5 Interesting Facts To Know About Power Cables
Power cables are one of the most common elements of every electrical system. Even though they all work the same way, there are a few different types of power cables. Not all power cables are the same, and since manufacturers design them for various uses, you must understand how they work.
They come in various sizes; some are made from copper, others from aluminum. The materials used in the manufacturing process define the use of the power cable. Stay with us, and we’ll give you a few interesting facts that can help you extend the life of your power cables and help you stay safe.
1. Some power cables don’t last long by design.
When people buy new power cables, they usually expect them to last for a long time. However, that’s not always the case because not all power cables are made from the same materials. The cheapest options usually have low-quality materials, so they are not durable and have a lower capacity. In other words, if you connect more than one or two appliances, the wires in the cable could melt and make it useless.
But when it comes to cord durability, the installation method also makes a big difference. If you don’t install them correctly or connect too many appliances, the power cords usually die in months. Lastly, some manufacturers make low-quality power cords by design. They simply are not designed to last for prolonged periods, so it’s a good idea to research the manufacturer before buying a power cable.
2. Some power cables are not made from copper.
It’s a well-known fact that most power cables are made from copper, but not all of them. Copper is an excellent conductor, much better than aluminum. However, that’s not always the case as there are two different types of conductors designed for particular uses. While conductivity is essential, it’s not the only factor that defines the usability of power cords.
The insulation materials and the size of the cables are often much more critical. Longer copper cables lose capacity with distance. The bottom line is, copper cables are not the best choice if you need long-distance extension cords. If that’s the case, you’re better off with cables made from aluminum. They don’t have a very high capacity, but they are more stable over longer distances.
Even though most people think otherwise, cable armor isn’t designed to help protect the wires from physical stress. Their primary role is to increase the tensile measure of the cables rather than protect them from material impact.
Not only that, the armor is made from steel tape or wire, which is often the main reason why a cable stops working after a physical impact. The steel wires bridge two wires and melt them together, making the cable practically useless.
4. The current capacity rating is a relative number.
Every extension power cord has a current capacity rating that helps you figure out which cable to buy. However, you should know that the current capacity of a cable deteriorates over time. Many different factors can harm current capacity. That includes everything from air and ground temperature to the depth of installed lines and moisture.
Most people buy their power cords online, as it’s more convenient, but that often leads to making the wrong purchase. Since some cables are better than others, you should always look for those that come with a lifetime warranty and are ROHS compliant.
5. Some cable jackets don’t protect the wires from moisture.
Thinking that all power cables come with a protective outer layer resistant to moisture is one of the most common mistakes people make when buying them. The truth is that some power cables without this protective layer may be damaged beyond repair when exposed to moisture or water.
Even if they don’t stop working immediately, they will lose capacity faster than they should. That’s why you should always contact a professional before buying cables. Explain where you want to install them, and they will help you make the best choice. You don’t want to install the wrong cable, only to do it again after the first rainy day. If the cables are not resistant to moisture, contact with water can also lead to injury or even electrocution if someone touches the cable in the wrong place.
Buying power cables might seem like a straightforward thing, but it’s easy to make the wrong choice without the proper knowledge. You should always do your research according to the project at hand and consult a professional before buying any cables.
You should either contact a professional electrician for advice or go to the local hardware store and ask people working there to help you out. You should always take your time and make sure that you get the best power cables for your needs, or you might have to replace the cables more often than you’d like.