How to Choose Power Cords

If you want to use your electronics safely and reliably, you must choose the right power cord. Power cords are also called flex or mains cables, and they are the main source of power for a computer. The correct cord will provide enough power for your device, as well as any peripherals. To help you choose the right cord, here are a few things to consider. Make sure the cord has the right wire gauge and voltage rating.

First, it is important to choose a power cord based on its international usage. Most power cords have international use standards, such as RoHS (Regulation of Hazardous Substances) and REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals). Polyvinyl chloride is used in most power cords and has been severely affected by increasing environmental regulations around the world. If you purchase a cord, make sure to request a RoHS or REACH declaration, as proof of compliance.

If you use power cords for your business’s needs, choose the right one. Cords can be detachable or fixed, so you can use them where necessary. Detachable leads are safer, as they do not have live pins protruding. Power cords may also come with twist-locking features and other attachments to prevent them from coming unplugged. Some cords have accessories, such generator extension cord as fuses for overcurrent protection, a pilot light for voltage indication, or a leakage current detector. Lastly, select the right cord for the environment.

Before purchasing a power cord, you should make sure that it meets the appropriate standards for the plug and the receptacle. The standards for cord plugs are UL 498 (UL) and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 42, and the conductor size is usually measured in AWG or mm2 (millimeters). You should also know the type of receptacles it is compatible with.

In North America, the most common type of plugs is the NEMA 5 series. The NEMA 5-15P plug, for example, has a maximum current rating of 15 A. Then, there are the NEMA 5-15R plug and receptacle (NEMA L14-30P). There are also hospitals-grade power cords, which are made to stricter standards than non-hospital grade cords. When buying a power cord, it’s important to choose one with a solid ground connection.

Power cords are rated by kilovolts and volts. This rating identifies the wire’s gauge and helps you choose the right cable for your application. You can purchase cords of different lengths, amperages, and outlets. The gauge is the number assigned to a specific wire, and higher numbers indicate a thicker wire. Longer power cords will lose voltage and capacity, while shorter ones maintain the same voltage level from the outlet to the other end of the cable.

The most important factor to consider when choosing a power cord is the voltage capacity. There are two standards, NEMA and ANSI. NEMA power cords are the industry standard for plugs and receptacles in North America. The NEMA type A plug features two conducting blades and Type B has an extra ground rod. Make sure you choose the correct cord for your device. If you are unsure of which cord is best for you, check with the manufacturers’ instructions.