Are Welders Safe With Extension Cords?

Welding is considered to be dangerous work. The core reason behind this is the safety concern. Despite the question of safety, experienced welders do just fine, however, at times for stronger welding machines, extension cords are needed. Now a question arises, are welders safe with extension cords?

Yes, welders can be protected from harm by the use of extension cords. The safest extension cords are those made with proper sizing and materials appropriate for welding. They should be able to match the power supply’s voltage, have appropriate length, gauge and durability.

This might shortly answer your concern but welding with extension cords is a lot more than just that. They will surely require you to do some prior research and consider numerous shortcomings. Since it’s a matter of work safety and all, it’s important that you properly attain as much prior knowledge as you can about this topic. Hence, I advise that you keep reading.

How Extension Cords Can Make Welding Safer?

Buying extension cords or making your very own for welding can be tricky if you lack proper knowledge. Thus, it’s better to always consult an electrician and let them know of your welding machine’s properties and electrical limitations.

Asides from all that, here’s how extension cords can bring peace of mind and a sense of safety to welders. For welding, first and foremost let’s dig into what factors are needed to be considered when you’re looking forward to using an extension cord.

Planning to buy a standard extension cord for welding usage will definitely not be fruitful and will have dire consequences.

Extension cords used for welding are a bit more complicated than standard ones. To explain this let’s briefly recap how welding units carry out power flow changes. A welding unit constantly needs sudden electrical changes made to itself in order to safely execute various welding tasks.

Most changes in flow and power are made in the welding machine itself rather than made at the power supply. Unlike standard extension cords which are made to withstand a specific power limit for simpler appliances and electronics. Extension cords specified for welding units come with many considerations into account.

These cords are to be able to withstand changes in settings when welding to be able to adapt power changes from the power source. This is why the safety level provided by the extension cords will depend on not only the welding unit and its operator but the cord’s length, power supply, gauge, and durability. 

All these factors come into play because of how welding units have a varying flow rather than a consistent one in terms of power. You should not compromise the guarantee of your own ignoring these factors.

Unless the factors are met with the extension cords, the guarantee of safety provided is compromised. Looking forward to buying safe extension cords for welding (source)?

How To Pick An Extension Cord for Safe Welding? 

To pick an extension cord for safe welding you have to consider things like length, power source, gauge, amperage, and durability of the cord.

Welding is a profession or hobby that will require you to prioritize your safety. Thus, searching for the right extension cord to ensure it can be tricky. As mentioned above, it’ll all be subjective based on situations and machines involved. However, here’s something to answer your worries shortly to save you some trouble. 

The best bet towards safe and effective welding is to get an extension cord that meets industrial standards. For further fool-proofing compare and check the specifications of your cord and welding units along with the cord you’re buying. When considering the factors mentioned above, this is how it goes. 

Length of cord: You are expected to buy a cord that is long enough to safely keep you away from hazardous areas or the power supply and make it flexible for you to weld anywhere in your workspace. 

If you like working outdoors by connecting your welder to the power source inside your garage then a longer cord would do you justice. 

Power Source: In terms of voltage, you’re supposed to meet the exact voltage of the power source you connected your welder to. The mains supply can be 110, 220, or 230 Volts depending on which part of the world you live in. Making sure of the fact that your extension cords match the voltage of the power source it will be connected to is very crucial.

The gauge of cord: As for gauge, the thicker the better. Thicker gauges can better control the flow or tackle changes in power or electrical changes while the welding process goes on. 

The standard gauge for extension cords can be between #7 to #12. The lesser the number of ‘#’ the better. Just make sure your extension cords have a low gauge and more wires present in the protective jacket. 

Amperage and Durability: When it comes to amperage, the flow of electricity running in your welding machines must match the limit of amps your extension cord can support. Highly durable and heavy-duty rated cables can get this job done if your welding unit has a high amperage rating. 

Note: These are all factors you are expected to consider when you’re out in the market looking for extension cords. If you wish to make one for yourself, then I suggest you give this video a watch.

Be Aware Of Damaged Extension Cords

Unsafe welding due to internal damage within extension cords can lead to some devastating, even fatal outcomes. Work-related accidents are something you don’t want to go through. Thus, it is always wise to keep an eye out for any possible damage to your extension cord. Electrocuting can also be something extension cords can do alongside protecting.

These are the tell-tale actions that you should not do to avoid danger from extension cords in order to protect yourself while welding.

Not looking out for signs of overheating

Replacing your cord is a good omen of safety if the wire or the plug/socket it is connected to suddenly starts feeling hot.

Overheating can damage and expose internal wiring that can cause shocks or fire. Looking out constantly for any signs of overheating or visual damage can be a life-saver.

Covering your cords with rugs or carpets

Covering extension cords to protect yourself from falling or making your workspace less messy when working indoors may sound like a good idea.

However, it is far from being one as rugs/carpets can be leading causes of electrical fire if they are covered. Overheating cords are also less noticeable this way.

Overcompensating the ability of your extension cords

Do not ever use extension cords that are rated for indoor use, outside. Only outdoor extension cords are suitable to match the rougher environment.

However, do not keep them unplugged or lying around outside as well. Storing them indoors is also a safe approach towards preserving them.

Not exposing the cord

Do not install them on flooring, walls, or ceilings. Exposing the wire on the ground, totally bare, is the best way for welders to stay safe. Installing them anywhere else can be extremely hazardous.


So, are welders safe with extension cords? Yes, they are. Hoping this article helped you learn enough about safety and welding with extension cords. I advise that you do evaluate a few things on your own as well. Now that you know about the dos and don’ts, a lot of the decision-making for your safety now relies on you.

Thus, I advise that you inspect and evaluate your workspace and equipment thoroughly. Till then I wish you all the best and thank you for staying with me till the end of this article.

Recent Posts