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Learn why NEMA Power Cords are here to stay

All about why NEMA power cords are the standard cords used in North America. And the ease their standard power cords provide to the people in North America.

Slowly, but not all together steadily, we are progressing towards a wireless world. Batteries, when they are not exploding, or heating your device, seem to be working well enough. But these batteries also need regular charging. And by regular, I mean, once a day. And with the use of electricity, comes the need to talk about power cords.

You don’t need to be an expert to know that there are multiple types of power cords and connectors. This depends on the countries and their standards.

In North America, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, or NEMA, is the biggest manufacturer of power cords. They are also the standard in the continent.

There are mainly 2 variations of NEMA power cords: ungrounded and grounded. The ungrounded has two flat blades, while the grounded has one ground pin and two flat blades. Most household appliances use the grounded power cords for their electronics.

image Appliances that use the NEMA power cord in the household:

Some appliances have a detachable cord, like a laptop. Whereas appliances like toasters or blenders have the wire connected to the machine.


Most laptops come with NEMA power cords  split into two. The NEMA power connector side connects to an adapter that converts the AC to DC. Because while Alternative Current is more stable, Direct Current operates at lower voltage, which is what your laptop can withstand. The laptop is a battery-operated device, which means it only needs to recharge the battery, with the use of low voltage. The adapter has a cable that in turn connects to the laptop.

Kitchen appliances:

A refrigerator uses a grounded power cord because it runs on a high voltage. And therefore it needs the earthing connection for the protection of the user and device itself from high voltage. Compared to that a toaster has an ungrounded NEMA power cord because it functions on low voltage.

Entertainment setup:

An entertainment set comprises of a TV, speakers, a streaming device, and a gaming console. All of these gadgets use power cords of a lower voltage. The TV’s power connects directly to it, whereas a streaming stick can have a power cord that detaches from it. Soundbars and gaming consoles have detachable cords to keep them mobile.

Smart home appliances:

The idea of an intelligent home is no longer a dream. It is a reality. With endless gadgets, it includes, you have the constant power supply to worry about. This is where smart plugs come in. The plugs that you can turn off and on without physically pressing them. You can also schedule their working time, thus automating tasks like starting your coffee machine at 8 am, or turning off your lights and fans when you leave the house for work every day. These smart plugs are also compatible with the power outlets that are in homes.

Talking about other gadgets that require less voltage to function, and that don’t work on batteries, have a power cord  coming straight out of it. Since this is universal in the US, you can live anywhere in the country without having to worry about your appliances working. Wall sockets accept the NEMA power cords directly.

These cables, however, cannot carry data and electricity, side by side. They can only carry electricity. This is what makes them the standard for all gadgets. Not all equipment needs data, most just need electricity, and this does a great job of providing just that.


While power cords have changed for plenty of gadgets now, due to their increasing need for data transfers, the NEMA cord remains in wide use, for electronics.

Even though USB wall sockets are used, the NEMA power cords are not going away anytime soon. The topmost reason for this is that the USB standard changes more frequently than the old and universally accepted NEMA standard of ungrounded and ground power cords.

This Article is Originally Posted here; Learn Why NEMA Power Cords are Here to Stay

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