Best Extension Cord How-To
Learn how to quickly make the best extension cord at a minimal cost. If you’ve priced any good-quality extension cords lately, then you’ll know that the going price is more than $1 per foot. In other words, the price for a good 100′ 12/3 extension cord is about $110, and the 50-footers are more than $50. Regardless of whether you’re shopping online or in any of the big-box hardware stores, they’re still expensive. This will make you think twice when your extension cord fails.
Be sure to check out our video on How To Wire The Right Way with Butt Connectors.
We have Yellow Jacket 25-foot and 100-foot extension cords that have served us well over the past few years. However, the triple-outlet end on the 25′ stopped working most of the time. One of the outlets would work, one wouldn’t, and one worked some of the time. Rather than throw it out, we decided to use the good parts to make the best extension cord we could.
Best Extension Cord Parts
Thankfully, the large majority of our cord was still in great shape, so we went shopping for some heavy-duty parts. A quick trip to the electrical aisle in our hardware store took care of everything. We purchased a 2-gang commercial-grade electrical box, a dual outlet electrical box cover, two commercial outlets, and a 1/2″ strain-relieve coupler. We were out the door for less than $16…that NEVER happens!
The rest is pretty simple. We cut the end from the existing cord, stripped back the insulation, and exposed 4″ to 6″ of the 12/3 wire. We stripped about 3/4″ inch of the insulation from each of the wires. After inserting the existing stripped cord through the strain relief, we attached the wire and relief to the electrical box. Once everything was wired up and assembled, we have a 4-outlet cord that will last for decades. If there is an issue, then we can fix it with simple and cheap parts.