Portable Cord Types Defined

Portable Cord Types Defined

SO Cords are commonly referred to as Portable or Flexible cord. These products are labeled and identified by using a sequence of letters to form an acronym. This simplifies our ability to determine a cords proper application based on its characteristics and properties.

Labeling of the cord sequence will begin with an ‘S’ or ‘SJ’. ‘S’ stands for service, indicating the standard 600-volt rating. However, if the ‘S’ is followed by a ‘J’ in the sequence, it’s known as a junior service cable which has a 300-volt rating.

Next are the “O’s”. One ‘O’ means the cable has an oil resistant outer jacket. Two ‘OO’s’ tell you that the cable has both an oil resistant jacket and oil resistant insulation. A ‘W’ stands for weather or water resistant; this cable would be approved for indoor and outdoor use. ‘T’ and ‘E’ tell you more about the materials used in your cable. This is where the common reference of portable and flexible are widely used. ‘T’ stands for thermoplastic, commonly referred to as “portable”, this indicates the use of PVC insulation which places emphasis on durability and functionality. ‘E’ stands for elastomer, this property allows for greater flexibility, producing a widely capable product. These are the most common letters used in portable cable identification, and now that you understand them, you’ll know more about your cable’s function and capabilities. Each combination of letters tells you quite a lot of information about the product and how it will uniquely apply to your needs.

The differences between S and SJ cords are important to look at. To recall, S means the cable is rated to 600 volts and SJ means it’s rated to 300 volts. Here are some of our popular SO cord types and their variants.

SOOW & SJOOW

SOOW & SJOOW cords are cost effective and perhaps the most popular portable cord. They contain a thermoset rubber jacket; these cords are useful for their resistance to heat and abrasion. Here are some specs on both: SOOW is rated to 600 volts with a temperature range between -40 and 90ºC as well as a size range of 18 to 2 AWG with 2 to 4 conductors. The SJOOW cord is rated to 300 volts with a temperature range between -40 and 90ºC as well as a size range of 10 to 10 AWG with 2 to 4 conductors. Note that the differences between these two cords are their voltage rating and size ranges.

SEOOW & SJEOOW

SEOOW & SJEOOW cords contain a thermoplastic elastomer jacket which resists many elements while maintaining a great flexibility, setting it apart from the others. This high-quality cord is more resistant to water and can be used at lower temperatures in comparison to the popular SOOW portable cord. Here are the specs. on both: SEOOW is rated to 600 volts with a temperature range of -50 to 105ºC as well as a size range between 18 and 2 AWG with 2 to 5 conductors. The SJEOOW cord is rated to 300 volts with a temperature range of -50 to 105ºC as well as a size range between 18 and 10 AWG with 2 to 4 conductors. Note here the differences are voltage rating, size range and conductor range.

STOW & SJTOW

STOW & SJTOW have a thermoplastic PVC jacket, making them the least flexible SO portable cord. These cords work great for consumer applications, power extensions and portable lights. Here are the specs. on both: STOW cords are rated to 600 volts with a temperature range between -40 to 60ºC as well as a size range of 18 to 10 AWG with 2 to 4 conductors. SJTOW is rated to 300 volts and a temperature range between -20 to 60ºC as well as a size range of 18 to 10 AWG with 2 to 5 conductors. Note the differences between the two portable cords are their voltage rating, temperature range, and conductor range.

These SO portable cords are the most popular electrical cord type on the market for consumers due to their wide versatility and qualitative durability. These products have many capabilities as well as flexibility, temperature resistance and affordability making them perfect for any job. To browse or inquire about our products, visit us at nationalelectricusa.com or call us at 562-808-0800.