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Cable (flex) identification

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Den, Nov 2, 2004.

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  1. Den

    Den Guest

    Group:

    I have a table lamp (purchased originally in the UK) about 12 years ago the
    flex (=US cord) is identified as "Sun Brand H03VVH2-F". I've googled Sun
    Brand and not found anything matching.

    Can anyone tell me what the code H03VVH2-F means (or how to decode it) - I'm
    trying to find out the specification of the cable?

    Cheers

    Den
     
  2. Den

    Den Guest

    I've moved from the UK where plugs are fused (primarily) to protect the
    cables from accidental overload in failure situations. I'm now in the US
    where the plugs are not fused as so the only fuse is at the breaker box .

    As the (UK) fitted plug was fused at 3A (i.e. 700W), and the circuit breaker
    here in the US is 20Amp (i.e. 2300W) I want to make sure that cable is
    capable of taking a potentially higher failure current without bursting into
    flames or something else spectacular.

    D
     
  3. Guest

    Googling on just that code yields as the first hit

    http://www.cavifermi.it/H03VV-F H03VVH2-F-uk.htm

    which says the conductors are either 0.50 mm^2 or 0.75 mm^2.

    More Googling gives http://www.simetric.co.uk/siwire_elect.htm which
    says that 0.50 mm^2 is a little thinner than 20 AWG and 0.75 mm^2 is
    between 20 and 18 AWG.

    I think 18 AWG is the minimum size that can be generally used for cords
    on appliances designed for the US. Most of the table lamps in my house
    have 18 AWG cords. I have seen 20 AWG used on Yule lights, but these
    usually have a fuse in the plug (just like everything in the UK).
    Formerly, it was considered perfectly fine to plug the 18 AWG cord into
    an outlet protected by a 20 A breaker. Now there are requirements in
    the electrical code for "arc fault current interrupter" breakers on
    some household circuits, which are designed to detect and trip on faults
    like lamp cords shorting out.

    In another thread, someone was looking for a US plug with internal fuse
    (like a UK plug). John Grabowski posted:
    If you wanted to fuse the cord, the above plug might be a good option.

    Another option would be to replace the entire cord on the lamp.
    Hardware stores commonly sell 18 AWG lamp cords in 6' (2m) lengths and
    various colors that already have a plug molded on the end. You just
    have to fish the new cord into the lamp and connect it to the socket.
    Or, buy some heavier lamp cord and a separate plug. You can get up
    to 14 AWG lamp cord fairly easily, but that size is so thick that it
    might be difficult to fish through the lamp. 16 AWG will probably
    fit.

    I hope this helps!

    Matt Roberds
     
  4. Den

    Den Guest

    Matt

    Thanks for this.

    I'm not sure why - I just didn't think of googling the cable code! Duh!

    Cheers

    Den
     
  5. Den

    Den Guest

    BTW: Any idea how to decode the code?

    D

     
  6. Guest

    Clas-Henrik has provided it; I had no idea.

    Some common US cord type codes are at
    http://www.stayonline.com/reference/cord_jackets.asp . I believe the
    names and codes are all defined in the National Electrical Code.

    Matt Roberds
     
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