How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Appliances like a kitchen disposal and water heater do not come with a power cord installed by the manufacturer because they can be either hard-wired through conduit to an electrical box or utilize a power cord to connect to a receptacle. Clothes dryers do not have a power cord already installed because the homeowner has to match the number of prongs at the end of the cord to the slots in their dryer receptacle at home: either an older-style 3-slot receptacle or a newer 4-slot receptacle. So the cord is purchased separately.
When a power cord is connected to terminals inside the appliance, the point where the cord penetrates the shell of the appliance needs to have a strain relief clamp, also sometimes called a cord connector, as a securing device. It attaches to the opening (knockout) and snugs down around the cord to do two things:
- Keep the wire connections of the cord inside the appliance from coming loose if the cord is tugged.
- The rounded edges at the outside of the clamp keep the edge of the casing from cutting into the cord sheathing from any back-and-forth movement of the cord.
Here’s three examples below of missing strain relief clamp locations we find during a typical home inspection.
And here’s a strain relief clamp correctly installed at the back of a dryer.
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