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Can You Plug a Fan Into an Extension Cord? (Answered)

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can you plug a fan into an extension cord

It’s a hot day, and you want to transfer rooms while bringing the electric fan with you. But the wall outlet in the other room is farther than expected. So, the question is, can you plug a fan into an extension cord?

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recommends not using an extension cord to power a fan. Doing so may overload the extension cord, leading to a fire.

You may still plug a fan into an extension cord despite the ESFI’s warnings. However, you must consider certain factors, such as the fan’s type and the quality of the cord, before you proceed with this action.

Types of Fans You Should and Should Not Plug Into Extension Cords

1. Air Conditioner/Heater Fans


Don’t plug a fan heater or an air conditioner into an extension cord. Using a power strip to try and power these appliances can cause the units to overload.

Heaters, in particular, may develop faults when used without supervision. If so, these devices can cause fires.

2. Regular Fans


It’s possible to plug in fan into a power strip. But practice safe usage by reading the product’s owner’s manual first.

For example, using a small box fan with a fairly low power draw might be safe to plug into an extension cord. However, don’t attempt plugging in a heavy-duty electric fan into a power strip, or you run the risk of it overheating.

Conditions When Plugging A Fan Into An Extension Cord

As mentioned previously, you need to consider certain factors before you use a fan power cord. Some conditions to think about are:

1. Product Quality


If you’re adamant about using a power strip for your electric fan, make sure that the extension cord is durable enough to handle the power draw. Aim to use a power strip with a 15-amp ampacity.

Take note that many fans only have an amp draw of about 0.3 to 3 amps. Nonetheless, the high ceiling for the amp draw helps reduce the risks of overload.

2. Usage Frequency


Bear in mind that a power strip is only a temporary substitute for a wall outlet. If you must use this setup, look out for the heat coming from the fan and the power strip. Turn off the fan and disconnect it from the extension cord as soon as the setup gets hot.

Bad Effects of Plugging a Fan Into an Extension Cord


Aside from an overload, other drawbacks exist when you plug a fan into an extension cord. Some possible safety hazards that may appear are:

  • A person may trip over the wire, resulting in injury
  • Stepping on the extension cord may cause the setup to fail
  • The power strip may loosen, causing the fan to perform inefficiently
  • A power strip with a long cord may cause a voltage drop, reducing the fan’s performance

Risks of Plugging a Fan Into an Extension Cord


So, is it safe to plug a fan into an extension cord? At this point, you should now know the safety hazards involved in using this setup. Other risks you should know about when using a power strip for an electric fan or other electronic device are:

  • The risk of a fire happening increases if the extension cord passes under a rug or a piece of furniture
  • A bent or coiled extension cord may cause inconsistent power delivery, resulting in a risk of ruining the electric fan
  • An overload is more likely to occur than usual if you plug in a fan and other devices into a single power strip

Safety Notes When Plugging the Fan Into the Extension Cord


Following proper safety protocols can help reduce the risks of using an extension cord with a fan. Some precautions to be mindful of are:

  • Inspect the extension cord for any signs of damage before using it
  • Use a medium- to heavy-duty power strip to reduce the risks of an overload
  • Match the number of prongs on the extension cord to the wall outlet
  • Avoid daisy-chaining multiple extension cords

Remember, find an extension cord alternative if the power strip in your home doesn’t match the requirements needed to operate the fan properly and safely. Pay attention to the possible drawbacks, and you should be safe while using the fan.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I Plug Dyson Fan into an Extension Cord?

Dyson suggests not using an extension cable to power its fan. The hazards of connecting a power strip to the brand’s fan, such as the electronic device overheating and catching fire, still exist.

Can I Plug a Tower Fan into an Extension Cord?

As with other fans, be careful when plugging this type of fan into an extension cord. If possible, avoid using a power strip, as the device may draw more power than usual, leading to issues like overheating.


You should now know the answer to your initial inquiry, “Can you plug a fan into an extension cord?” Remember, avoid using a power strip to power an electric fan. If you must use an extension cable, make sure that you follow the product’s safety guidelines.

Also, it’s important to read the product’s owner’s manual before plugging the fan into an extension cord. That way, you can read important details, such as the device’s amp draw. Use the information you receive to use the device safely.

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