Power cords enable all the devices we rely upon daily basis, as it plays a massive role in our lives. It's important to have a few good quality power cords on hand to keep your devices running smoothly. Here, we'll take a look at surge protectors, extension cords, and all types of line cord switch - all of which can be used to help you get the most out of your devices.
What Is a Power Cord?
A power cord, or line cord, is a type of wired cable that designed to transfer electricity from a source of energy to a recipient device. They can cater to a wide range of appliances or commonly used in both domestic and commercial settings. While individual voltage rates may vary, you will most typically find power cords limited to voltage and current ratings of 125 V to 250 V and 16 A to 20 A respectively.
How Do Power Cords Work?
Power cords exist for one primary reason - to transfer power. They relay energy from point A to point B by way of an electrical circuit. This is made possible by a few key components that are found within the power cord itself.
● An electrical plug that's inserted into a compatible outlet
● An electrical socket that's affixed to the appliance
● A length of insulated wires that connect the two aforementioned elements
Line cords typically feature three primary conducting wires - a hot wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. The hot wire handles carrying the current from the outlet to the device, while the neutral and ground wires work together to complete the circuit and prevent any potential issues with shock or electrocution.
Is A Power Cord the Same Thing as An Extension Cord?
While power cords and extension cords may appear to be similar, they actually serve two very different purposes. Power cords are designed specifically for transferring electricity, while extension cords are intended to extend the reach of an existing power source.
Extension cords are often used in domestic settings when an appliance is too far away from a wall outlet to be plugged in directly. They typically feature a male plug on one end (which is inserted into the outlet) and a female socket on the other (into which the appliance's power cord can be inserted). This allows the extension cord to effectively function as an intermediary between the outlet and the appliance.
What Are the Different Types of Power Cords You Can Get?
While most power cords are simple and straightforward in design, there are a few different types that are available on the market. The following are examples of the most popular.
Standard Power Cords
Standard power cords are the most common type that you'll come across. They typically feature a three-pronged plug and can be used with a wide range of appliances, including computers, monitors, printers, and more.
Surge Protector Power Cords
Surge protector power cords are similar to standard power cords, but with the added benefit of surge protection. They feature a built-in circuit breaker that's designed to trip and cut off the flow of electricity in the event of a power surge. This will protect your appliances from damage caused by sudden spikes in voltage.
Extension Power Cords
As we mentioned previously, extension power cords are designed to extend the reach of an existing power source. They typically feature a male plug on one end and a female socket on the other, which allows them to act intermediary between the outlet and the appliance.
The Types of Inputs Power Cords Can Connect To
As already mentioned, power cords can be used with a broad array of devices. One thing to note though, is that because many of these devices are unique in nature, the power cords they work with are unique to their specific design. The following is a list of common types of inputs power cords can connect to.
The most common type of outlet you'll find in both domestic and commercial settings is the 3-pronged outlet. This outlet features three holes - one for the hot wire, one for the neutral wire, and one for the ground wire. Power cords that are designed to work with this type of outlet will typically have a three-pronged plug on one end.
2-pronged outlets are less common than 3-pronged outlets but can still be found in some older homes and businesses. These outlets only have two holes - one for the hot wire and one for the neutral wire. Because there's no ground wire, power cords that are designed to work with this type of outlet will typically have a two-pronged plug on one end.
IEC connectors are a type of connection that's commonly used as a PC power cord. They feature a three-pronged plug on one end that's designed to fit into a corresponding socket on the device. IEC connectors are also sometimes referred to as "cloverleaf", "kettle lead" or by the uninitiated as "computer power cords".
USB connectors are another type of connection that's commonly used in PC power cords and other electronic cables. They feature a rectangular plug on one end that's designed to fit into a corresponding socket on the recipient device.
What Are Some Common Features You Can Find in A Power Cord?
Whether you're talking about a monitor power cable or general power cord for PC, there are some commonalities and features many of the best connection cables have in common. The following is a review of the most noteworthy.
One common feature you'll find in some of the best power cords is a twist-locking mechanism. This is a locking system that's designed to keep the cable securely attached to both the outlet and the appliance. The benefit of this feature is to prevent accidental disconnection, which could lead to damage or injury.
Another common benefit of high-quality power cords is a heavy-duty design. This means the cord is made from durable materials that are designed to withstand regular use. Heavy-duty power cords are typically thicker and more robust than standard power cords, which makes them ideal for use in high traffic areas or for appliances that require multiple power source.
Another amazing advantage of high-quality power cords is flexible construction. This means the cord is made from materials that allow it to be bent and twisted without damaging the internal wires. This can be helpful in multiple situations, such as when you need to route the cord around obstacles.
Where Can Power Cords Be Used?
In essence, a power cord can be useful anywhere you have a place to plug it in. However, there are specific applications where they really shine. The following are the most common uses for power cords.
One of the most common places you'll find power cords is in the home. Virtually any appliance that uses electricity will need a power cord, so it's not uncommon to have several different power cords running through your house. The most common appliances that use power cords in the home include televisions, computers, and lamps.
One of the most common uses for power cords is with power tools. The power tools, such as drills, saws, and sanders, require a cord to run. The cord supplies the electricity needed to run the tool. Power cords for power tools are typically heavy-duty to withstand regular use and abuse.
Another common use for power cords is to connect electronic devices to an outlet. A computer power cable, monitor power cord and TV power cord are all examples of this. As with appliances, most electronics will come with a power cord that's specifically designed for use with that particular device.
Power cords are also commonly used in industrial settings. All factories and other industrial workplaces have a wide variety of machinery that needs to be powered. This includes everything from conveyor belts to large metal-working machines.
How to Select the Right Power Cord for Your Needs?
Now that you know a little bit more about power cords, it's time to talk about how to select the right one for your needs. The following is a brief overview of some of the most important factors to keep in mind when making your selection.
One of the most important things to consider when selecting a power cord is the type of appliance, you'll be using it with. As we mentioned earlier, many appliances require specific types of power cords in order to function properly. Examples include items such as a computer power cord and TV power cord. Be sure to check the requirements of your appliance before making a purchase.
Another important consideration is the length of the cord. Power cords come in a wide range of lengths, from just a few feet to 100 feet or more. The length you need will depend on the specific application. For example, power tools will typically require a longer cord than small appliances.
The gauge of a power cord refers to the thickness of the wire. Power cords are available in a variety of gauges, from 14-gauge to 10-gauge and beyond. The thicker the wire, the more power it can carry. In general, you'll want to choose a cord with a gauge that's appropriate for the appliance you're using.
Power cords are also available in a variety of different materials, including plastic, rubber, and metal. The material you choose should be based on your specific needs. For example, rubber power cords are a good choice for use in damp or wet areas.
Of course, one of the most important considerations is price. Power cords range in price from dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the length, gauge, and material. Be sure to shop around to find the best deal on the power cord you need.
Power Cord Safety
Now that you know a little bit more about power cords, it's time to talk about safety. Power cords can be dangerous if they're not used properly, so it's important to be aware of some basic safety tips.
One of the most important things to remember is to avoid overloading outlets. This can happen if you plug too many appliances into one outlet, or if you use power cords that are too thick for the outlet. Overloaded outlets can lead to fires, so it's important to be careful.
Inspect Cords Regularly
It's also a good idea to inspect your power cords on a regular basis. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed wires or cracks in the insulation. If you see any damage, be sure to replace the cord at once.
Use Grounded Cords
Whenever possible, you should use grounded power cords. These cords have an extra wire that helps to ground the appliance in case of a short circuit. This can supply an extra level of safety, so it's worth the extra cost.
Follow Manufacturer's Instructions
Finally, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using power cords. These instructions are designed to help keep you safe, so it's important to follow them.
Go with Lenovo for Your Power Cord Needs
Though we may not always think about them, power cords are essential to our way of life. By following the tips above, you can be sure to use them safely and effectively.
In the market for a power cable? Surge protector with long cord? PC power cord? Lenovo carries a great collection of surge protector extension cord, PC cables and more. Check out our choice today and find the right solution for your needs.