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How to Test a Power Cord

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The power cord is attached to almost all appliances. Power cords are made of two insulated wires. It has two ends, one end has the plug that goes into the wall power outlet. The other end of the power cord connects to a terminal box inside the appliance. Depending on the type of appliance, the power cord is subjected to repeated use, high temperature and strain. After an extended use of the cord, it may get burned and damaged. If the cord is damaged, the electricity can not flow into the appliance. All electric devices will stop working if there is no power going into the device. If you think that the power cord is causing any problem in your appliance, you can follow the steps below to test it.

  1. Take precaution: Turn off the power source by putting the control panel switch at OFF position or pulling out the fuse for the appliance. Unplug the power cord of your appliance from the wall outlet.
  2. Find power cord connector:Follow the power cord starting from the plug, you will find a connector box where the end of the cord enters. You may need to take out the back or the top of the appliance to get access to the connector. Disconnect the connector from the appliance by unscrewing the retaining screws.
  3. Disconnect Power cord: In general, the end of the power cord is held by a plastic plug. This plug is inserted into a female receptor in the connector. Pull off the plastic plug by using pliers. You will see metallic contacts at the end. Inspect the metallic contacts for burns or cracks. If the contacts have cracks or burns, they will not make proper contact and thereby prevent power flow. In this case, you need to replace the power cord.
  4. Test power cord visually: Visually check if you see any cracks, burns or any signs of damage between the two ends of the power cord. If there are visible damages, you need to replace the power cord. If damages are not visible, you need to test the cord for continuity.
  5. Test for continuity: Set your VOM (volt-ohm-meter) for testing continuity (RX1). Touch one prong of the plug with one of the VOM probes. Touch the contacts inside the plastic plug in the other side of the power plug with the remaining probe of the VOM. Repeat this process using the other prong of the power cord. You should get a reading of zero ohm in both the cases if the cord is good. If not, the power cord is bad and you need to replace it. Read how to replace power cord if you need instructions on how to install a power cord.