If it isn’t already evident by the name, a ‘power’ cord is a cable used to generate power from electricity. That electrical power is what runs through all electronic devices facilitating the formers’ operation. It may sound a bit dramatic, but life without a power cord is impossible and unimaginable in today’s age.
While buying a power cord, one should conduct a detailed evaluation of its features. However, rushing the purchase will only result in opting for the wrong cord and the wastage of money. To choose power cord suitable for your electrical needs, here’s what you need to know.
Types of Power Cords
Power Cords come in certain varieties, each with exclusive modifications to suit diverse utilizations. So, let’s learn a bit about every single type available out there.
Standard Power Cord
The standard power cord comprises a country-centric plug (hand-wired or molded) on one end. The other end comprises exposed conductors, blunt/flush conductors, or terminated conductors. The purpose of it is to act as an intermediate between the equipment and the power source.
Connector Power Cord
This cord is one with a country-specific connector or an IEC 60320 (hand-wired or molded) on one end. The other end is similar to the original power cord, having exposed conductor cables, blunt/flush conductors, or terminated conductors.
Jumper Power Cord
Also known as the accessory power cord, a jumper power cord connects secondary equipment to the primary power source. Its purpose is to make the primary power source, transferring power to other accessories, do the same for the secondary equipment. The Jumper Power Cord comprises a cable with one end having an IEC 60320 Sheet E or Sheet I plug (hand-wired or molded) connector.
Slightly different from a power cord, one end of a cord set has a country-centric plug. The other end consists of either an IEC 60320 or a country-specific connector in place of wires. With a cord set, the device becomes directly connectible can be directly connected to the power source.
Jumper Cord Set
The only difference between a jumper cord and a jumper cord set is the latter has connectivity on both ends. The end of a jumper cord housing a plug is replaced by the IEC 60320 connector in the cord set. On the other end, there is an IEC 60320 connector. The functioning is the same involving transference of power to accessories and secondary equipment from the primary source.
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How to Select the Best Power Cord?
Having acquired an understanding of the different cords, next is a deconstructed explanation of choosing a power cord.
Identification of the Compatible Plug
The first and foremost priority while choosing a power cord is to check whether it will fit the plug pattern or not. It is often seen that specific exported power cords aren’t usable in countries they’re shipped to because of differing plug patterns. Checking that before making a purchase is essential if you don’t want to get your money wasted. In addition, to ensure sales globally, the manufacturing companies must design the power cords as per international standards.
Be Aware of the Amperage and Voltage Requirements
Another critical point to consider while purchasing a power cord or cord set is knowing the equipment’s required amperage and voltage rating. Depending on the amperage rating, plug patterns or cable sizes may vary even in local power cords, let alone the imported ones.
Choose a Suitable Cable
Just like the plug patterns, the cable you choose also needs to be compatible with your equipment. So, make sure to check the cable’s suitability before buying a power cord. For example, while some international power cord cables are usable in other countries, the North American cables, for sure, aren’t suitable at all.
Go for a Suitable Connector
If you’re trying to decide on a cord set, two options are available for connectors, a country-specific socket or an IEC 60320 connector. While both work well, the IEC 60320 connector provides a slightly higher advantage of global adaptability. So, if that’s a feature you’re seeking in your power cord, go for the IEC 60320 connector.
Pro tip: Always remember that its weakest link rates a power cord. In simple terms, among the cable, plug, and connector, the one that has the lowest rating is one of the weakest links. However, it is the rating of the weakest link that is considered the official rating of the assembly.
Safety Precautions While Handling Power Cords
- Make sure to switch it off and unplug the cord when done using it. There is always a possibility of current flowing through it.
- Don’t use outdoor and indoor cords interchangeably.
- Don’t overload by plugging one power cord into another.
- Always keep the power cords in safe and dry places and away from any child’s reach.
- Make sure to plug the cord properly and don’t leave it loose.
- Lastly, never try to forcefully plug in a power cord into somewhere it doesn’t fit.
With this, we have covered chiefly everything one needs to know before purchasing a power cord. For people not having much idea in this area, the information will answer their queries and provide necessary guidance. Utilize all the newly gathered information to make the correct purchase.