This is a reference of technical data and common terms

See below for a guide to technical specifications and definitions of common industry terms and acronyms.

Conductor Color Codes

 Function NA – North America (US/Canada) IEC – International 
L = Line (Hot) Black Brown
N = Neutral White Light Blue
E = Earth (Ground) Green or Green/Yellow Green/Yellow
4th Conductor Red
5th Conductor Yellow
6th Conductor Orange

Technical Data

Full Load Current Values

Current Values Based on Usual Speed and Normal Torque

For full load currents of 206V and 200V motors, increase corresponding 220V value above by 6% and 10% respectively.

Motor Horse Power AC Rated Motor Volatage – 110V to 120V Rated Motor Voltage – 220V to 240V
Direct Current Single Phase AC Three-Phase (Induction) AC Direct Current Single Phase AC Three-Phase (Induction) AC
0.25 2.9 Amps 5.8 Amps 1.5 Amps 2.9 Amps
0.33 3.6 7.2 1.8 3.5
0.25 5.2 9.8 4.0 Amps 2.6 4.9 2.0 Amps
3.4 7.4 13.8 5.6 3.7 6.9 2.8
1 9.4 16.0 7.2 4.7 8.0 3.6
1.5 13.2 20.0 10.4 6.6 10.0 5.2
2 17.0 24.0 13.6 8.5 12.0 6.8
3 25.0 34.0 12.2 17.0 9.6
5 40.0 56.0 20.0 28.0 15.2
7.5 58.0 80.0 29.0 40.0 22.0
10 76.0 100.0 38.0 50.0 28.0

Current Carrying Capacity of Flexible Cords

Based on Ambient Temperature of 30˚C (86˚F)

Amperage shown is for not more than three conductors in a cord. If cord has from four to six conductors, decrease the values shown.

The ampacities under subheading A are applicable to three-conductor cords and four-conductor cords with three conductors carrying current. The ampacities under subheading B are applicable to two-conductor cords and three-conductor cords with two conductors carrying current.

NOTE: On extension cords over 50 feet, derate by two wire sizes.

AWG Wire Size Thermoplastic Types ST, STO, SJT, SJTO, SVT, SVTO, SPT Types HPD, HPN, HSJ, HSO
A B
18 7 Amps 10 Amps 10 Amps
17 12
16 10 13 15
14 15 18 20
12 20 25 30
10 25 30 35
8 35 40
6 45 55

Amperage Ratings for
Metric Copper

*General use ratings only. Check with appropriate approval agency for specific applications, as ratings vary from country to country.

Copper Size mm3 ETSA Western European
0.5 3.0 Amps 6.0 Amps
0.8 7.5 10.0
1.0 10.0 12.0
1.5 15.0 16.0
2.5 20.0 20.0

Glossary

AWG

Abbreviation for American Wire Gauge.

AWM

Designation for appliance wiring material.

Alternating Current

Electric current that continually reverses its direction. It is expressed in cycles per second (hertz of Hz).

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of a medium (gas or liquid) surrounding the object.

American Wire Gauge (AWG)

A standard system for designating wire diameter. Also referred to as the Brown and Sharpe (B&S) wire gauge.

Ampacity

(See Current Carrying Capacity).

Ampere

The unit of current. One ampere is the current flowing through one ohm of resistance at one volt potential.

Anneal

Relief of mechanical stress through heat and gradual cooling. Annealing copper renders it less brittle.

Audio Frequency

The range of frequencies audible to the human ear. Usually 20-20,000 Hz.

Basic Protection

A commonly used industry term for partial surge protection, usually a single MOV protecting line-to-neutral (see Full Protection).

Braid

A fibrous or metallic group of filaments interwoven in cylindrical form to form a covering over one or more wires.

Breakdown Voltage

The voltage at which the insulation between conductors breaks down.

Bunch Stranding

A group of wires of the same diameter twisted together without a predetermined pattern.

Cabling

The twisting together of two or more insulated conductors to form a cable.

Capacitance

The ability of a dielectric material between conductors to store electricity when a difference of potential exists between the conductors. The unit of measurement is the farad, which is the capacitance value that will store a charge of one coulomb when a one-volt potential difference exists between the conductors. In AC, one farad is the capacitance value that will permit one ampere of current when the voltage across the capacitor changes at a rate of one volt per second.

Circuit (Electric)

The complete path of an electrical current. When the continuity is broken, it is called an open circuit; when continuity is maintained, it is called a closed circuit.

Clamp

To hold the current or voltage at a specific fixed level.

Cold Flow

Permanent deformation of the insulation due to mechanical force or pressure (not due to heat softening).

Color Code

A system for circuit identification through use of solid colors and contrasting tracers.

Compound

An insulating or jacketing material made by mixing two or more ingredients.

Concentricity

In a wire or cable, the measurement of the location of the center of the conductor with respect to the geometric center of the surrounding insulation.

Conductor

An insulated wire suitable for carrying electrical current.

Contacts

The parts of the connector that actually carry the electrical current, and are touched together or separated to control the flow.

Continuity Check

A test to determine whether electrical current flows continuously throughout the length of a single wire or individual wires in a cable.

Cord

A flexible insulated wire.

Corona

Ionization of air surrounding a conductor caused by the influence of high voltage. Causes deterioration of insulation materials.

Crazing

The minute cracks on the surface of plastic materials.

CSA

Abbreviation for Canadian Standards Association, a non-profit, independent organization that operates a listing service for
electrical and electronic materials and equipment. The Canadian counterpart of the Underwriters Laboratories.

Current Carrying Capacity

The maximum current an insulated conductor can safely carry without exceeding its insulation and jacket temperature limitations.

Dielectric Strength

The voltage that an insulation can withstand before breakdown occurs. Usually expressed as a voltage gradient (such as volts per mil).

Direct Capacitance

The capacitance measured directly from conductor to conductor through a single insulating layer.

Direct Current

An electric current that flows in only one direction.

Drain Wire

In a cable, the uninsulated wire laid over the component or components and used as a ground connection.

Drawing

In wire manufacture, pulling metal through a die or series of dies to reduce diameter to a specified size.

Electromagnetic

Unwanted signals picked up and transmitted over electrical lines, caused by varying magnetic fields.

Eccentricity

Like concentricity, a measure of the center of a conductor’s location with respect to the circular cross-section of the insulation. Expressed as a percentage of displacement of one circle within the other.

Elongation

The fractional increase in length of a material stressed in tension.

Energy Capacity

The heat absorption capacity to absorb electrically generated heat, expressed in joules, or watt-seconds.

Filler

(1) A material used in multiconductor cables to occupy large interstices formed by the assembled conductors. (2) An inert substance added to a compound to improve properties or decrease cost.

Flame Resistance

The ability of a material not to propagate flame once the heat source is removed.

Flex Life

The measurement of the ability of a conductor or cable to withstand repeated bending.

Frequency

The number of times an alternating current repeats its cycle in one second. (See Hertz)

Gauge

A term used to denote the physical size of a wire.

Ground

An electrical term meaning to connect to the earth or other large conducting body to serve as an earth, thus making a complete electrical circuit.

HPN

Parallel heater cord, typically neoprene-type insulation.

Harness

An arrangement of wires and cables, usually with many breakouts, which have been tied together or pulled into a rubber or plastic sheath, used to interconnect an electrical circuit.

Hertz (Hz)

A term replacing cycles per second as an indication of frequency.

High Potential

A test designed to check the integrity of a conductor’s insulation by applying a specified high voltage.

Hybrid Circuit

A surge suppressor that uses a combination of two or more types of electronic devious to provide additional or multi-stage surge protection (most surge protection use only MOVs).

Hz

Abbreviation for hertz.

Impedance

The total opposition that a circuit offers to the flow of alternating current or any other varying current at a particular frequency. It is a combination of resistance R and reactance X, measured in ohms.

Inductance

The property of a circuit or circuit element that opposes a change in current flow, thus causing current changes to lag behind voltage changes. It is measured in henrys.

Insulation

A material having high resistance to the flow of electric current. Often called a dielectric in radio frequency cable.

Jacket

An outer non-metallic protective covering applied over an insulated wire or cable.

Jumper Cable

A short flat cable inter-connecting two wiring boards or devices.

Lay

The length measured along the axis of a wire or cable required for a single strand (in stranded wire) or conductor (in cable) to make one complete turn about the axis of the conductor or cable.

Longitudinal Shield

A tape shield, flat or corrugated, applied longitudinally with the axis of the core being shielded.

L-N

An abbreviation for line-to-neutral, the location for the most common type of power surge (see Full Protection).

MTW

Thermoplastic insulated machine tool wire.

Multiconductor

More than one conductor within a single cable complex.

Mylar

A synthetic compound with high dielectric qualities made by Du-pont® and used extensively in the wire and cable industry.

Noise

A term for unwanted electrical signals on the power line.

Noise Filter

An electronic component, usually a capacitor, designed to minimize unwanted electrical signals.

Ohm

A unit of electrical resistance.

Peak Current

Another term for energy capacity.

Picosecond

One trillionth of a second

Plasticizer

A chemical agent added to plastics to make them softer and more pliable.

Potting

The sealing of a cable termination or other component with a liquid that thermosets into an elastomer.

Primary Insulation

The first layer of non-conductive material applied over a conductor, whose prime function is to act as electrical insulation.

Put-Up

Packaging of finished wire or cable.

Rated Voltage

The maximum voltage at which an electrical component can operate for extended periods without undue degradation or safety hazard.

Resistance

A measure of the difficulty in moving electrical current through a medium when voltage is applied, measured in ohms.

S

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. 600 V.

SEOW

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) insulated conductors. Water flame, oil, abrasion, ultraviolet resistant for outdoor use.

SJ

Junior hard service, rubber-insulated pendant or portable cord. Same construction as type S, but 300 V. Jacket thickness smaller.

SJEOW

Same as SJ, with Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) jacket and insulated conductors. Water, flame, oil, abrasion, ultraviolet resistant for outdoor use.

SJEOOW

Same as SJEOW, but with oil resistant inner and outer jacketing.

SJO

Same as SJ, but neoprene, oil-resistant compound outer jacket. Can also be made “water resistant”. 300 V, 60˚C, 75˚C, or 90˚C.

SJOO

All rubber, oil, water, flame, abrasion resistant in/out jacket. 300 V, -40˚C to 90˚C.

SJT

Junior hard service thermoplastic insulated conductors with overall thermoplastic jacket, 300 V, 60˚C, 75˚C, or 90˚C. Indoor use.

SJTO

Same as SJT, but oil-resistant thermoplastic outer jacket.

SJTW

Same as SJT, but outdoor water-resistant outer jacket.

SO

Hard service cord. Same construction as type S, except thicker oil-resistant neoprene jacket. 600 V, 60˚C to 90˚C.

SOOW

All rubber, oil, water, flame, abrasion resistant indoor/outdoor jacket. 600 V, -40˚C to 90˚C.

SP-1

All rubber, parallel-jacketed, two-conductor light-duty cord for pendant or portable use. 300 V.

SP-2

Same as SP-1, but heavier construction, with or without a third conductor for grounding purposes. 300 V.

SP-3

Same as SP-2, but heavier construction for refrigerators or room air conditioners. 300 V.

SPT-1

Same as SP-1, except all-thermoplastic. 300 V. With or without third conductor for grounding.

SPT-2

Same as SP-2, except all-thermoplastic. 300 V. With or without third conductor for grounding.

SPT-3

Same as SP-3, except all-thermoplastic. 300 V. With or without third conductor for grounding.

ST

Hard service cord, jacketed. Same as type S, except all-plastic construction. 600 V, 60˚C to 105˚C.

ST0

Same as ST, but with oil-resistant thermoplastic outer jacket. 600 V, 60˚C to 105˚C.

STW

Same as ST, but indoor/outdoor water-resistant outer jacket.

SVT

All plastic construction. Light-duty vacuum cleaner cord. With or without third conductor for ground purposes only. 300 V, 60˚C to 105˚C.

Separator

Pertaining to wire and cable, a layer of insulating material such as textile, paper, mylar, etc., which is placed between a conductor and its dielectric, between a cable jacket and the components it covers, or between various components of a multiple-conductor cable. It can be utilized to improve stripped qualities, roundness, and/or flexibility, or can offer additional mechanical or electrical protection to the components it separates.

Shield

A sheet, screen, or braid of metal, usually copper, aluminum, or other conducting material, placed around or between electric circuits or cables or their components to contain any unwanted radiation, or to keep out any unwanted interference.

Spacing

Distance between the closest edges of two adjacent conductors.

Spark Test

A test designed to locate pin-holes in the insulation of a wire or cable by application of high voltage for a very short period of time while the wire is being drawn through the electrode field.

Spiral Wrap

The helical wrap of a tape over a core.

Strand

A single uninsulated wire.

Stranded Conductor

A conductor composed of groups of wires twisted together.

Tensile Strength

The pull stress required to break a given specimen.

Thermoplastic

A material that softens when heated and becomes firm on cooling. Example: PVC (plastic).

Thermoset

A material that hardens or sets when heat is applied and that, once set, cannot be resoftened by heating. The application of heat is called “curing.” Example: rubber.

UL

Abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit independent organization that operates a listing service for electrical and electronic materials and equipment.

UL 497A

The UL standard covering the basis for UL listing of surge controls for phone lines.

UL 452

The UL standard covering the basis for UL listing of CATV lines.

Voltage

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

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. Typically used for individual conductors or parallel-type constructions.