May 15

Can You Plug a Toaster Oven Into an Extension Cord? | A Major Safety Issue Addressed!

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If you have a short cable on your toaster oven or if you want to use it at a distance from the nearest power source, then you you may be wondering whether can you plug a toaster oven into an extension cord or not.

Generally, it is better to err on the side of caution and say no, any high wattage appliance should not be used on an extension cord - at least that is what most appliance manufacturers will tell you. However, if you ARE careful with the extension cord selection, then you CAN technically you can use an extension cord and plug your toaster oven temporarily.

The key here is to choose the right extension cord based on the wattage or the current or (amperage) electrical rating of your toaster oven. The higher the amperage, the more heavy-duty cord you will need.

Not choosing the right kind of extension cord can result in serious damage as it is a fire hazard to use  high wattage appliances on a low capacity extension cord.

Can You Plug a Toaster Oven Into an Extension Cord?

According to the Occupational Safety ad Health Administration, power extension cords are not allowed for appliances that draw a lot of power like refrigerators, microwaves, space heaters, coffee makers, and toaster ovens.

However, if you are careful with your choice of extension cord, then you CAN use it on a temporary basis until a more permanent solution is found.

How to Choose the Right Extension Cord for Toaster Oven?

As mentioned earlier, there are many important considerations that you need to take into account before buying the right extension cord.

DO NOT SIMPLY PLUG THE TOASTER OVEN INTO AN EXTENSION CORD LYING AROUND IN YOUR HOME.

The following are three critical considerations to take note of.

  1. Find the Amperage and Wattage Rating of Your Toaster Oven
  2. Choosing the Right Wire Gauge for the Extension Cord
  3. Making Certain it is Certified

Recommended Extension Cords for Toaster Oven

Step 1: Find the Amperage and Wattage Rating of Your Toaster Oven

When it comes to choosing the right kind of power extension cord, the first step is to take note of the wattage and amperage rating of your toaster oven.

A toaster oven ranges in power from 1100 Watt to 1850 Watt depending upon its size and design.

The higher the wattage rating the more current it will draw.

The current draw depends upon the operating voltage and the power or electrical rating.

A 1500 Watt toaster oven working at 120V would draw 12.5 Amps of current, The same toaster oven working at 220V would draw about 6.8 Amps of current.

In the United States, the standard voltage is 120V, hence the current drawn is generally high.

Here is a quick guide f0r the toaster ovens amp rating in the US.

  • 1100 Watt – 9.16 Amps
  • 1200 watt – 10 Amps
  • 1300 Watt – 10.83 Amps
  • 1400 Watt – 11.66 Amps
  • 1500 Watt – 12.5 Amps
  • 1600 Watt – 13.3 Amps
  • 1700 Watt – 14.16 Amps
  • 1800 Watt – 15 Amps

Fortunately, most toaster ovens have both the power and amperage rating clearly labeled.

Calculating the Amperage

In case if amperage rating is not clearly labeled, you can use the following very basic formula to calculate the amperage of your toaster oven or any device.

current formula

You will need to know the marked electrical rating of your toaster oven as well as its operating voltage. As mentioned earlier, the operating voltage for the US is about 120V and for Europe, it’s about 220V.

When using this equation make sure you are using the INPUT POWER rating in this equation and not the OUTPUT POWER rating.

Step 2: Choose the Right Wire Gauge

Can You Plug a Toaster Oven Into an Extension Cord

The gauge of a wire basically defines its size (diameter). It determines the amount of electrical current (amperage) it can carry. The larger the cord size, the more current it will be able to carry.

Hence when choosing the right wire gauge, you have to know the amperage of your toaster oven.

The standard for wire size used in United State is the AWG standard or the American Gauge standard. Each AWG gauge number corresponds to the certain amount of current it can carry.

A 14 Gauge wire carries 15 Amps of current and a 12 Gauge wire carries 20 Amps.

One thing to note here is the standard runs counterintuitively when it comes to the numbering. The higher the gauge number the smaller will be the wire size, which in turn means the lower the number of amperes it can carry.

Generally, for most kitchen appliances, a 14 or a 12 gauge wire is used. Why? This has to do with the circuit design of most kitchens.

Circuit Design of Kitchen

20 amps circuit
Most kitchens have a 20 Amp circuit design, so a 12 gauge extension cord would be a perfect fit. Source

Most American kitchens have a circuit design of 20 Amp. Meaning a single kitchen circuit connected to a breaker in your main Circuit Breaker Panel would be rated at 20 Amps.

Therefore, a 12 gauge extension cord would fulfill the entire capacity of the single entire kitchen circuit. It would be an overkill for most home toaster ovens, but you would still be on the safer side.

However, a 12 gauge extension cord can be a bit expensive, therefore, depending upon the amperage of your toaster oven, you CAN settle for 14 gauge (15 Amps).

Length of the Cord

It should be noted here that along with the wire gauge, the length of the cord also matters.

The longer the distance, the bigger the wire gauge you will need.

wire gauge and distance
Wire Gauge and Distance. Source. Tenaquip

In short, make sure that the length of the extension cord is not too long otherwise, you will need a larger gauge extension cord for the same amperage requirements.

Recommended Extension Cords for Toaster Oven

Step 3: Making Certain It is Certified

One of the main reasons that most people discourage from connecting their appliances to extension cords is because an average customer generally does not make the effort of acquiring a certified extension cord.

Getting a cheap extension cord from a random manufacturer that has no mention of any certification standard followed is prone to be defective and will possibly have a fake gauge number. 

This is very dangerous. A scam product labeling itself as a 12 gauge wire may in actuality be only 16 or 18 gauge. You may be tempted to buy this because of its cheap cost but you will be making a dire mistake.

UL / CE Certified

UL marking
Get extension cords that are certified

Hence, when buying an extension make sure you look for the UL or the CE label.

UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories. They check and certify products based on their safety and quality standards. UL is the leading standard in the United States.

CE stands for Comformité Européenn, which is the European equivalent of UL.

In short, get an extension cord that has either the UL or CE certification label imprinted.

Buy from Recognized Brands

Always buy from a recognized brand. Since safety is at hand, it is important that you go for the market-leading extension cord makers instead of some random manufacturer – after all, it wouldn’t be an issue for a scam company to deceptively put a fake UL or CE label on their product.

Final Words

Here we talked extensively about whether can you plug a toaster oven into an extension cord or not. Most appliance manufacturers, home designers, and safety inspectors would tell you not to.

However, if you need a temporary solution, you can use an extension given that it is capable of handling the high power rating of a toaster oven.

To get the right one, make certain that first, you know the amperage and wattage rating of your toaster oven. Secondly, get the right size of extension cord that can handle the required amperage, and thirdly make sure it is certified and from a respected brand name.

FAQs

1. Is it safe to plug a oven into an extension cord?

Yes, as long as you use the correct one; first, determine the amperage and wattage ratings of your toaster oven. Secondly, obtain the appropriate size extension cord capable of handling the required amperage, and thirdly, ensure that it is certified and manufactured by a reputable brand name.

2. Can you plug appliances into extension cords?

You can plug appliances into extension cords, but you should be careful not to overload the cord. If you plug too many appliances into the extension cord, it could overheat and cause a fire.

3. When should you not use an extension cord?

There are a few occasions when you should not use an extension cord. One is when the cord isn't long enough to reach the wall outlet. Another is when the cord is damaged; for example, if it's cracked or frayed. You should also avoid using an extension cord if it's overloaded with plugs.

4. What happens if you plug an extension cord into itself?

If you plug an extension cord into itself, it will cause a short circuit and the circuit breaker will trip. This could potentially damage the extension cord, or worse, start a fire.

5. Can you put a refrigerator and microwave on the same circuit?

You can put a refrigerator and microwave on the same circuit, but it's not recommended. If both appliances are using a lot of power, it could cause the circuit breaker to trip.


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