cs

A Simple Guide on How Extension Cords Are Rated

When it comes to extension cords, many people don't know what the different ratings mean. It's not common knowledge! And if you find yourself purchasing your first extension cord, you may be surprised to find it's not as easy as you think. An extension cord packaging will advertise different letters on it like "S", or "W", and will feature different "gauge" numbers; what does it all mean?

In this article, we will break it down for you and explain what each extension cord rating. We'll also discuss why these ratings are important and how they can help you choose the right extension cord for your needs.

Types of Extension Cord Ratings

There are three main types of ratings you'll see on an extension cord: voltage, wattage, and gauge. The type of volts, watts, and gauge you'll need will depend on the appliance you are using.

Voltage Rating

The voltage rating is how much power the extension cord can handle. This is measured in volts (V). Most cords have a voltage rating of 120V, which is the standard in North America. If you need an extension cord that can handle more power, you'll want to find one with a higher voltage rating.

Never use an extension cord with an appliance that exceeds the voltage rating a power cable can handle. Check your appliance to see which voltage it requires.

Wattage Rating

The wattage rating is how much power the extension cord can put out. This is measured in watts (W). Most cords have a wattage rating of 1250W, which is the standard in North America. If you need an extension cord that can put out more power, you'll want to find one with a higher wattage rating.

Gauge Rating

The gauge rating is how thick the wire in the extension cord is. The thicker the wire, the more power the cord can handle.

For example, a 10 or 12 gauge wire insulation is thicker than one rated 14 or 16, and will perform better for heavy-duty appliances and commercial use. At 16 gauge, the wire is thin in comparison and is more suitable for something like a portable space heater or a fan.

Extension Cord Letter Ratings

In addition to these three main types of ratings, some extension cords will also feature letter ratings. These letters are typically found on higher-end extension cords and indicate the quality of the cord. Here are the different letter ratings and what they mean:

S (Multi-Purpose)

This is a flexible cord that indicates it is designed for multi-purpose use.

W (Weather Resistant)

This cable indicates it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It is resistant to sunlight/UV rays, moisture, wind, etc., so you can safely use it with appliances like lawnmowers or leaf blowers.

J (300V Insulation)

This cord has standard insulation of 300 volts.

T (Vinyl Thermoplastic)

The cord jacket is made from vinyl thermoplastic, which means it is particularly heat resistant. 

P (Indoor Use)

This cord has a parallel wire construction that is designed for indoor appliances.

E (Thermoplastic Elastomer Rubber)

The jacket that protects the cord wiring is made from thermoplastic elastomer rubber (TPE) and is suitable for extra heavy-duty use, especially for performance in cold climate.

O (Oil-Resistant)

This is a cord that is extra oil-resistant, both inside and outside of the cable insulation.

N (Nylon)

The cord jacket is made from nylon, which means it is flame resistant (NOT fireproof).

 

LifeSupplyUSA SJTW Extension Cords

Now that you know the different types of ratings and what they mean, you should be able to pick the right extension cord for your needs. Be sure to check the appliance's voltage, wattage, and gauge requirements to find a cord that is compatible. And if you need an extension cord for outdoor use, be sure to look for one with a weather resistance (W) rating.

If you're still not sure, LifeSupplyUSA offers extension cords that are a safe choice for many purposes. These are Indoor/Outdoor multi-purpose extension cords that are rated "SJTW", which means it is a flexible, 300-volt insulated, vinly thermoplastic, weather-resistant cable. You can find these SJTW cords in a variety of different gauges, volts, and watts, so that you pick the right one for your appliance. The entire extension cords catalog can be found here.

If you need a place to start, check out these multi-purpose indoor/outdoor cords by LifeSupplyUSA:

Recent Posts

The Safe Way to Use Extension Cords: How to Stay Out of Danger

The Safe Way to Use Extension Cords: How to Stay Out of Danger

We all rely on extension cords to power our gadgets and ...
The Smoker's Guide to Smoking Odor Removal and Prevention

The Smoker's Guide to Smoking Odor Removal and Prevention

There are many reasons why smokers want to hide or mask ...
Use Vacuum HEPA Filters for Deep Cleaning of Microscopic Allergens

Use Vacuum HEPA Filters for Deep Cleaning of Microscopic Allergens

A vacuum cleaner helps clean your floors and can also be...
Best Methods for Eliminating the Presence of Household Dust Mites

Best Methods for Eliminating the Presence of Household Dust Mites

Household dust mites are a daunting reality for many hom...