Can You Use an Extension Cord with a Microwave?

When buying a new appliance, moving to a new place, or renovating a home, some people may want to install or update their microwave setup. I have researched this topic and know the various questions to ask and the corresponding answers for all things microwaves and extension cords!

Most microwaves can definitely be plugged into an extension cord! Extension cords may seem unrelated to installing microwaves, but these cords can improve everyday appliances, allowing placement in more convenient locations. Most microwave models can be researched to ensure they’re compatible.

To figure out the best microwaves to buy, extension cords to match up, and the installation process, read further through the article!

Do Extension Cords Work with Microwaves?

Extension cords often do work in tandem with microwaves, but make sure that the extension cord is indeed rated for the corresponding wattage or power load that the microwave will be drawing.

Generally, microwaves will draw around 1100 watts on average, so an extension cord rated for 1400 watts or more would be a good choice when taking caution. The higher the wattage that the extension cord can carry, the safer the situation will be. If an extension cord isn’t rated or its wattage carrying capacity is unknown, only use it for low-drawing electrical appliances such as phone chargers, radios, fans, lamps, and similar low-level electronics.

Average microwaves often function at a maximum limit of around 1000 watts. Also, microwaves in the United Kingdom can differ in how they are built and the type of plugs they used compared to their United States counterparts, so look up the details before going all in on purchasing anything!

All in all, as long as the extension cord carries enough power to the microwave, it will not overheat or melt. Seeing as microwaves draw a lot of power, verify the cords you use to ensure that inner wires don’t melt from a power overload! Buying 3 wire cords instead of cheaper single-wire cord alternatives is also a big help.

For further alterations for microwaves and other appliances, gauges, which indicate the physical size and amount of electrical current, should be as large and heavy as possible. Try to find one labeled as 10-gauge or 12-gauge so they will be able to handle plenty of wattage. Try to keep the gauge as short as possible. Match the extension cord bought with the corresponding appliance since adapters or further extension cords could cause problems. Finally, touch the cord or wrap your hand around it regularly to make sure it doesn’t get hot. If it gets too hot, it may need to be replaced.

If a verified and safe extension cord is too difficult to find or buy, it may just be safest and best to seek different solutions. Microwaves are at their safest when connected to their own dedicated, properly grounded electrical outlet that prevents flickering lights, blown fuses, or tripped circuit breakers. Always consult the information printed on microwave labels to make sure safety requirements are being met.

Are Extension Cords the Best Way to Enhance Microwaves?

Surprisingly, extension cords may not even be the best choice for improving a microwave. Most microwaves have cords to plug into wall outlets, and a problem can often arise in the fact that they are often too short to use conveniently. When people want to place a microwave on a stand, table, or counter for whatever reason, they won’t have a traditional casing or hanging wooden cabinet built for holding a microwave to put the appliance in. Yes, extension cords can be used to remedy the problem, but there are even better ways to power the microwave!

Review the video below to learn how power strips can often prove to be better than extension cords.

Seeing as extension cords can be prone to damage as mentioned, power strips are often safer alternatives that function just as well as other solutions. Keep in mind that when using power strips, make sure to not plug too many devices into a single strip, and never plug a space heater into one! If care like this isn’t taken, power strips could cause house fires just as easily as extension cords can.

Different Models of Microwaves

Some different models of microwaves can prove to have longer electrical cords built in if the right type is bought. For instance, a countertop, above the range, suspended under a cabinet, under a counter, built into an island, and more types of microwaves can be bought depending on your needs. There is no shortage of types of microwaves, and as long as the safety tips in this article are taken into consideration, it should be smooth sailing!

Safety Tips

As reported by current and retired firefighters, heavier-duty kitchen and household appliances and modifications to them are often the culprits of household fires. Extension cords can also cause fires. This is because extension cords are prone to getting electrical overloads, damaged, or broken over time as a result of time passing or from power outages and malfunctions. This is why power strips can actually be safer than extension cords.

Never be afraid to call an electrician or professional if installing your microwave may seem especially difficult or if fire hazards might be an active concern. Make sure when buying an alternative power strip to use on a microwave that it is rated for the amperage draw of the microwave, just like for extension cords! The microwave should also be the only appliance plugged into the strip for safety’s sake.

Places to Buy Needed Equipment

For all appliance needs, online stores like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace are all pretty easy ways to buy used or cheaper alternatives for whatever is needed. If the quality of the products is a worry, secondhand appliances don’t need to be the ‘end all be all’ for shopping.

A quick trip to hardware stores such as Best Buy, Lowes, Walmart, Target, and Menards could prove useful in purchasing microwaves, extension cords, power strips, and any other related equipment! For those who don’t want to waste a car trip, it’s also a great idea to call ahead to these locations to make sure that they carry what you need. Some stores even deliver items you order to your home.