Buying a power cord can sometimes be a guessing game. The letters and numbers on the cord and packaging look like a secret code. With the info in this article, you will be cracking that code and become an electrical cord pro in no time.
Electrical Cord Use
The first step in figuring out what power cord to buy is determining what it will be used for. A cord that will be used primarily indoors for a television will have different requirements than a cord that will spend all its time outdoors. Will the cord ever have a chance of coming in contact with water? Will it be used with heavy duty appliances? Take some time and think about this before you start looking at cords to purchase.
Once you know what you will use the cord for, then you can begin to match up the cord designation letters to your intended use. The following letters and meanings will let you know what the cord you are thinking about buying can handle.
- S – General Use
- W – Outdoor Use
- J – 300 Voltage Insulation (Light Use)
- P – Parallel Wire
- T – Vinyl Thermoplastic Jacket
- E – Thermoplastic Elastomer Rubber Jacket
- O – Oil-Resistant
- OO – Oil Resistant Jacket and Insulation
- V – For Vacuum Cleaners
Electrical Cord Plugs
Power cords typically come with two or three prongs. If the appliance, tool, or device you are using has a three pronged plug, then you should use an extension cord that also has three prongs. Make sure to plug it into an outlet that accepts three pronged plugs. The third prong is connected to a ground wire that greatly decreases safety risks if used properly.
Amps and Cord Length
The final attribute of a power cord that is important to know is the amperage. Figure out what amperage your device needs, and make sure you cord has a maximum amperage rating that is above it. Length also plays a part in the amps necessary for your power cord. The longer the cord, the less power will actually be transmitted to your device. It is best to buy the shortest power cord that will still meet your needs.
Power Cord Management
To keep your power cords safely stored and ready to go whenever and wherever you need them, use a cord reel like Medreel.