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I Forge Iron

Easy way to tell electrical cord plugs apart


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  • 5 months later...

We do that at work. Multiple wraps can work as well as multiple colors, too. Three wraps of red on both ends. Or, one red, one yellow on both ends. As long as the combos are the same, you'll always know which line goes where even if the line is long enough that you can't see the other end (works great in houses).

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Harold, I use strips of velcro tape. Little one for the phone charger, big one for the 100' 10ga welder extension cord. You can buy it by the roll and cut it to length, or packs of pre-made strips in black or colors that attach to the cord. Even Horrible Fright sells it.

Thanks John! I'm guessing that is to keep them coiled up when your not using them. My problem is I have four grinders plugged in at the same time going from one place to another. As I cross back and forth they get turned into a rats nest. My solution to help untangle them is they are all different color cords.
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I purposely put electric reciprocals in the ceiling of the photo studio. Easy to plug the lights into and no loose cords on the floor.

Used the same idea in the shop to the side of the work table. Thibeau has a great idea where he hangs the grinder etc from a hook on the ceiling. Cords and tools are out of the way but always handy.

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Color coding is usually a really good idea I like the tape and it may be less expensive than my old method of buying different colored cords.

Howard, it's pretty easy to avoid rats nesting elec cords by keeping them in buckets. Make a hole near the bottom large enough for the male end and just pile the cord in the bucket, the tool will show you where the end is.(wink) Cords, ropes, cables, etc. will NOT tangle if they're just piled and not disturbed, to tangle a line must pass through a loop or two. I didn't think the bucket trick would work so I tried it and it works a treat. Oh yeah, you can hang buckets from hooks on a wall so it's out of the way but handy, the cord doesn't care.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 months later...

This trick can be extended for even more cords. Say you've got four colors of tape. By putting two pieces of tape (or velcro or ties or paint or...) on, you can have up to 16 unique combinations. Five colors gives 25 uniquely labeled cords.


A velcro pigtail glued on the cord somewhere keeps the coil tidy in storage.

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4 colors

If you have 4 colors but just use 2 color wraps you get 4 x 4 = 16

If you have 4 colors and can use 4 color wraps, but only use each color once then you get 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24.

if you have 4 colors and can use 4 color wraps, and use each color more than once then you get 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 256.


When you finish taping the cords, put a layer of clear package tape over the color tape for protection and to keep it clean and bright.

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Knowing what to look for, $3.50 would seem reasonable.

Brady BMP21 Label Printer is $142.98
Brady BMP21 Label Printer Kit - Printer, Carrying Case, and AC Adapter $191.00

Colored Electrical Tape - 5 colors $4.87

Your Call (grin)

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  • 2 weeks later...

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