The average extension cord has a male and a female end. The male end is the plug. It has prongs that allow it to enter a wall outlet. The female end is the socket. Plugging the male end into a wall outlet brings power to the female end. This allows you to operate a device by simply attaching it to the female end of the extension cord.
But what about male to male extension cords, that is to say, extension cords that have a male section on both sides? Do they exist? If so, why do they exist? What purpose do they serve? More importantly, are they safe?
Male to male extension cords are real. They exist, but only informally, not officially. You can’t just buy one from your local store. This is because they are not safe.
Is There An Extension Cord With Two Male Ends?
Yes, there is. If you’ve never seen one, a male-to-male extension cord has a plug on both ends rather than a plug and a socket.
However, as was noted above, you can’t just buy one from a store. This is because male to male extension cords is dangerous. Every professional electrician you encounter disapproves of their use, which is why manufacturers haven’t bothered to make them. If you find one in a residential setting, it was most likely engineered by a consumer.
The chances of finding one in a commercial setting are very low because of the risks associated with their use.
Why Use An Extension Cord With Two Male Ends?
If you have never owned male-to-male extension cords, you probably don’t understand the role they play. If a cord has two plugs on either side, what can you even use it for? After all, without a female end, you have no way of plugging appliances into it. In that regard, does it serve any purpose?
Yes, it does. A male-to-male extension cord has three common uses:
1). For Christmas Lights
Christmas lights have male and female ends. The goal is to put them up in a way that allows you to plug the male end into a wall outlet. But some people set them up the wrong way. By the time they are done, the section closest to the wall outlet is the female end.
Because the female end cannot enter the wall outlet, they resolve the issue by using a male-to-male extension cord or adapter.
2). To Use Generator
You can use an extension cord with two male ends to connect a generator to your house. After disconnecting the mains, you can plug one end into the generator. The other end goes to a wall receptacle in your home. Once you start the generator, it will power your home.
The technique is risky. You could shock yourself or any electrician working to restore power on the mainline. But that is only if you fail to take the necessary precautions.
3). To Power Power Strips
You can transmit power to a power strip by plugging one male end of an extension cord into a wall outlet and attaching the other male end to the power strip’s sockets. This will enable you to operate your appliances by connecting them to any socket on the power strip.
However, there are very few situations that would make this configuration necessary. You can just use one ordinary power strip. You can also use a normal extension cord with male and female ends. It is easier and safer.
Can You Make Male To Male Extension Cords -How?
You can’t buy male-to-male extension cords. They are too dangerous for licensed organizations to legally manufacturer them. If you find one on the market, it won’t have a UL rating because organizations like Underwriters Laboratories do not want consumers to use these cords.
Your only option is to make your own cord. This is no different from making a conventional extension cord, a process that involves the following:
1). You have to start by buying a cord of the right length. Hunker believes that a 10/3 SJ-cord will do. Normally, you would purchase a male and a female plug. But this time, you can just buy two male plugs.
2). Take one end of the cord, split the ends and remove the outer sheath. The objective is to access the wires on the inside.
3). Keep removing the sheath until you have exposed enough of the wires (an inch and a half) to remove the paper insulation.
4). Loosen the screws keeping the cap of the male plug closed. Identify the wire terminals. Match each wire in the cord to the right terminal. The green, white, and black wires should be secured to the green, silver, and copper terminals respectively.
5). Do the same thing to the other side. Attach a second male plug. Once you are done, connect one end to a wall receptacle. Use a voltage tester to determine whether or not it is working.
Why Are Male To Male Extension Cords Dangerous?
I believe that these extension cords are just as big of a threat to other people as they are to the consumer that is using them. This is because the exposed prongs can electrocute any passerby that is unfortunate enough to touch a conductor, such as water or a piece of metal, that has come into contact with the exposed prongs of a male plug.
Extension cords and adapters with two male ends are common during the holidays because Christmas lights take a lot of time and effort to unravel and deploy.
As such, when homeowners realize that they strung their Christmas lights up the wrong way, with the female end near the socket, they are unwilling to undo them because it would take too much effort.
They do not understand the risk they are taking by using double male extension cords or adapters. The use of male-to-male cords is discouraged because they are an electrocution hazard. They will either shock you or anyone else that is unfortunate enough to touch them.
An ordinary extension cord has male and female ends. When you plug the male end into a wall outlet, it transmits power to the female end. However, the live parts of the female end are found inside the socket. Not only are they hidden but they are difficult to access, which is why they don’t pose much of a threat.
A male-to-male extension cord doesn’t have this same advantage. If you plug one end into a wall receptacle, the prongs of the male plug on the other end will shock anyone who touches them.
The fact that they are protruding from the plug means that they present a much greater danger than a female socket. This is the reason why people call male to male extension cords suicide cables. They are very risky.
Some consumers use them all the same because they are convinced that they are too careful to touch an exposed male plug once the extension cord has been connected to power.
What Is a Female Connector?
Most electricians oppose male-to-male extension cords because of the danger associated with their use. But they rarely mention female to female extension cords because, for the most part, they don’t exist. You won’t find them in any store and neither will you find them in the homes of those consumers that enjoy re-working extension cords to produce new configurations.
Male-to-male cords are so prevalent in some circles because of all their uses that you would expect female-to-female cords to enjoy the same popularity. But they don’t because they don’t serve any purpose, as the guide below will show.
You cannot understand the reasons why people ignore female-to-female extension cords without understanding the genders that exist in this field.
Tech Target describes a female connector as a connector that has one or more recessed holes. These holes are designed to conceal electrical terminals.
The female connector has a variety of names whose use depends on the setting. Some people call them jacks. Others use terms like ‘outlet’ and ‘receptacle’ that paint a more accurate picture of the female connector.
If you have ever seen a wall outlet, that is basically a female connector. It is a socket. On the other hand, the male connector is the plug. According to Wikipedia, it has protruding contacts that people call prongs, which make it quite easy to spot.
The prongs of the male connector are supposed to enter the slots of the female connector. You also have genderless connectors. These are connectors that possess both male and female components.
But most consumers have only encountered ordinary male and female plugs. It is important to differentiate between these genders because it affects your safety.
The female connector holds all the power. This is why Wired Watts calls the female connector the more dangerous of the two. When you plug the male connector of an extension cord into a socket, it will energize the contacts inside the female connector, allowing them to power any appliance you plug into the connector.
Fortunately, those contacts are concealed. You don’t have to worry about accidentally touching them.
Is There An Extension Cord With Two Female Ends?
You cannot have an extension cord with two female ends. It wouldn’t make any sense. The female connector of an extension cord is a socket that receives the male connector of an appliance. If you have a wall outlet, you have to plug a male connector into its slots to transmit power to the socket on the other end of the extension cord.
If you have a socket on one end of an extension cord, you have to attach an appliance’s male connector to that socket to transmit power to that appliance.
If both ends of an extension cord consisted of sockets, what would you do with the extension cord? The answer is nothing. You can’t do anything with an extension cord that has two female ends.
Uses of Female to Female Extension Cords
Extension cords with two female ends don’t have any use. Because you have two sockets on either side, you have no way of safely powering an appliance. Once you plug an appliance into one end, the other end has nothing to do because it is also a socket.
You cannot attach it to a wall outlet. That would be the equivalent of attaching a socket to a socket. Female ends are not designed to connect to one another. This is the primary reason why their contact points are on the inside.
Is It Safe To Use Extension Cord With Both Female Ends?
If your objective is to proceed safely, you cannot do anything with female to female extension cords because you have no way of plugging a female end into a wall outlet. However, if you don’t care about safety, you can always use a male to male extension cord.
Unlike female-to-female cords, male-to-male cords are perfectly feasible. You can use them to operate various items by plugging one end into a wall socket and attaching the other end, also a male connector, to a gadget with a female connector.
People do this with generators all the time. They use male plugs to connect the female socket of a generator to a wall outlet, also a female connector, in their home.
However, this practice is very dangerous because plugging one male connector into a wall outlet turns the male connector on the other end into an exposed live wire.
That exposed male plug will electrocute anyone that touches it. However, that is the only way to energize female-to-female extension cords. You need a male-to-male cord. One male plug will connect to the wall outlet while the other attaches to the female plug.
Once this is accomplished, any appliance you connect to the second female end on the other side will have access to power. But this is dangerous because it is quite easy for the male plug to fall out of the female plug. And once it is exposed, the male plug becomes a fire and electrocution hazard.
Because you cannot use a female-to-female cord without using a dangerous male-to-male cord, there is no point in using an extension cord with two female ends.
Double Female-Ended Extension Cords – Benefits
Some people use the term ‘Double Female-Ended Extension Cords’ to refer to extension cords that have a female connector on each side.
But in most cases, the term actually refers to an extension cord with a male plug on one end and two female plugs on the other end.
One example is this double-ended extension cord, which offers three outlets on each arm. You also have adaptors like the Coleman 09906 Orange Three Way Adapter which has three female ends and one male end.
Regardless of the configuration, these double female-ended devices work like power strips. They increase the number of female connectors you have at your disposal.
Male to male extension cords are real. But you cannot buy them in stores because they are dangerous. People use them to operate generators and Christmas lights. But they are risky because connecting one side to a wall outlet leaves the other end exposed. The prongs will shock anyone who touches them.
They can also shock unsuspecting people if the prongs touch a conductor such as water or metal. Ordinary extension cords are safer because the live components of a female end are hidden. They are difficult to reach.
Female to female extension cords are not real. A person can make one if they want. But you won’t find them in commercial or residential settings because they don’t serve a purpose. You need a male plug to transmit power into a female plug. An extension cord with two female ends has no way of gaining access to power.
You can always use a male-to-male cord to connect a female-to-female cord to a power source. But this is dangerous because the male plug might fall out of the female socket. Once it is exposed, it can electrocute people and start fires.