Question

Why is the power cord on my new Kenmore microwave too short to reach the outlet? Why can’t I use an extension cord?

Purchased yesterday 4-4-2013, model no. 721-79159011, power cord length 35in, exits the back of the unit at the top left corner (why the top? most US homes have the power outlets at around 16 in from the floor).

Answers

4 answers

  1. Countertop microwave ovens are, generally, installed on a countertop (hence the name). There is usually an outlet located on the wall adjacent to the countertop, so cord length usually isn't an issue. As mentioned earlier, you can use a 6' appliance extension cord (it will be gray and flat, and may also be labeled as an air conditioner extension cord, available at Sears for around $9). Using lighter cords may result in the cord overheating, causing a fire hazard.

  2. The reason some appliances can't be used with an extension cord is that depending upon the gauge of the wire the voltage may drop over distance. The aplliance may not be able to draw a proper amount of voltage to run. An example might be your shower. You need a 3/4 / 1/2 inch diameter pipe to deliver enough water to the shower. If the shower was hooked up to a 1/4 inch water supply line you would still get water but not as much as you need for a proper shower. The wrong size extension cord migh heat up and become a fire hazard.

  3. You don't want to use a long extension cord or use a light duty cord you might use for a lamp. The short answer to your question is yes you can use an extension cord but keep it as short as possible. A 6 foot heavy duty grounded appliance cord would likely work. You can not use a long outdoor cord. At the home supply store explain what you need the cord for and they will direct you to the correct size. A heavy cord like used to power outdoor edgers is the type to look for but it must be short. Refer to your owner's manual to see if extension cords are allowed for your particular model.

  4. Hi aerofd! Welcome to MySears!

    This is an interesting question. Let me see if one of the Appliance Experts can let you know about using an extension cord, and the placement of the power cord. I would suspect that many folks have their microwaves located in a kitchen on a counter, where there normally would be an outlet close by. An Appliance Expert may be able to shed more light on this, though, so please check back soon for a reply!

    Thanks!