The freezer is 110V and 1.6A (based on the specs on the back) The power cable is 3x18AWG 300V (from the jacket). Based on reference data, it seems like a 3 core cable is rated for 5A. (I assume 3x18 means three cores, but I'm not sure).

Am I interpreting this correctly, and is it safe to use this cable to connect the freezer to a wall outlet?

  • I don’t have my books but a 120v device has 2 current carrying conductors not 3 if that is the table you are looking at the 3 wire 120v cable is 2 current carrying conductors not 3 but the connectors may not be motor load rated I learned this while working for a leading computer company.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 5 at 3:10
  • Yes, in cordage (i.e. appliance cords), the /3 number includes the ground. So single-phase hot-neutral-ground is /3. Same thing in building wiring such as NM or UF cable is "/2" meaning /2+ground. Jun 6 at 2:24

Since you referenced 110v (sic) you are probably USA, cord capacities in The National Electrical Code can be found in Table 400.5(A)(1).

3x18 is two current carrying conductors and a non-current carrying Equipment Ground, so the table says it's good for 10A, should be fine for a 1.8A freezer.

The table you referenced matches the 7A allowed on 3 cores, but seems to lack the column for two current carrying cores (the most common residential application) that the NEC allows.

The computer cord won't be "UL" listed for a freezer, and the user manual for the freezer probably says to not use an extension cord.


Manufactures ratings for listed products in the United States are safe to connect on a 15 or 20 amp circuit. Yes some manufactures may use 18 awg cords.

Using an extension cord on a refrigerator is not normally approved by the manufacturer

A “computer” cord or cordage designed for a different device may not be safe even though the conductors may be ok there are different wattage computer connectors this is something many end users do not know that cord that came with your computer may not be safe in a device with a motor like a compressor that can draw 3-5x the name plate rating on startup. So although the cord may be fine the ends may melt down as they were not sized for another use.


There's another way to do this.

You could change the freezer cord to a longer one.

NEC does not specify a maximum length to appliance cords. So you can have a 30' cord if you have an application for that.

You can buy cordage and put your own plug on it, or you can buy cords with pre-molded plug ends at a variety of sizes and lengths. McMaster-Carr is one such source; you can also buy extension cords whose cordage is an appropriate type (such as SO) and cut off the socket end.

However if the freezer has a built-in GFCI in its plug, that's a bad idea. You don't want to defeat that protection. In that case I would go ahead and use an extension cord, but do it downline of an AFCI device (breaker or recep). The AFCI will look for the usual extension cord problem: arcing.

NOT a big fan of putting freezers on either GFCI or AFCI! If you do that, put an alarm in the freezer so it will sound if the power is cut or if the interior starts to warm.

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