Can you plug a fridge into an extension cord?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you plug a fridge into an extension cord” with an in-depth analysis of the things that may happen after plugging the fridge into an extension cord.

Moreover, we are going to highlight what are the reasons behind using an extension cord, what are the safety concerns and dangers associated with these extension cords, and what are the guidelines for plugging into an extension cord.

Can you plug a fridge into an extension cord?

Yes, you can use an extension cord for your fridge but make sure that the extension cord has the capacity so that almost all of the cords are not able to carry enough load and become heated up too much that they can even pose a fire hazard.

Besides the fridge, many high-power appliances, including space heaters, microwave ovens, and toasters, are usually not recommended to be connected to an extension cord for permanent wiring due to the risk of fire or explosions. Therefore, you should be careful while dealing with electrical appliances and plug such appliances directly into a wall outlet.

Reasons for using extension cord:

The main reason behind using an extension cord is to handle the inconvenience one may face while plugging the fridge into a wall outlet. These inconveniences may be a far away positioning of the fridge to the wall outlet from where the original fridge wire cannot reach the switchboard.

More than this, the extension cords also serve as a medium to connect multiple appliances by using these cords as outlets. This is not a good idea as the great power passage through the extension cord may heat it and produce dangerous outcomes.

In this regard, what you can do is either install more wall outlets if they are not enough or place your fridges near the wall outlet.

Safety concerns with plugging a fridge into an extension cord:

The use of an extension cord is not always a safe option as there are many risks associated with its use. The choice of the wrong extension cord can result in a major problem of overheating that may cause the plastic to melt. This overheating can also damage the appliance as well as increase the fire or electric shock risk.

The use of an ungrounded extension cord for a three-pronged appliance is also considered a dangerous practice. Moreover, if you are going to use an extension cord for two appliances at the same time, never ignore the combined electrical needs of both appliances as the cords with less capacity will not handle the combined load and can produce several risks.

Dangers of plugging a fridge into an extension cord:

Normally, it is considered unsafe to use an extension cord for appliances that require high power for their operation. Some of the risks that you can face while using high-power appliances, such as microwaves and fridges, connected with an extension cord are discussed below.

Fire hazard:

Regular wall sockets usually contain thicker wires as compared to extension cords. This drawback makes extension cords to be a failure solution and causes them to initiate a fire or explode especially when used for appliances with high electrical power.

Moreover, the fridges need to be on all the time in a day that makes the extension cords work throughout the day without any rest. This extensive use can also be dangerous enough to cause a fire.

Damage to the fridge:

The thinner wires in an extension cord are of great resistance to the electric current passing through the wire. This resistance can also be aided with the additional copper wire length. The increased resistance due to these two factors causes the drop of voltage along the way of electric current passage through the wire.

The voltage drop can affect the working efficiency of a compressor attached to the fridge and can damage it.  This is based on Ohm’s law that lower voltage results in more current and this increased current flow will produce more heat than can cause the burning of different parts of your fridge and can reduce its lifespan.

Damage to wiring:

The extension cords are not covered with anything and the wires are exposed to an open environment as a result of which the wires can be damaged through tearing, scratches, liquid spillage, or heavy falls.

Guidelines for buying an extension cord:

Some of the guidelines that need to be considered while buying an extension cord, specifically for your fridge are:

  • Buy a heavy-duty gauge with thick wires.
  • Extension cord with short wires to minimize the current load.
  • The wattage rating of an extension cord should be compatible with that of the refrigerator’s wattage rating.
  • Buy a grounded extension cord as fridges mostly have a three-prong grounded plug.

Here you can find some extension cords for refrigerators of high quality.

Other FAQs about Fridges  that you may be interested in.

How long can you keep fast food in the fridge?

How to Prevent Ice Buildup in Mini-Fridge

How hot should a fridge compressor get?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you plug a fridge into an extension cord” with an in-depth analysis of the needs behind plugging the fridge into an extension cord. Moreover, we discussed what happens when you plug a fridge into an extension cord, what are the dangers and guidelines for doing so.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!