Power Up Properly: Choosing the Best Appliance Power Cords
Behind every properly functioning household appliance is a quality power cord supplying electricity. While easy to overlook, using the correct appliance power cord ensures your appliances operate safely and effectively.
With washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers and more running constantly, a heavy-duty power cord rated for the appliance’s electrical needs is essential. Don’t risk overloading flimsy cords and causing dangerous overheating or fires.
This guide will cover:
- Top-rated appliance power cord models
- Key features and specifications to compare
- How to choose the ideal cord for your appliance
- Frequently asked power cord questions
After reading, you’ll be able to power up your appliances properly and safely using the best power cord for each device. Let’s review how selecting the right cord type and size provides peace of mind that your appliances will receive stable, uninterrupted power.
The Best Appliance Power Cords Models
Quality cords specifically designed for supplying appliance power include:
GE 6′ Appliance Power Cord
This GE power cord works for many GE appliance models including ranges, dryers, and refrigerators. The SJT cable and polarized NEMA plug provide a safe appliance connection. Its black color blends into appliances discreetly.
Whirlpool 8′ Appliance Power Cord
With its extra length, this Whirlpool power cord allows flexibility in outlet location up to 8 feet from the appliance. The three prong NEMA 10-30P plug fits compatible brands for dryers, ranges, and air conditioners.
Sunbeam 6′ Appliance Power Cord
Sunbeam’s polarized power cord includes a lighted end that confirms the cord is energized for an easy plug check. This 6 foot cord works with many major brands and provides both durability and safety.
Electree 10′ Appliance Power Cord
This extra long 10 foot appliance cord is perfect for connecting appliances to distant wall outlets or extension cords. The flexible PVC jacketed SJT wire is thicker than standard lamp cords for heavy power loads.
Key Power Cord Features and Specifications
Along with manufacturer approval, examine these power cord traits when choosing the best match for your appliance:
- Measure from outlet to appliance to determine needed length.
- Add extra slack for maneuvering. Standard lengths are 6, 8, or 10 feet.
- Custom lengths are available if standard sizes don’t fit space.
- Thicker cords handle more power. 12 gauge recommended for major appliances.
- 10 or 12 gauge common for appliances requiring 15-30 amps.
- 14 gauge for low-power appliances like a lamp or TV.
- Has one prong larger to correctly align with outlet slot size for safety.
- Prevents improper installation that poses serious shock risk.
Right Angle Cords
- Easier to plug in appliances located in tight spaces next to walls.
- Avoid cord strain from bending.
- Protects from ground faults or electric shocks in wet areas like garages.
- Helps prevent electrocution risk.
ENERGY STAR Rated
- Uses less electricity compared to standard cords.
- Saves on electric bill costs over time.
- The UL mark verifies it meets safety standards for electrical devices.
- Denotes quality manufacturing and testing.
- Cord is specifically designed for use with that brand’s appliances.
- Ensures optimal, safe power supply to the appliance.
- Look for at least 1 year limited warranty.
- Warranty shows confidence in cord quality and safety.
How to Choose the Right Appliance Power Cord
Picking the ideal power cord involves more than just connecting an appliance to an outlet. Consider these factors:
Evaluate Outlet Location
Measure the distance from the electrical outlet to the appliance location to determine the required cord length. Include some slack during measurement for maneuverability.
Determine Electrical Amperage Needs
Verify the appliance’s amp rating and match the cord’s amp capacity or exceed it. For example, dryers need 30 amp cords and dishwashers 15 amp cords. Choose too low, and the cord can overheat.
Confirm Polarized Cord
Polarized cords with one wide and one narrow prong are essential for safety. They properly align with the polarized outlet. Non-polarized cords pose a serious shock hazard.
Assess Cord Gauge Rating
Thicker, higher gauge cords are needed for appliances with high electrical loads. Prioritize a minimum 12 gauge cord for major appliances like refrigerators, dryers, and stoves.
Consider a Right Angle Cord
Right angle plugs make connecting appliances against walls much easier by avoiding excessive bending. Choose this style if outlet access behind the appliance is tight.
Look for GFCI and Surge Protection
For garage appliances, look for GFCI-equipped cords to prevent electric shocks from water contact. Surge protectors reduce the risk of voltage spikes damaging appliances.
Verify Energy Efficient Cord
ENERGY STAR rated power cords use less electricity compared to standard cords, providing long-term energy savings.
Check for UL Certification
The UL mark indicates testing and compliance with North American safety standards for electrical products. It ensures quality manufacturing processes.
Select Manufacturer Approved Cord
When possible, opt for a power cord specifically designed and tested for your make and model appliance. This ensures optimal, safe power delivery. Checking manufacturer guidelines is advised.
Review Warranty Coverage
Quality power cords should provide at least a 1 year limited warranty, showing the maker’s confidence in their safety and construction. This provides some protection in case of defects.
Frequently Asked Appliance Power Cord Questions
How do you determine the right power cord length?
Measure from the outlet to the appliance plug location while allowing extra slack for maneuvering. Standard 6-10 foot cords work for most situations, but measure first before purchasing.
What power cord gauges are recommended for appliances?
Major appliances need thick 12 gauge cords, while smaller appliances can use 14 gauge. Know the amperage to determine proper thickness. Running an appliance on too thin of a cord can cause dangerous overheating.
How should you install an appliance power cord safely?
Plug into a dedicated grounded outlet without overloading. Keep cords out of high foot traffic areas. Avoid pinch points behind appliances. Use strain relief to secure cord to appliance. Check polarity and grounding.
Why choose a polarized power cord?
Polarized cords with one wide and one narrow prong provide essential safety to properly align with wall outlets, preventing improper installation that poses serious shock and electrocution risks.
When is a right angle power cord preferable?
Right angle plugs make connecting appliances located against walls much easier by avoiding excessive cord bending strain. Choose this style when outlet access behind the appliance is very tight.
What causes appliance power cords to overheat?
Using too thin of power cord gauge for the appliance can lead to overheating from excess current flow. Also, damaged cords, loose plugs, and insufficient voltage supply can all cause cords to overheat and pose fire risks.
How can you safely extend an appliance power cord?
Use an extension cord at least the same thickness gauge rating as the appliance cord itself. DO NOT chain multiple extension cords. Limit extension cord length to 10-12 feet for optimal safety.
Should you cover unused outlets near appliances?
Yes, unused outlets near appliances should be covered with blank plates or caps to prevent accidental contact that could result in harmful shocks or electrocution.
How can you waterproof connections in wet areas?
For appliances like dishwashers or garage refrigerators, use power cords approved for wet locations and outlet covers that seal cord openings to prevent moisture damage and electrical shorts.
What are some tips for organizing appliance power cords?
Use cord wraps, holders, or clips to neatly bundle and organize excess cable out of walkways. Route cords strategically behind appliances. Consider adhesive cord hiders to conceal connections along baseboards.
Power Your Appliances Properly with the Right Cord
This comprehensive guide demonstrates how choosing the ideal appliance power cord requires verifying the right length, thickness, polarity, manufacturer approval, and safety certifications.
Taking these factors seriously ensures your appliances can operate efficiently for years on safe, stable electrical supply. Consult manufacturer guidelines and measure carefully before selecting sturdy, high-quality power cords for each of your essential home appliances.