Extension cords are not all created equal. There are several factors to consider before you purchase one, and making the wrong choice could have disastrous consequences. Therefore, before you make a purchase, consider the benefits of an SJTW extension cord, including all the possible uses.
What Is an SJTW Extension Cord?
An SJTW cord is a hard service cable designed with 300V and a durable jacket for weather resistance, so you can use it outdoors safely. The letters stand for:
- • Service
- • Junior
- • Thermoplastic vinyl
- • Weather-approved
The 300 voltage rating is half the volts of a standard power cord, hence the term "junior" in the title. However, you can use it for the same power needs as a standard cable but with outdoor privileges. Manufacturers and professionals sometimes refer to an SJTW cord as light-duty. However, that is not properly representative of its capabilities.
The jacket of an extension cord is what protects the electrical wires from exposure to the elements. What makes an SJTW cable safe for outdoor use is the material used to create the jacket. Thermoplastic vinyl is water and abrasion resistant, allowing you to put it through rough usage, such as dragging it across rocky terrain or leaving it on the exposed ground.
Why Should You Use the SJTW Extension Cord?
With so many options for extension cords on the market, how do you know which one is appropriate for your needs? Here are three critical reasons you should consider a cable with weather resistance and quality materials.
1. Useful for Electrical Appliances
The wires in SJTW cables are durable, which is critical if you need to connect even a smaller appliance to an outdoor source. For example, if you want to mount an outdoor TV for your backyard seating area, you need an extension cord capable of withstanding the damage that exposure to the elements may cause a standard cable.
2. Durable Enough for Industrial Use
You can find an SJTW extension cord in various sizes with several conductors, making them efficient for industrial use. Larger cables can accommodate more substantial power needs. For example, if you have a machine shop where you use heavy appliances that require large power sourcing, you can trust an SJTW cord to provide the power you need safely.
3. Excellent Choice for Lighting Power
Do you need something to connect outdoor lighting to a power source from your home or shop? SJTW cables can handle anything from heavy lighting in an industrial setting to the LED work light you put on the hood of your car in the driveway.
The rubber cables make them easy and safe to use in most weather conditions and help you avoid shortages and other electrical problems associated with outdoor lighting. SJTW cables are effective for everything from parking lot lamp posts to professional photography outdoor setups, regardless of their drastically different electrical needs.
How Does SJTW Extension Cord Differ From an SJOOW Cord?
The SJOOW cord is similar to the SJTW in many ways. Both have a 300-volt rating, are weather resistant for outdoor use, and classify as junior cables. You can generally use them for the same applications. However, the difference is in the materials used to insulate the power cord. The thermoplastic vinyl used for an SJTW cord protects it from water, dirt, and grim. Other commonalities include:
- • Both are among the cheaper extension cords on the market.
- • Both have high ratings for outdoor and indoor use.
- • Both are top choices for powering motors and small equipment.
- • Both are ideal for industrial and residential use.
The O in SJOOW refers it the cable jacket's oil resistance. An SJTOW cord means that only the jacket is oil resistant, but an SJOOW, with two Os, means that both the insulation surrounding the cable and the jacket surrounding the insulation are oil resistant. Be mindful of the environment in which you intend to use your extension cord before you purchase one.
Remember, the SJTW does not have insulation or jacketing that is oil resistant. However, unless you specifically need it under conditions that require heavy oil usage, it is a valuable product. If you need something that can provide all the benefits of an SJTW and oil resistance, consider an SJTOOW extension cord.
What Should You Consider Before Purchasing an SJTW Extension Cord?
Any time you have power needs that require an extension cord, you should consider the following elements before making a purchase:
- • Where do you intend to use it? Do you need a power extension to an outdoor area, such as your back or front yard? Will you need it inside for lighter work, such as an office where you may need a surge protector as well?
- • How many devices will you connect to it? Using a single power cord for multiple appliances can be tricky. You need sufficient voltage to ensure you do not cause a fire hazard.
- • How far is the distance between the outlet and your appliance? Everyone knows extension cords come in varying lengths. However, some do not realize stretching a cord to accommodate poor measurement is unsafe.
- • What are the electrical specifications for the appliance? Too much or too little voltage could damage your device. In some cases, it could cause a fire.
- • How often do you intend to use the device? Is this something you will use regularly or sporadically? How often you keep the cord connected to electrical power plays a role in the type of cord you need.
Indoor power cables are generally shorter than outdoor cords. People who use SJTW extension cords typically go for anywhere between 50 and 100 feet to allow them to move the cord around sufficiently.