A power cord is a specialized electrical cable used to provide electrical current to an electronic device. It is made of different materials that have different electrical characteristics. The plug and receptacle are usually rated according to UL 498, CSA C22.2 no. 42, and IEC 60320 standards. The conductor size is measured in AWG (American wire gauge) or mm2 (millimeters). North American power cords are typically marked with the NRTL certification mark. A UL and CSA certification mark is also found on the cord. The IEC and CSA standards are used for power cords in North America, and most countries use the IEC 60320 and UL 817 standards for these cords.
Among the most common types of power cords are the PVC-covered variety, which can withstand high temperatures and rugged use. Power cords can be made from copper wire and are designed to carry both alternating and direct current. They feature a 60 amp fuse molded plug at one end and bare wire at the other. Choosing the right cord for your appliance is an essential step in protecting your electrical appliances and yourself. A high-quality cord can save you money in repair costs and can prevent electrical hazards.
The different types of power cords available are based on their application. Generally, they are used in consumer products, information technology equipment, and in hazardous environments. The ground wire in a power cord is green in North America and yellow in the rest of the world. The two types of power cords are similar but can differ in their design and function. The difference between a hospital grade power cord and an ordinary one is the rated current.
A power cord may be removable or fixed to an appliance. In detachable versions, the lead has a female connector that protects the appliance from a child sticking objects into it. These cords may also feature twist-locking and other attachments to prevent unintentional withdrawal. Some cord sets may include extra accessories, such as fuses or pilot lamps for indicating voltage. A shield over the power conductors protects sensitive equipment and may have a rewirable feature.
Most products come with an option to use a power cord, and many are battery operated. The more countries that a product is marketed, the more regulations it must meet. What is acceptable in one country may not be safe or legal in another. The international standards for power cords require manufacturers to comply with a myriad of certifications and regulations. A power cord will meet all of these criteria in order to be used in a global setting.
Most power cords comply with NEMA standards, which define the configurations of plugs and receptacles used in North America. The most common of these power cords is the NEMA 5-15P to NEMA 5-15R power cord. A NEMA 5-15P to C15 power cord is another popular type. If you’re trying to use a cord with different plugs, you might want to consider the C13 to C15 adapter.