Understanding Power Cable Specs, Wire and Cable Information
When discussing power cable, there are several different types, including the welding cord, Type W, Type G-GC, locomotive (DLO) and even an entertainment cable (for things like stage lighting). Each type of power cable differs in jacket properties, insulation thickness and application.
Of the mentioned power cables, the Type W, Type G-GC and multi-conductor power cables are often utilized in heavy duty or industrial applications. Although these types of power cables are similar to SOOW portable cords, they are visibly larger and are capable of handling more amperage. Both Type W and Type G-GC power cables are made with 30-gauge bare copper stranding to make up 3 to 4 conductors. These conductors are insulated and covered with a heavy duty neoprene jacket. The difference between the Type W and Type G-GC power cables is that Type G-GC has 2 smaller ground wires as well as a ground check wire. The Type W power cable only has 2,3,4 or 5 same sized conductors.
Diesel locomotive cable (DLO) is a type of power cable that is made with 24-gauge tinned copper stranding. Due to the fact that it is made with a thicker gauge size, this type of power cable is less flexible than that of a welding cable. DLO cable is also made with a thicker Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE) jacket. Some of the basic applications for this particular type of power cable include oil and gas drilling rigs, diesel electric locomotives and telecom power supply.
The entertainment power cable (stage lighting cable) is primarily used in industrial lighting, such as in theaters, night clubs or for television. This particular power cable is made of 30-gauge bare copper stranding and is covered with a neoprene jacket. It can often be compared to a welding cord; however, entertainment power cables are usually made with thicker neoprene jackets and have a temperature rating of 221 degrees Fahrenheit, rather than the 194 degrees Fahrenheit temperature rating of the welding cable.
Although it may seem that these cables only differ slightly, but it has been confirmed that these differences are highly important when it comes to choosing a power cable. It is extremely vital to use the correct type of heavy duty power cable in order to ensure the longest life possible. If you choose the wrong type of power cord, you will likely find yourself replacing the cable sooner than you expected.