Can You Put A Refrigerator On An Extension Cord (What You Need To Know)

Although most small devices can be connected to an extension cord without any issues, a refrigerator is not one of them.

This is because most  Refrigerators are large and require quite a lot of power to operate properly, so a standard extension cable is highly unlikely to be able to handle the task. 

Can You Put A Refrigerator On An Extension Cord (What You Need To Know)

In fact, using a standard extension cord for larger appliances such as refrigerators  may even pose a risk of fire.

Which is why, for added protection, it is strongly recommended not to connect your refrigerator into an extension cord. 

You should only do this under certain circumstances. For example,  if the extension cord is the appropriate gauge and features a three-prong plug, you can use it safely to power your refrigerator.

Nevertheless, it's always better to be safe than sorry. In this article, we'll explore the risks of adding an extension cord to power your refrigerator, and what should be used instead.

The Risks Of Plugging Your Refrigerator Into An Extension Cord

Here are the most common risks associated with plugging refrigerators into extension cables:

It Could Cause A Fire

When compared to the conventional household outlets, extension cords contain less wiring.

Which is what puts them at risk of malfunctioning, overheating and starting a fire, particularly if the devices hooked into it are designed for a larger wattage than the extension cord can provide.

It's important to note that refrigerators are always switched on, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving the extension cord no time to relax and cool down.

To keep your refrigerator, home and family safe, make sure it's plugged into a capable wall outlet.

More Prone To Damage

Because the wiring is exposed, extension cables are more easily damaged than the regular residential wiring that is covered behind walls.

The cables can be ripped much more easily, the connections are vulnerable to spillages, and it can be broken in some form if anything really big crushes it.

It’ll Probably Overheat

In terms of wiring, the narrower it is, the more electricity conductivity it provides. It's puzzling, but this is just how it works.

Additionally, the extra length of copper wiring has a higher electrical resistance. These two causes create a voltage decrease.

The refrigerator's motor will deteriorate over time as a result of the power loss, and it will ultimately become broken.

Voltage and amps are inversely related according to Ohm's law.

It states that the smaller the voltage, the greater the amps. Heat generated in proportion to the number of amps passing. 

This heat might cause your refrigerator's parts to wear out and shorten its longevity and greatly affect performance.

What Kind Of Extension Cord Is Appropriate For Refrigerators?

The simple answer to this question is that you'll need to have an extension cable with a current and fuse value that's at least  50 percent higher than your refrigerator's.

It'll also need to be the type that is well-insulated, has a short length, and is made of 14-gauge wire.

However, this is just a rough guide and as well as the safety concerns mentioned above, there are a few factors you should consider before committing to using an extension cable to power your refrigerator. Some of these factors include:

Wire Gauge

The gauge of a wire refers to its thickness. The smaller the gauge, the larger the wire's size.

Wires with a larger diameter can carry more electricity without melting. Jumping from a 12-gauge wire to a 14-gauge wire, for instance, could lead to a greater current rating.

Remember that the gauge does not refer to the extension cord's thickness. This refers to the wires that run through the cord's coating.

Having said that, you'll note that larger gauge extension cords are generally narrower than larger gauges.

Wire Length

Extension cables with longer lengths would be capable of handling less power. A small, thick extension cord is the smartest choice.

Your situation will influence how easy or difficult this will be, so the best thing to do is experiment with the gauge of the cable you use until you find something that works and is safe for long-term use to power a refrigerator.

Space Available

If you're planning to place your refrigerator right up against a wall, like most people do, you must first  ensure that the connector has enough space to accommodate  the socket.

Plugging in regular plugs will take a few inches. In this scenario, a low-profile connector is ideal. A 90 ° angle bend is made right just before prongs of a low-profile plug.

This frees up space on the plug and enables the cable to extend along the wall towards your refrigerator.

Amount Of Plugs

If you're searching for an answer to your kitchen not having enough sockets, you must forgo using an extension cord. Use a plug extender if possible.

This is a block with many ports and a socket that connects to your power socket. It removes the chance of an electric cord being overloaded.

This will enable you to use the same wall outlet for many devices. Consider a power strip alone without a cord that connects to the outlet.

What About Mini Fridges?

Although mini fridges don’t pose as many risks as regular full-sized refrigerators, they can still pose some risks, especially if you plan on keeping your mini fridge plugged in and switched on for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anything that you use this often should be plugged directly into the wall outlet rather than an extension cord.

Just like with a normal full-sized refrigerator, mini fridges require a special type of extension cord that can handle the unit. 

Follow the same guidelines above when shopping around for an extension cord for your mini fridge.

I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.