Toaster Oven has short power cord

dixie615November 20, 2012

We want to replace our broken toaster oven and have found that the new models have short power cords. We have only one spot in our tiny New York kitchen where we can put the appliance and the cord does not reach the electrical outlet. Has anyone solved this problem safely? (I will return it for a plain toaster if I can't resolve this issue. At least I can move a toaster temporarily to a convenient outlet.)

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The only suggestion I have is to buy a 6-ft long extension cord that is heavy duty, rated for equal or slightly more than the wattage the new toaster oven uses. (you'll have to read the labels on the cords, etc.) I have used this type cord for space heaters. Any heavy duty cord that is rated for 1800 watts r more should be enough. I would not use more than a 6-ft cord.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The reason that the cord is short is to prevent the use of extension cords. It's a fire hazard. You need to call an electrician and have a new outlet put into your kitchen in a location that will work with the short cord. And yes, it needs to be a 20 amp circuit, GFC protected. I'd go ahead and have all of the current outlets protected with a GFC outlet upstream while you are doing this if they are not already. It's a huge improvement to the safety of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:10AM
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" The reason that the cord is short is to prevent the use of extension cords. It's a fire hazard."

True, it is a hazard. If they wanted to prevent use of extension cords, it seems that the appliance cord would be longer, but what do I know? Not everyone can afford to have an electrician come out and install a new outlet, almost impossible if they rent.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Actually the reason why the cord is short is that copper is expensive and a manufacturer can save a lot of money by providing a 2 foot cord instead of a 4 foot cord. Mulitply the savings by 1 million units...
They make 12 gauge extention cords in a 6 foot length and this should work for you. You want to be sure to use a cord rated for higher amperage/wattage than the cord already on the unit. If you look at the toaster cord closely you will see the rating numbers in embossed into the cord.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the quick responses. They helped me decide to try the extension cord; also, I'll unplug the oven when not in use. Cavimum has it right - we can't all call in an electrician, and I agree totally that "If they wanted to prevent use of extension cords, it seems that the appliance cord would be longer". The cost of copper is a good point, also. Again, thank you all.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:01PM
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The fact is that there is a code requirement that no point on any kitchen counter be further than 2' from an electrical outlet and that this requirement is in place for home safety and not because of the chintziness of appliance manufacturers shouldn't even be up for discussion. Electrical code has mandated that for at least the past 20 years or longer in order to make sure that no one sets their house on fire using an extension cord that isn't rated for the task. An extension cord is also more than just a potential fire hazard. It creates a trip hazard and burn hazard by draping said cord all around the room and then plugging in heating appliances into it.

Yes, there are many older homes that are not up to the modern standard and you have to make do as best you can. But most people will skim read and will only take in "an extension cord is OK" and go out an buy a cheap $1 Chinese 16 gauge one instead of a $25 12 gauge one like they should. And then they'll drape it across the aisle and use that toaster oven for 4 hours cooking for Thanksgiving. All of which is a BAD idea.

Getting a new GFI outlet run to the kitchen shouldn't cost more than a couple of hundred dollars. And that is cheaper than the deductible on your home owner's insurance which is the standard that I've long used when a project impacts home safety.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:14PM
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While I agree with GreenDesigns on almost all points. There is no getting around that the cords have shortend over the last couple years.
U.L. allows for up to 4 feet for a plug in power cord for any appliance, as long as the cord is rated for the amperage draw plus I think 20%. I would have to look up the reg to be sure but I know it's a + percent.

I just measured and my toaster has a 3 foot cord, my coffee maker has a 40 inch cord, my blender has a 3 foot cord. These appliances are 3-6 years old.

Copper prices have more than tripled since 2003 and is a very big concern for manufacturers producing consumer products. If a manufacturer can save 10 cents on a million units thats a very significant $100,000 dollar savings.
With electric powered tools we are starting to see NO power cord coming with the drill, saw, etc.,you plug the extension cord directly into the tool. This allows the manufacturer to keep their cost down and keep the end price down as well.

When you manufacture items in the multi millions every penny saved really counts torwards the bottom line.
When I worked for a manufacture we used to measure cost to the 3rd decimal point or in other words to the 1000th percent.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Fori is not pleased

I'd get a GOOD extension cord because they're all short these days. Long cords can be dangerous in a kitchen (tripping, etc.) so now outlets are all over and cords are short but those of us in older homes just have to use common sense with an extension cord.

My electric lawn mower seemed like a great deal until I had to go buy a cord for it. Hehe. I do love it though...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:01PM
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The cost of copper is definitely part of the issue but mfg:s like to claim it is a safety issue. I don't think extensions are a good choice unless very heavy duty and those tend to be too long. For the one appliance that I had a problem with, I purchased a heavy duty surge protector and use that as an extension I have also noticed on all small appliances they have included a caveat in the warranty that the units must be unplugged when not in use. So if the house catches fire, it is your fault.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I also think a short cord is VERY short sighted. That would only encourage the use of an extension cord, something any reasonable appliance mfg. would not want.
Short to save copper? Weight that against the higher liability premiums....?
Where did you buy this miracle unit? Mal-Wart?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Fori - grew up with electric mowers. The neighbor kid thought we were vacuuming the lawn. LOL

The 2 foot length is for safety and matches kitchen codes.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Dixie, you can get 2 ft and 3 ft extension cords with 14 AWG sized wire, rated at 15 amps, which means 1800 watts at 120 volts. Check the rating on that toaster oven -- not likely to be more than 1800 watts. You can also find 12 AWG (smaller number is larger wire), which is almost certainly the size of the wiring inside your wall, but #12 may be a bit hard to find with 15A plugs (it can do 20A) unless you like yellow or orange. Don't get 16 AWG / 13 amp rated, not adequate.

Unrated and too low rated cords are a problem in any length. Suitable cords should be kept short and out of the way, and not where the toaster oven will heat them up much.

Here is a link that might be useful: Just an example, not a recommendation

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 4:39PM
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