Can NM-cable (Romex®) be used to make a cord and plug to connect an appliance?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The answer is no, and the principle behind it is simple: the electrical cords that manufacturers use for appliances, like the one shown above, have multiple strands in each wire that will flex repeatedly without breaking, but an NM-cable wire has a single, solid conductor that is only rated for use in a permanently installed branch circuit that is not moved once it is in place. 

    We occasionally see NM-cable used for a cord and plug to connect a water heater, disposal, or dishwasher. While it could be argued that these are not appliances like a vacuum cleaner that are frequently plugged and unplugged, NM-cable is just not rated for this use. Also, NM-cables are required to be secured and protected from damage by National Electrical Code (NEC), while cords are not. 

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:

Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit?

Can a short circuit cause a high electric bill?

What is the maximum spacing requirement for securing NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable)?

Is it alright to just put wire nuts on the end of unused or abandoned NM-cable or wiring?

What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?  

What are typical aluminum service entrance wire/cable sizes for the electrical service to a house?

Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house?

Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?  

Does a wire nut connection need to be wrapped with electrical tape?

What is the minimum clearance of overhead electric service drop wires above a house roof?

What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box? 

What is the color code for NM cable (Romex®) sheathing?

Why is undersize electric wiring in a house dangerous? 

What causes flickering or blinking lights in a house?

Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?

How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?

Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall? 

What is an open electrical splice?

What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection? 

What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house? 

What is an "open junction box"? 

How dangerous is old electrical wiring? 

What is a ground wire? 

I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring?  

What is "knob and tube" wiring?  

What is the code requirement for receptacle outlets in a closet?

   Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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