Choosing the right flex

I recently had to replace the plug and electrical supply cable on an eBay purchase because it arrived already broken.

The cord had been wrapped around the case of this UV lamp (for nails not PCBs, I’ve been warned) and in transit this must have rubbed or been bashed as there was open circuit on the neutral line.

The fuse was rated at 3A. I’m guessing that the manufacturer had chosen the slimmest wire that met the electrical rating.

So I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the non electrical factors to consider when selecting a suitable cable.

Use: Will the cable be moved/bashed a lot in use or is it something like a lamp where the cable is not moved so much.
Environment: Does the cable have to survive an exterior environment, e.g. UV or water, more abrasion or does it need to be armoured or protected from potential damage?
Visibility: Will the cable be a trip hazard or being risked chewed up by the lawn mower, if so a brighter colour would be needed. Alternatively does it need to blend in with the bedroom furniture.
Size: If the cable is replacing another or has to fit with certain fittings then the core or overall size might be important.
Shielding: For signal and control cables you might need to consider the shielding on the cable to ensure that your cable does not either generate or pickup interference.


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