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What is a power cord called?

A power cord is an electrical component used to connect appliances to an electrical utility or power supply. It is made from an insulated electrical cable with one or both ends molded with connectors.

One end of a power cord is typically a male connector or plug that goes into the electrical receptacle, wall outlet, or extension cord. The other end is a female connector that is attached to the appliance or another male connector. This female connector is sometimes omitted in appliances where it is replaced by a fixed cable.

Power cords are used in every type of electrical appliance—from TVs and computers to refrigerators and air conditioners—and are commonly seen in both domestic and commercial areas. They are limited to current and voltage ratings of 16 A to 20 A and 125 V to 250 V respectively.

What is a power cord used for?

A power cord is a cable that temporarily connects an appliance to the mains through a wall outlet or extension cord.

These terms are commonly used for cables that are connected to a local line voltage single-phase AC power source using a power plugâ (typically 100 to 240 volts, depending on location).

Universal power cords and plug adapters are often used with appliances in countries different from those in which they were designed and manufactured. For example, if you have an HP computer purchased in the United States that will have an incompatible power cord when used in another country, it is convenient to have a universal power cord.

Even hair dryers purchased in the United States are not compatible for use in Europe. You will find that the numbering and size of the outlets simply do not match. Products include computer AC power cords and splitters, and appliance/indoor/outdoor extension cords.

Amps and watts in power cords

If you're wondering how much power your appliance can handle, it's easy to find out. Simply look at the item name or specification bullets on the cord you want to buy.

For example, if you take a look at our range cords, you'll not only see the reference to 3 wire or 4 wire, but also the amps.

In our Certified Appliance Accessories dryer and range cords, you'll see amps in the item name and watts down in the specification bullets. Those two numbers will help you figure out just how much the cord can handle. For example, the 10-amp cords can handle up to 1,250 watts.

The 13-amp ones handle up to 1,625 watts, and the 15-amp ones handle up to 1,875 watts. Those numbers are based on 125 volts as a precaution.

Those cords can also be purchased separately. And if for some reason, you need to extend the reach of an existing power cord (or maybe just want to make a hidden outlet more accessible), please note that extension cords should not be used as permanent installations!

What is inside a power cord?

There are a number of things that can be inside a power cord:

-A plug, which connects to the end of the cord that you plug into an outlet or other electrical device.

-Cordage, which is the actual wires in a cord.

-A strain relief connector to secure the cord to the device. This is usually a plastic piece that holds the cord in place.

How do you plug in a power cord?

Power cords consist of a core of metal wire offering good conductivity such as copper or aluminum. The core is surrounded by other material layers including insulation, tapes, screens and armoring for mechanical protection.

These additional layers are designed principally to allow the metal core to continue to conduct electrical current safely in the environment it is installed. A good conductor is made of a material whose atomic structure has loosely bound electrons in its outer shell which can move across the atomic matrix of the material. On the contrary, good insulators have tightly bound electrons which make it difficult for this current flow.

How do you plug in a power cord?

All power cords are not created equal. If a wall-mounted socket or socket on an appliance does not have a three-prong plug, the power cord that connects the appliance to it may not be interchangeable with other appliances with those plugs.

Some three-pronged plugs are unavailable in other countries and some two-pronged plugs are available in both U.S. and Canadian versions (one model of each), but not all countries allow them. Aftermarket adapters may be required in certain cases if the outlet is physically unable to support a particular style of plug.

 

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