suicide cable

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So called because when one end is plugged into a live outlet, the exposed prongs of the other end are highly dangerous.


suicide cable (plural suicide cables)

  1. (informal, electrical work) A simple electrical cord with prongs on both ends; plugging one end into a live outlet (for example a generator) and the other end into a dead outlet (in a house with no power) allows power to be injected from the live outlet into the dead one.
    When the hurricane hit and I lost power, I fired up the generator and jacked it in to the outlet in my garage with a suicide cable; at least I was able to run a few lights and my refrigerator.
    • 2000 June 19, Philip Lewis, “Dedicated outlets for generator?”, in[1] (Usenet):
      I did the same thing as you, except I ran one suicide cable from the genset to the house, then because the genset is only 120v, I ran another suicide cable from phase to phase to get 120v throughout the house.
    • 2010 May 29, Cydrome Leader, “re: surge protectors”, in[2] (Usenet):
      Measure the voltage drop when it's on. Break out the suicide cables and test that same device using line to ground. Depending on how your place is wired, you may find that under an actual load, your ground is really awful.
    • 2011 February 25, Sylvia Else, “Not earthing a generator”, in aus.electronics[3] (Usenet):
      No, I'm not. That would only make sense if the grid power were persistently unreliable, which it isn't. Nor am I using a suicide cable.