What are Portable Cords?

A portable cord is a type of power cable designed for temporary use. Portable cords are multi-conductor cables that come in a variety of AWGs. Depending on the specifications of the cord, they can power anything from handheld tools to heavy machinery.

Aside from different AWGs, there are a number of classifications that can be applied to portable cords. Each portable cord has associated letter codes indicating exactly what it is built for. Since portable cords can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial areas, the exact specs of the cord will depend on its application.

Letter Codes

The letter codes used for portable cords are defined by Underwriters Labs:

  • S = Severe Service Cord
  • SJ = Junior Severe Service
  • SVT = Vacuum Cleaner Cord
  • T = Tinsel Cord (only if “T” is the first letter)
  • T = Thermoplastic (if “T” is not the first letter)
  • H = Heat Resistant
  • HH = High Heat Resistant
  • N = Nylon Outer Jacket
  • E = Elastomer
  • O = Oil-Resistant Outer Jacket
  • OO = Oil-Resistant Outer Jacket and Oil-Resistant Insulation
  • P = Parallel Cord
  • V = Vacuum Cord
  • W-A = Weather Resistant
  • W = Weather and Water Resistant

Each portable cord designation uses a combination of the above letter codes. For example, one of the most common portable cords is SOOW. That means it will be rated S (Severe Service Cord), OO (Oil-Resistant Outer Jacket and Oil-Resistant Insulation), and W (Weather and Water Resistant). Knowing the various codes and what they stand for is essential to ensure the correct cord is selected for any application.

SOOW and SJOOW Portable Cords

While there are a large variety of portable cords using various combinations of the letter codes, SOOW and SJOOW are two of the most common. These two cords share quite a bit in common with each other. Both cables are EPMD insulated and coated with a black rubber Neoprene jacket. They are built to withstand temperatures from -40° to 90° Celsius (-40° to 194° Fahrenheit) and are resistant to oil, water, solvents, and fire. Both types are built for indoor or outdoor use and are most commonly utilized for control circuits, construction tools, processing equipment, and other industrial applications.

The key difference between these two control cables is the voltage rating. SOOW is made using Severe Service Cord, a heavy-duty cable rated for 600V. SJOOW is built using the Junior Severe Service variety and will work with 300V. Aside from the voltage rating, SJOOW is also a bit less expensive than SOOW.

Getting Started with Portable Cords

ShowMeCables has a number of portable cords available today. Our stock portable cords come in SOOW and SJOOW varieties, available in 2-18 AWG with anywhere from 2 to 40 conductors (the exact number of conductors available to choose from will be determined by the AWG of the cable). Each and every type is available in 100’, 250’, 500’, and 1000’ rolls and can also be cut by the foot for any custom length to best suit your application. Other types of portable cords can be quoted and ordered by our sales team.

Anytime you need a quote for any cabling requirements, you can reach our sales team directly at 888-519-9505 or sales@showmecables.com. Our experts will have a quote prepared and over to you within one business day.