AWG Abbreviation for American Wire Gauge.

Alternating Current (A-C) The charge flow of a current periodically and regularly reverses in a cyclic manner.

Ampere (A) Unit that expresses rate of flow of an electrical current. One ampere is the current flowing through one OHM of resistance at one volt potential.

CEE International Color Code. See Inner Conductor Colors.

CSA Canadian Standards Association. This is a nonprofit, independent organization that operates a listing service for electrical materials and equipment in the Canadian counterpart of the Underwriters Laboratories.

HPN Parallel Heater Cord, typically Neoprene-insulated two conductor.

Hypot A test designed to determine the highest potential that can be applied to a conductor without breaking through the insulation.

ICC International Color Code on the inner conductors (blue, brown, green with yellow stripe). See Inner Conductor Colors.

IEC International Electromechanical Commission. A European group consisting of multi-national representatives which develop standards for electrical components. See IEC-320 Standardized Appliance Connectors.

Inner Conductor Colors

Function North American (NA)
International (ICC)
Hot Black Brown
Neutral White Blue
Earth (Ground) Green Green w/yellow stripe

Insulated Wire A conductor of electricity covered with a nonconducting material.

Jacket An extruded layer of insulation over a wire or group of cables.

Kilowatt (kW) A unit of power equal to one thousand watts.

Line Cord A cord, terminating in a plug at one end, used to connect equipment or appliances to a power unit.

N.A. North American color code on the inner conductors (black, white, green). See Inner Conductor Colors.

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Standard of wire, plug and cable specifications. See NEMA Plug & Receptical Configurations.

OD Abbreviation for outside diameter.

OHM Unit of electrical resistance. Resistance of a circuit in which a potential difference of one volt produces a current of one ampere.

PVC Polyvinyl chloride Compound used in thermoplastic SVT, SJT.

Power Supply Cord An attachment plug molded to a length of flexible cord. May also include a molded on strain relief, or terminations on the end opposite the plug.

Rated Voltage The maximum voltage at which an electric component can operate for extended periods without undo degradation or safety hazard.

Receptacle A contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of a single attachment plug.

Ribbed Outer jacket is striated with ribs.

Rip Cord Two or more insulated conductors in a parallel configuration which may be easily separated leaving the insulation of each conductor intact.

S Designated for heavy duty, rubber insulated portable cord. Stranded copper conductors with separator and individual rubber insulation. Two or more color coded conductors cabled with filler, wrapped with separator and rubber jacketed overall, 600V.

SEOW-A Extra hard service cord. Thermoplastic elastomer, oil resistant (TPE) construction Jacket. 600 volt, weather resistant for outdoor use.

SJ Designated for junior hard service, rubber insulated pendant or portable cord. Same construction as type S, but 300V.

SJEOW-A Extra hard service cord. Thermoplastic elastomer, oil resistant (TPE) construction jacket. 300 volt, weather resistant for outdoor use.

SJ0 Same as SJ but neoprene, oil resistant compound out jacket, 300V, 600C.

SJT Designated for junior hard service thermoplastic or rubber insulated conductors with overall thermoplastic outer jacket, 300V, 600C.

SJTO Same as SJT but oil resistant thermoplastic outer jacket.

SJTW A hard service cord. Thermoplastic constructed jacket. 300 volt, weather resistant for outdoor use.

S0 Designated for a 600 Volt senior service, oil resistant neoprene jacket cord. Same construction as type S except for neoprene jacket.

S0-W Heavy duty type 50-dual rated type W

SPT-1 Thermoplastic constructed, parallel jacketed, 300 volt, 2 or 3 conductor, 18 gauge.

SPT-2 Same as SPT-1 but heavier construction. 18-16 gauge.

SPT-3 Same as SPT-2 but heavier construction. 18-10 gauge.

ST Hard service cord, jacketed same as type S except all plastic construction, 600V 600 to 1050C.

STO Same as ST but with oil resistant thermoplastic outer jacket, 600V.

STW-A Extra hard service cord. Thermoplastic constructed jacket. 600 volt, weather resistant for outdoor use.

SV Designated for vacuum cleaner cord, two-or-three conductor, rubber insulated. Overall rubber jacket. For light duty in damp location. 300V, 600C.

SVT Same as SV except all plastic construction. With or without third conductor for grounding purposes only. 300V, 600-900C.

Shielded-Type Cable A cable in which the conductors are enclosed in a conducting envelope constructed so that substantially every point on the surface of the insulation is at ground potential or at some predetermined potential with respect to ground under normal operating conditions.

Strip To remove insulation from a cable.

Temperature Rating The maximum temperature at which the insulating material may be used in continuous operation without loss of its basic properties.

Terminal Any device attached to the conductor by crimping, soldering or welding.

Tensile Strength The pulling stress required to break a given specimen.

Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) A jacketed material which has many of the characteristics of rubber, as well as excellent electrical, mechanical and chemical properties.

Thermosetting A classification of resin which cures by chemical reaction when heated and, when cured, can not be resoftened by heating.

Tinned A silver-white, ductile metal used to coat copper conductors, especially when solder termination is to be used.

Tolerance The acceptable deviation from specification.

UL Underwriters Laboratories. This is a nonprofit independent organization that operates a listing service for electrical and electronic materials and equipment.

VW-1 A flammability rating established by Underwriters Laboratories for wires and cables that pass a specially designed vertical flame test, formerly designated FR-1.

Volt (V) Unit of electromotive force. It is the difference of potential required to make a current of one ampere flow through a resistance of one OHM.

Voltage The term most often used in place of electromotive force, potential, difference or voltage drop, to designate electric pressure that exists between two points and is capable of producing a flow of current when a closed circuit is connected between the two points.

Voltage Breakdown Test to determine maximum voltage of insulated wire before electrical current leakage through insulation. See hypot.

Voltage Rating The highest point that may be continuously applied to a wire or cord in conformance with standards or specifications.

W-A UL designation for outdoor-approved flexible cord.

Watt (W) Unit of power or work done at the rate of one joule per second or rate of work represented by current of one ampere under a pressure of one volt (volt-ampere).

Wire Gauge A system of numerical designations of wire sizes.

Wire Size is a measurement of how large a wire is, either in diameter or cross sectional area. This determines the amount of electric current a wire can safely carry, as well as its electrical resistance and weight per unit of length. Wire gauge is applicable to both electrical and non-electrical wires, being important to electrical wiring and to structural cable.

Below is an example of all the types of wires and its sizes it is available in.

European “Harmonized” Cable CENELEC publications HD-21 and HD-22 outline construction of PVC jacketed and rubber-jacketed cable, respectively.HD-21 recommendations for PVC jacketed cable:

H05VV-F…(rated 300/500V): Ordinary PVC sheathed flexible cable for use in offices, domestic premises, kitchens, for medium duties, i.e., washing machines, spin dryers, refrigerators. Permitted for cooking and heating appliances, providing that cable is not in contact with hot parts and is not subject to radiation, etc. (NOT suitable for outdoor use.)

HD-22 recommendations for rubber jacketed cable:

H05RN-F…(rated 300/500V): This is flexible rubber insulated cable intended for connecting lightweight hand and portable equipment subjected to low mechanical stresses in an open air environment, e.g., as connection leads for outdoor appliances, and in workshops. Not suited for use in agricultural applications or where there is risk of fire or explosion.

H07R-F…(rated 450/750V): This is flexible rubber insulated cable for products subjected to medium mechanical stresses in dry and damp places. Use as supply leads for transportable motors, appliances, hand-held lamps, electric tools and machines on building sites, in agricultural use, workshops, and utility water equipment. Permissible for installation on plaster and direct installation on structural parts of hoists and other heavy machines.

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