5 Tips for Choosing and Managing Data Center Power Cords

Power Cords can make or break your electric system. Hence, choosing the right cord is inevitable. There are various things you must keep in mind before you purchase the power cords for your data center in order to avoid any failures later on. Let us have a look at them one by one.

  • Know the Equipment You Will Be Using

The data center requires routers, switches, modems, and many other IT equipment along with security cameras and cooling systems. It is possible that not all this equipment will require the same power cords. Attaching the wrong power cord can damage the equipment. To avoid such scenarios knowing the equipment’s maximum power voltage and type of connector is essential.

Different countries use different connector types, so if you have equipment imported from another country ensure the voltage and type beforehand. The other thing you will need is connectors. There are various types of connectors available in the market like c13 power connector, c15, c19 and many more. You can also keep a universal power cord handy in case any cord fails. This will help you resume the services quickly. One more thing to keep in mind is to ensure that you should not choose the cord that exceeds equipment maximum power voltage.

  • Organizing the Cords

We all know wires can make a mess. Data centers have hundreds of wires running here and there. And there is a high possibility of them getting tangled. It can get even worse if all the cords are the same color. In such situations locating a disconnected cord can be a challenge. You can save time and effort by color coding the wires based on their density and label them. Having these two things on the cord will quickly give you the idea of where it is coming from. You can also include detailed information on the label like its length, capacity, the name and number of the equipment, location of the equipment etc.

  • Length and Gauge of the Cord

The load capacity of the cord depends on its length and the gauge. Generally, as the length of the cord increases, the capacity to deliver the power decreases. So, for equipment with high load capacity, ensure the length of the cord is short, to prevent it from overheating the cord. The gauge defines the cords capacity to transmit the current. The low value of the gauge indicates higher capacity of the cord. For example, 8 AWG (American Wire Gauge) cords can carry more current and are thicker compared to 14 AWG cords.

  • De-Rating Approach

The cable load will be on for hours or say forever at your data centers. It is obvious that when current passes through the cords, the chances of them overheating increases. The National Electric Code (NEC) suggests that the size of the wire and the amperage must be lower or de-rated for the equipment with continuous application. For instance, if the cable has 100 amps rating then it is advisable to run them at 80 amps or below. Thus, these are best practices to avoid overheating, fires or shortages of the cord.

  • Use Angled Connectors

As there are a lot of high-density cables in the data center, it is highly possible that racks get overcrowded. Such conditions can lead to overheating of the cables. However, angled connectors can help organize them. They have different options like left, right, up, down and 45-degree angle connections. These connectors help in creating the space between the cables for airflow and help in cooling the servers. This connector also helps in reducing the chances of disconnecting the incorrect cord. Thus, organizing it well will ensure your services are not disrupted.


Choosing the right cord for your equipment will ensure its safety whereas managing the cords properly will ensure the cords longer shelf life. It will also reduce chances of disconnecting the wrong cord and also connecting the right cord during failure of the equipment or the cord. Last two important things to remember is that keep the universal power cord handy in case any cord fails and use the right connectors like c13 power connector, c15, or c19 according to the type of the cord.

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