Cheap Power Cords: Risks and Dangers
In the age of the Internet, it is easier than ever before to be a thrifty shopper and find a bargain. When shopping around for any product, after a while you start to get a sense of what kind of price that particular item usually goes for. But as you dig around the Internet a bit more, you may stumble across an even better price. One that blows those other prices away. Something that seems too good to be true. And as the old saying goes: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
A power cord may seem simple at a glance, but there is a lot that goes into making one. A proper power cable is made of various materials in a specific fashion according to industry and government standards. However, there are many websites online that sell cables cheaply because their products do not meet those regulations. Sub-par cables are likely to burn out (literally as well as figuratively) quickly and can damage any connected equipment. A worst-case scenario could result in an electrical fire, injuries, or even death.
Identifying Cheap Cables
If you are accustomed to handling power cables, a cheap cord can often be identified by touch. You may notice that the cord or metal prongs on the end bend too easily, feels brittle, or seems to weigh less due to the cable containing insufficient materials.
If you do not know power cords well enough to test them by touch, then test them by sight. The easiest thing to look for is a product certification mark. There are different types of product certifications, depending on where the cable is being sold. Different countries have different regulatory committees, but they all tend to follow similar safety standards. On cheap cables, manufacturers will sometimes include a fake certification mark. These fakes look very similar to the real thing, but there will be just one or two little details off to make it legally different.
Another way to check power cords is simply to test them. This is a little riskier and holds the chance of destroying the cable or potentially damaging the tester. It is best to start small; bad power cords usually cannot handle as much electricity as advertised, so starting at the supposed full rating is more likely to cause damage.
Dangers of Cheap Cables
Individuals working with a budget might be tempted to use cheap cables despite the risks. Simply put: do not do that. At the very least, you are going to have performance issues. The worse and more likely scenarios include damaged/destroyed cables, damaged/destroyed equipment, electrical fires, personal injury, failed safety inspections and worst of all, could result in death. Cables that are likely to catch overheat running through a building are a good way to turn your office into a bonfire. Good luck getting something like that past the safety inspector, fire marshal, or insurance company.
You may be thinking, “Wow, if these cables are so bad, why do people sell them?” Faulty power cords often come from manufacturers who loosely follow safety regulations, or worst off completely ignore them. If you are shopping around on an unfamiliar website, and see cheap power cords, they are probably not up to code. Avoid these at all costs because if you do not, the long-term costs will far outweigh the short-term savings.
In any business, this can be bad, but even more so for industries that rely on the use of technology. For example, data centers can go completely down if power cables stop functioning. According to a 2016 study by Business Insider, just 1 minute of downtime can cost a data center almost $9,000 on average. When Amazon had a 49-minute outage back in early 2013, it was estimated to cost the Internet giant $4,000,000 ($81,632/minute) in revenue. The bigger your business, the larger the monetary losses will be during downtime. Not to mention the damage done to customer relations when people start questioning the reliability of your service.
Quality Products from ShowMeCables
Power cords sold at ShowMeCables are built to UL-listed standards with each and every cable being tested after fabrication. Our cables are top-of-the-line and backed up with a lifetime warranty in case any wear-and-tear ever starts affecting performance. These cables are kept in-stock with orders including same-day shipping options through the US Post Office, FedEx, and UPS. Custom options are also available for special projects.
Have questions? You can reach our Sales team at 888-519-9505 or Sales@ShowMeCables.com