If your extension cord gets tangled up, don't pull on the ends. Instead, gently loosen all the tighter snarls in the middle until them become larger loops that can easily be untangled. A way to avoid tangles is to use a retractable cord reel. It will let you reel out only the amount of cord you need, then quickly reel it back when you're done.
Never use an extension cord while it is coiled or looped. Never cover any part of an extension cord with newspapers, clothing, rugs, or any objects while the cord is in use. Never place an extension cord where it is likely to be damaged by heavy furniture or foot traffic.
When you hook up a power tool to an heavy-duty extension cord, remember that all cords are not alike and all power tools do not necessarily require the same size cord. Check each tool's owners manual to find out its requirements. Here's a helpful guide for cords less than 50 ft. #12 gauge - 1920 watts - 16 amps - large bench saws #14 gauge - 1440 watts - 12 amps - portable power saws, routers #16 gauge - 840 watts - 7 amps - belt sanders, recip saws #18 gauge - 600 watts - 5 amps - drills, small sanders
Don't overload extension cords by plugging in appliances that draw a total of more watts than the rating of the cord. Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage appliances such as air conditioners, portable electric heaters, and freezers. When using outdoor tools and appliances, use only extension cords labeled for outdoor use.
Before you buy that new powertool, check your homes electrical capacity. Make sure that you have the proper voltage and wiring requirements.
Check the plug and the body of the extension cord while the cord is in use. Noticeable warming of these plastic parts is expected when cords are being used at their maximum rating, however, if the cord feels hot or if there is a softening of the plastic, this is a warning that the plug wires or connections are failing and that the extension cord should be discarded and replaced.
When lighting a sloped wall or a tight space, consider fiber optics. Light from a projector travels through fiber optic strands to a glass brick or other fixture. One line voltage lamp can operate up to 20 glass bricks as bounce light or accents lights. In a mural, individual fiber optic strands create stars for dramatic effect.
Replace cracked or worn extension cords with new. #16 gauge cords that have the listing, of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, safety closures, and other safety features. With cords lacking safety closures, cover any unused outlets with electrical tape or with plastic caps to prevent the chance of a child making contact with the live circuit.
Before you install a new air conditioning system, consider your home's electrical system. It's not uncommon for old houses to have only 110-volt, 60-amp service for the entire home, barely enough power to handle the home's existing complement of lights and appliances. Central air conditioners require a dedicated 230-volt circuit and may require 20 to 50 amps of power, making an electrical service upgrade necessary. Have an electrician size your home's electrical supply up before your HVAC contractor begins work.
In locations where furniture or beds may be pushed against an extension cord where the cord joins the plug, use a special "angle extension cord," which is specifically designed for use in these instances. Don't use staples or nails to attach extension cords to a baseboard or to another surface. This could damage the cord and present a shock or fire hazard.