There are many means of inappropriate use of extension cords.
Extension cords are NOT meant for long-term, or permanent, wiring to operate appliances or fixtures.
Especially dangerous, and often seen, is when the cord is undersized for what is asked of it. I see extension cords, (and even speaker wires!), used to wire light fixtures and chandeliers.
It is especially bad when an extension cord passes behind a wall or ceiling.
This extension cord was seen in a basement that to me provided evidence had been finished without a permit.
This is an old receptacle on the wall, and was obviously there before the new wall was built.
This extension cord is used permanently.
It is undersized.
It is servicing an appliance with a grounded plug, utilizing a large, grounded wire.
Notice inside the red circle that the ground prong of the appliance plug is not being used! The extension cord is not for grounded applications. The homeowner actually drilled a hole in the white end of the cord to accommodate the ground prong!
Even worse, I could not determine what it is that this extension cord and appliance plug service. It passes behind the wall to an undetermined place.
When the cord was unplugged nothing changed. When light switches were experimented with nothing changed. I could not figure out what this did. And so the report stated!
My recommendation: what seems simple and common sense obviously is not to some people. An extension cord used all the time to plug in a lamp is fine as the lamp is not usually on 24/7. But any extension cord that passes behind a wall or ceiling to service something unknown is never a good idea. And can be dangerous.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560