Dealing with electrical cords is a very risky thing to do, unless you have some experience with it. A single mistake and you run the risk of getting electrocuted. You need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools before you start working.
Spotting a bad electrical cord requires some knowledge on electrical wirings, and you shouldn’t act impulsively. Think before you do something. Be extra careful with what you. Here are things to consider in spotting a bad electrical cord.
Unplug the device. Before trying to diagnose the problem with a broken cord, you must first unplug the device from the mains. This will stop the flow of electricity and will free you from being grounded. After unplugging, you can now check the problem and fix it, if possible.
Make sure that electric prongs are properly inserted in the outlet. Bent electric prongs result in an unsteady flow of electricity, which is often the result of electric fires. Most electrical problems are just a result of loose prongs that don’t come into complete contact with the wall outlet. These will either have to be replaced. At the very least, check to see if the prongs are loose. This might be the extent of your problem, and it can easily be fixed. Also ensure that the power cord is not twisted, so the flow of electricity will not be disrupted. Straighten it out. If this solves the problem, then that’s a good thing.
Try a different cord. If your appliance is not working (or if your mobile phone or laptop is not charging), try using a different cord or adaptor. This way, you can diagnose if the problem is with the electrical cord or with your device itself.
Tape the exposed wire. Exposed wires are highly dangerous for both children and adults. Whenever you see one, unplug the appliance immediately, get electrical tape, and wrap it around the exposed wire. Remember to be cautious in taping the wire. Double check if there are still uncovered wires for you and other people’s safety. Also, be sure that the metal contacts from either wire don’t touch each other.
Check both ends of the electrical cord. In an electrical cord, there are two ends: one is connected to the wall socket, and the other one is connected to the device. Make sure that these two ends fit snugly into their respective outlets. Loose plugs result in poor performance, and the possibility of sparks emitting.
Do not overstretch the electrical cord. Position your device in a place that will not overstretch your electrical cord. Wires in the electrical cords tend to break when they get overstretched.
Store and keep electrical cords in a safe place. Electrical cords can get easily damaged when stored in unsafe places like areas that are extremely hot. Cords are often at risk of pulling when not stowed away properly. For example, make sure that the cords at your office desk don’t impede passageways. Otherwise, people might trip on your cord, and they might either break the wirings inside, or cause your appliance to fall on the floor.
Everything that works with electricity is dangerous when broken. It’s easy to spot a bad electrical cord. The worst ones will have exposed metal wirings. Some appliances will also cease to function if some of the contacts of the electrical cord are no longer working.