Dehumidifiers are a great addition to your home and an ultimate solution for unwanted moisture or mildew. However, some dehumidifiers are hefty, and you may need to use an extension cord if you place them far away from an electrical outlet. But, can a dehumidifier be plugged into an extension cord?
Simply answered, plugging your dehumidifier into an extension cord may serve as a temporary solution to the excessive moisture in your home. If you’re considering permanent use, never use an extension cord in place of a power outlet. Also, make sure to read the guidelines in the manual regarding the subject. Not to mention, they make hot summers bearable and are popular to give your home a pleasant environment.
If you’re stuck with seeking a compelling answer to the query, read the entire article. We’ve covered a deeper analysis of why an extension cord might not be suitable and other things you need to know about the use of a dehumidifier.
Table of Contents
How Many Kinds of Extension Cords are there?
While you may consider an extension cord that comes in handy, doing so without first understanding its purpose may be hazardous. Each of them is manufactured to serve a specific purpose. We’ve categorized the main types of extension cords by their use, gauge, plug type, and amperage.
- Indoor Extension Cord: Indoor extension cords are not suitable for outdoor uses since they lack the insulation to withstand the moisture and temperatures outside. Hence, they may only be used indoors.
- Outdoor Extension Cord: Outdoor Extension cords are composed of materials needed to provide tough insulation and are durable enough to work in high temperatures safely.
- Heavy-duty Extension Cord: Heavier in weight, heavy-duty extensions are made with extremely durable materials to work for longer periods.
Majority of extension cords are either two-pronged or three-pronged. The three-pronged plug types are always more reliable since they possess a ground wire for appliances.
Extension cords have a variety of gauges the most common being 16-gauge, 14-gauge, 12-gauge, and 10- gauge. The lower the gauge, the bigger it is.
By amperage, 13 amps, 15 amps, and 20 amps extension cords are the commonest.
Which Extension Cord May Be Suitable for A Dehumidifier?
If you don’t have the option of a nearby electric outlet at all, you may use an extension cord temporarily. Make sure to review the manual for the guidelines before using your dehumidifier with a cord.
In case you have to use an extension cord with your dehumidifier, remember to use a heavy-duty one offering 12-14 gauges. In terms of plug type, use a three-pronged one with a minimum of 15 amperage rating.
Can A Dehumidifier Be Plugged into An Extension Cord?
A dehumidifier can be plugged into an extension cord, but it should never be plugged into an extension cord alone. That’s because dehumidifiers draw so much power that they can potentially trip the circuit breaker in your home if the extension cord you’re using to plug it in isn’t up to code. So how do you avoid this problem?
It all comes down to how many watts your dehumidifier draws and how many amps you have coming out of your wall outlets in your home.
The most recommended solution for your dehumidifier to perform efficiently is to connect it directly to an electrical outlet. Doing so will ensure the safety of both your home and the appliance.
Extension Cords may serve as a temporary solution, but they won’t work long enough to support your dehumidifier. This is because they’re not manufactured to deal with such heavy loads. If you must use one, NEVER overload it.
Here’s why extension cords may not serve to provide a permanent solution for your dehumidifier:
- They may lead to shock hazards, if not properly grounded while used.
- Charges if built up inside the cord, may prove to be fatal.
- Since dehumidifiers require loads of power, they may overload the circuit.
- If the cord is defective, it may damage your dehumidifier.
- Due to the high power of the dehumidifier, the cord may overheat resulting in a fire outbreak.
How Does It Work?
Using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from your basement or crawlspace can help protect your belongings and prevent mold. But how exactly does it work? Today we’re going to discuss how a dehumidifier works, and whether you can plug it into an extension cord for convenience. In short, yes – but only if you use a GFCI-protected cord.
Let’s take a look at why that is. A dehumidifier draws in air through its intake vent. The air passes through a filter that removes dust and other particulates before entering a compressor (also known as a condenser). The compressor pressurizes the air so it can be cooled more efficiently by passing over cold coils (known as evaporator coils). As warm air passes over these coils, water vapor condenses on them and drips down into a collection tank where it can be emptied periodically. After passing over these coils, dry cool air is released back into your home.
Why Would I Want One?
The most common question is Can a dehumidifier be plugged into an extension cord? The answer, of course, is yes. If you have a choice, however, you should use as heavy-duty a cord as possible. In general, avoid using anything smaller than 14 gauge for a large unit and 18 gauge for a small unit. You can also buy cords with built-in circuit breakers to protect your appliances from overloading or overheating.
A dehumidifier can be plugged into an extension cord if necessary but it’s best to plug it directly into a wall outlet whenever possible. That way, you’ll get better performance and won’t risk tripping any circuit breakers. Also, always check your owner’s manual before plugging in your appliance just to make sure that it doesn’t have any specific requirements regarding power outlets or extension cords. It may even recommend against using one altogether!
How To Use One?
How can I use a dehumidifier to bring moisture levels down? Is it possible to plug one into an extension cord, or should I keep it plugged in at all times?
These are two of the most common questions we get when talking about dehumidifiers. There’s no single correct answer, but there are some best practices you can follow. Let’s take a look at both situations. If you need to use your dehumidifier for just a few hours at a time and have access to an outlet nearby, then by all means unplug it and plug it back in as needed. This will save on energy costs and prolong its life span.
However, if you plan on using your dehumidifier over several days without access to an outlet nearby (such as during a power outage), then keeping it plugged in is probably better for your machine’s health. You can still unplug it every once in a while if needed, but don’t make that your go-to solution—you could damage components by leaving them constantly powered up for long periods of time.
Where to Put One in Your Home?
If you’re considering getting a dehumidifier, you probably know that it can be a big help in keeping your home more comfortable. But where should you put it?
There are two basic types of dehumidifiers: portable and whole-house. Portable units are great for small areas—like basements or closets—where they can sit on their own on a flat surface or hang from an electrical outlet. Whole-house units have to be installed by professionals, but they work well in larger spaces like garages and attics, as well as unfinished basements with high humidity levels.
In this video Crawl Space Ninja explain where to put dehumidifier in your home
Hopefully, you now have a clear answer to your question i.e., can a dehumidifier be plugged into an extension cord? For more queries, feel free to reach out!
Hi, my name is Fahad. I am the Electrical MEP Design Engineer in Dubai for over Two years now. Fahad is experienced in the HVAC industry, installing, maintaining, troubleshooting malfunctions for all sorts of complex heating/ventilating/air conditioning systems. Fahad started his website to share his past experience and knowledge in the field of humidity control. He has a lot of valuable advice for visitors and writes great articles with lots of information about home humidity control .