Extension cords can be quite unsightly, especially if they are strewn all over the place. They are also a tripping hazard that can injure passersby. This is why so many people place them under carpets and rugs. But is this safe? Can you put an extension cord under a rug/carpet?
It isn’t the best idea. Extension cords generate heat. The more powerful the appliance that is attached to their outlets, the more heat they will generate. All the heat it generates will accumulate, eventually starting a fire. Another issue is human traffic.
People are more likely to step on the extension cord because they cannot see it. If they keep walking over it, they can damage it in the long run by tearing the jacket and fraying the wires.
Some people think that this practice is dangerous. But others are convinced that it is perfectly acceptable if you take steps to minimize the risks. Where you fall in this argument will depend on your personality.
Some people are risk-averse and the notion of accidentally starting a fire because they placed an extension cord under a rug scares them. For others, this risk is too small to prevent them from hiding their extension cords under rugs.
Before you choose a side in this debate, you have to first understand what this practice entails, not to mention the reasons why so many professionals call it dangerous.
How Do You Run An Extension Cord Under Rug?
If you want to run your extension cord under a rag, Wikihow has outlined a few steps that you can follow. They include:
1). Start by identifying the path the cord will follow. You can run the cord in a straight line across the room, along the edges, or in any pattern that suits you. If you can’t visualize the path, make a few sketches.
2). Measure the cable. This will allow you to determine whether or not it is long enough to reach its destination once it follows the pattern you have designed. Certain paths and patterns require a much longer cable than others.
3). Select a strong and healthy cord with a jacket that is still intact. Extension cords are at their most dangerous when they are damaged.
4). Depending on the path you have chosen, it might prove necessary to remove the furniture. Make sure the path from the wall outlet to the extension cord’s destination is clear. You should also unplug the extension cord before you proceed.
5). Once the path is clear, you can start pulling the carpet from its position. Some carpets are lightweight and you can simply roll them out of the way. This is definitely true for conventional rugs. However, you also have heavy carpets that are held in place by a liner. If it is too inconvenient to roll the carpet out of the way, move it one section at a time.
6). Take a reel of fish tape and guide it along the path under the carpet that the cord will follow. Attach the tape to the extension cord’s cable and pull it through.
7). Once the cord arrives at its destination, you can push the carpet back in place.
How Do You Hide Extension Cord Under Rug/Carpet?
The goal of placing an extension cord under a rug is to keep it out of sight. The practice also prevents people from tripping over the cable. However, if you have an ordinary extension cord, the cable will stick out from under the rug all the same.
In other words, people are still aware of its presence and it still presents a tripping hazard. If you want to do a better job of hiding the extension cord under the rug, consider the following:
1). Get the Extension Cord with thinnest Cable
Get extension cords with the thinnest cables, the kind that is unlikely to stick out. A better option is a flat extension cord. According to Wire and Cable Tips, flat cables have a smooth and compact design that gives them far greater flexibility than rounded cables.
2). Use Extension Cord With Rubber Strip
SFGATE encourages consumers to use protectors. These are rubber strips (or ducts) that cover the cable, not only protecting it from harm but also allowing it to blend into the environment. If you don’t want rounded cords to stick out, use a protector.
3). Place it at the edge of the room
Run the extension cord along the edges of the room. It won’t get in the way and people won’t know it’s there. Naturally, you need a long extension cord. By running the device along the edges of the room, you are taking the longest path to your destination.
Is It Safe/Dangerous To Use Extension Cord Under Carpet?
Running an extension cord under a rug or carpet is a fire hazard, and they are not the only ones. You can blame the risks associated with this practice on two primary issues:
Like every item that transmits electricity, extension cords can overheat. People think that overheating only happens when you have a defective cord or if you have attached a power-hungry appliance to one of its outlets. But that isn’t always the case.
Extension cords can become warm even when you use them to operate low-energy devices like laptops and phones. That warmth isn’t a problem if the extension cord has been positioned in a well-ventilated area. But if you run it under a rug, that warmth can accumulate, causing overheating and starting a fire.
Extension cords that are laid out in the open are a tripping hazard. But at least people can see them. That isn’t the case for extension cords under rugs and carpets. People will walk all over them.
This foot traffic can damage them over time, breaking the jacket and fraying the wires. Damaged extension cords are a fire hazard. They can start fires by either overheating or causing an overload. According to Eskom, this is a big problem because you won’t even realize that the cord is damaged.
After all, it is hidden under the rug, out of sight. It won’t occur to you to replace it until it is too late. This is why professional electricians believe that you are better off leaving the extension cord on top of the carpet. If you think it is a tripping hazard, you can cover it with a protector or tape. Either way, it is better than keeping it hidden under a rug/carpet.
Best Under Rug Extension Cords
If you want to reduce the likelihood of your extension cord overheating when you run it under a rug, you have to use the best extension cords, preferably flat extension cords. Some of the most attractive options on the market include:
1). Clear Max 3-in-1 Extension Cord
This durable extension cord comes with three power outlets and a 3-prong grounded plug. Boasting STP-3 wire, 13A, 125V, and 16AWG, it includes an accessory loop that you can use to mount the extension cord in storage.
Because this is a flat extension cord, you can run it under a rug or carpet with ease. It is resistant to moisture, abrasion, sunlight, and extreme temperatures.
2). Slim Line 2232 Extension Cord
This extension cord has a low profile. The flat design allows the device to slip under rugs and to hug the wall without getting in the way. Not only does it meet all the relevant safety standards but it comes with an angled plug that will enter one outlet without blocking the other. It has a range of 13 feet and it weighs just 136g.
3). Electriduct Lay Flat Extension Cord
This is a 10-foot long, 125V, 13A extension cord. Suitable for a variety of settings, including schools and hospitals, the cord is designed to eliminate tripping hazards. The flat construction prevents the cable from sticking out. It has a 3-prong plug that enhances its safety. It weighs 3.5 pounds.
4). Slim Line 2255
This cord’s only weakness is the fact that it is a beige color, which some people might find offputting. Otherwise, it exceeds most people’s expectations. The product is 13 feet long and it has a UL safety rating, proving that you can trust it. The extension cord is compatible with clocks, lamps, and other indoor appliances. The slim design allows the extension cord to stay out of your way.
5). NTONPOWER 15ft Flat Plug Power Strip
This is a 15-foot power strip with a flexible cable and a right-angle plug that is perfect for outlets in tight locations such as those found behind furniture. It comes with holes and sticker pads that can be used to mount the power strip to a wall or desk.
The device comes with three 1250W (max output) outlets and a pair of USB ports. The manufacturers have provided an 18-month warranty and $300,000 liability insurance for connected devices.
Can I Run An Extension Cord Under Desk – How?
Running an extension cord under a desk is perfectly safe. You can also use screws to mount the extension cord on the wall under the desk. You can complete the setup by folding the cables to shorten them before tying them with zip ties.
HowToGeek has a tutorial that shows you how to mount such devices under the desk.
Can I Run An Extension Cord Under Table – How?
The same methods you use to run an extension cord under the desk can work with a table. You can mount the extension cord’s body on one of the legs of the table, under the table, or on the wall next to the table.
If you want a more innovative approach, Cable Organizer has a variety of cable management trays that are designed to hold and manage your extension cords and cables under the table.
Can I Run An Extension Cord Under Bed- How?
An extension cord running under the bed isn’t a problem because it isn’t necessarily covered. It has a lot more room to breathe than an extension cord under a rug. Though, if you don’t want the device to run under furniture, you can mount it to the side of the bed.
Depending on the location of the wall outlet, the extension cord can run from the outlet, along the wall to any flat side of the bed that can support it whilst also keeping it out of sight once you mount it.
Can I Run An Extension Cord Under Couch – How?
Like the bed, it is better to run an extension cord under a couch than under a rug or carpet because it has a lot more room to breathe. You are better off using self-sticking clips to run the extension cord and its cable along the body of your furniture. This makes the device less of a tripping hazard. Though, this approach may ruin your couch.
How Do You Run An Extension Cord Under Door?
If you have enough room under the door and the cable can fit without the door applying pressure to it, go ahead. If it looks like the door is pressing down on the cable or rubbing against it whenever you open or close the door, you should look for a better option. Otherwise, the door will damage the extension cord.
Can you run an extension cord under a rug?
- If an extension cord is placed under a carpet and rug, it doesn’t have room to breathe. All the heat it generates will accumulate, eventually starting a fire.
- Another issue is human traffic. People are more likely to step on the extension cord because they cannot see it. If they keep walking over it, they can damage it in the long run by tearing the jacket and fraying the wires.
This can cause the extension cord to malfunction. It can become a fire and electrocution hazard. But this hasn’t stopped people from running their extension cords under rugs and carpets.
They do this because they want to hide the extension cord. They also want to reduce the danger of tripping. But this doesn’t always work because extension cords with rounded cables tend to stick out from under the rug.
Professional electricians believe that you are better off running your extension cord on top of the carpet. If you have decided to keep it under the rug, cover it with a rubber strip that can protect it from damage. You should also consider running the cord along the edges of the room where people are unlikely to see it or step on it.