All About AC Power Cords

AC power cords make use of alternating electric current, the direction of which is reversed intermittently. Strict specifications are followed in the manufacturing of these cords, the regulation of their size and shape, and the balancing of voltage and current ratings. An AC power cord possesses two ends: a female end and a male end. The female end is supposed to be connected to the electrical appliance, whereas the male end meets the power socket. All cords are mostly alike except for the plug end, which determines how different each type of cord is. AC power cords come in a variety of different types that include polarized, non-polarized or grounded, to name a few.

Polarized cords have plugs with a characteristic shape in order to make sure that the electricity does not move along the wrong wires. This is basically to serve as a safety measure. The special design ensures that the plug enters the socket in a single way. This guarantees the proper orientation of the electrical poles. One of the plug prongs has a marginally bigger size compared to the others to aid this orientation. All appliances that come without internal safety features must be used with cords that are polarized for safety.

All of the plug prongs of a non-polarized cord have the same size, which means that they can be plugged into the socket both ways. This means that the live and neutral wires are both joined in a random fashion. In the absence of any precautionary safety design, these cords depend largely on the device that they are connected to. To ensure safety, the devices in question must have polarity shifting and shut-off features. Moreover, non-polarized cords are more heavily insulated as opposed to the average polarized cord.

An AC power cord with a plug end that is either non-polarized or polarized is commonly referred to as a grounded cord. These cords have plugs that come with three prongs in order to sidetrack the flow of stray voltage away from all users and electrical equipment. The unrequired voltage is redirected to the ground to preclude any hazards. Grounded AC power cords offer the greatest level of security and safety and must be used for the protection of devices that are expensive or highly valuable.

AC power cords, regardless of whether they are polarized, non-polarized or grounded, are made using a thin copper wire that is covered by layers of rubber and plastic to aid insulation. The prongs are usually constructed out of brass or steel with a coating of tin, zinc or nickel. These cords have a number of uses. They come in useful for the proper functioning of devices in every sector imaginable. Retail, commercial, electronic and industrial applications all make use of these power cords. The use of AC power cables in the household cannot be undermined either. All electrical appliances and devices, computers, power tools and lighting require AC power cords to function properly. Without these cords, the running of household appliances would involve a considerable degree of risk.

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