.
Extension leads are a convenient way to extend the reach of your electrical appliances, but it's important to make sure you are using them safely:
Extension leads must not be plugged into one another or used in series. This can cause the socket to overload.
Don't overload sockets by plugging in appliances that exceed the maximum current rating.
If extension lead cables are in areas where they could be a hazard, you should fix the cable down or cover it with a protective rubber strip.
When using cable reels, you must unwind the full length of the cable to prevent overheating.
Here are some other features to look out for when choosing your choice of extension leads:
IP Rating: An IP (Ingress Protection) rating defines how effective an electrical enclosure seals against foreign bodies.
Surge protection: Surge protection functionality protects the unit and attached appliances from voltage spikes.
Switched Sockets: Some models come with the option to turn individual sockets on and off.
For more information on IP Ratings, don't hesitate to reach out to us for any enquiries. As a leader in the global distribution of electronics, automation and control components, tools and consumables, you can always rely on RS for high-quality parts. Besides extension leads, you can also check out our selection of electrical cables, zip ties and more today.