Talk:IEC 60320

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Electric jug?[edit]

What is an 'electric jug'? Does this mean an electric kettle? Is it an Australianism? Edward 08:47, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I live in Australia and have never heard it referred to as anything but an "electric Jug" or just a "jug". An electric kettle would be a good description I guess. (A "kettle" here is typcally a non-powered metal vessel with a spout on it, that is used on a gas or electric stove for the purpose of boiling water for coffee/tea etc. A "whistle" usually plugged into the spout, and when the water boiled and produced steam, the steam pressure would make the whistle would sound to tell you that the water has boiled)

Traditionally (until the 1980s when the modern molded plastic jugs came on the market) the Australian Electric Jug was a ceramic vessel with a flip-top plastic or bakelite lid, that looks like a water jug, and had an un-insulated 240v 1100w heating element inside it.

The arrangement of the lid, is that it cannot be lifted and opened when the electric cord receptacle is inserted, so you cant touch the internal live electric heating element when there is power present.

The special cord universally used on all these jugs (was also used on old toasters and some electric frypans that had a regulator built into the handle) was commonly referred to as a "jug cord". Jug elements are typically available in hardware stores etc for about $2 and you can replace them yourself.

this is a page of antique australian electric jugs (typical)

Earth pin[edit]

IEC60320 C13.jpg

Jeez, I have been searching the web for half an hour and still can't find the info I'm looking for: Which of the connectors are the Earth (ground) ?? I hope it's the middle one, cuz now I'm tired of searching and will hope for the best :-() The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

the connector in the photo on the right has the live neutral and earth marked on it (you look carefully to see it though). Plugwash 11:38, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Safety ground is the center pin. notice in the article how the ungrounded version of this connector has no center pin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Tasty iron[edit]

Hello There is another that's looks like this, that fit in a heating machine like a tasty iron The cable can handle more temperature than a standard Euro-cable. -- (talk) 13:41, 13 August 2008 (UTC) Stef

Probablly a C16, if you want a positive identification though you will need to supply pictures. Plugwash (talk) 20:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

All IEC connectors[edit]

At some point, we should turn this article into a description of all IEC 320 connectors. Photo or drawing contributions needed, preferably all with equal aspect ration (say 4:3), so they can be arranged into a table. Markus Kuhn 17:05, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Chassis plug and line socket[edit]

Aren't the images of the chassis plug and line socket exchanged? The thing labeled socket looks like a plug and vice versa...? -- 10:01, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

It depends how you define plug and socket. If you define plug as the part with pins and socket as the part with holes for the pins then the descriptions are correct and this is what the parts catalogs i use tend to do (though they often reffer to the panel plugs as inlets). Remeber as well as the chasis plugs and line sockets shown in this article you can also get line plugs and chassis sockets. Plugwash 12:34, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The terms "male" and "female" are often used. Perhaps that would help clarify. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:41, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
They have the same problem. jhawkinson 02:31, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Except, here they really are reversed: the socket accepts the plug, not the pins. That's where people are getting confused. Where the pins are are somewhat irrelevant to the question. The C13 is the plug, not the socket. The C14 is the socket, because the C14 accepts the C13. Where the pins are doesn't matter. Ayengar (talk) 20:27, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
As I said all the parts catalogs i've seen listing theese connectors use plugs for the part with the pins and socket for the part with the holes. Remember you can plug a line plug into a line socket with no chassis connectors incolved. Plugwash (talk) 15:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Which is irrelevant. Even if you are talking about bare connectors not attached to any wire, the C14 still accepts the C13. The shell on the perimeter of the C14 is an integral part of the connector. Ayengar (talk) 22:47, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
The C13/14 descriptions were slightly out -- I edited them based on the above discussion and some sources:
There's a lot of confusion over this matter, I think due to the semantics of "plug" versus "socket". C13 "plugs" or "sockets" (depending on whether they are on the end of the cable or in a PDU respectively, in my opinion, but others differ above) have holes in them, whereas C14 have pins in them. I agree with above that C13 => "female" and C14 => "male" is probably a good clarification. (talk) 15:10, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
It's kinda similar to the situation with XLR, both male and female connectors exist in panel mount variants and cable mount variants. You can't usually (thoguh i've seen variants that do allow it) plug a male and female chasiss mount together but you can certainly plug a male and female cable mount variant together. Given the confusing and varied use of plug and socket with relation to these connectors I think the best bet is to reword the article to avoid using the terms plug and socket apart from a mention in the introduction that they are used inconsistantly.
Jhawkinson: I disagree there, there is a widely established convention that male and female reffer to the gender of the pins, not of any other feature of the connector. Plugwash (talk) 19:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Physical compatibilities not noted[edit]

My guess based on the pictures at the link: C13 fits C18, C15 fits C14 (as noted), C21 fits C20 and C24, C19 fits C24. Maybe C5 fits C4 (it makes electrical sense)? --Random|[[User talk:Random832|832]] 19:05, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Kettle leads[edit]

The article lists C16/16 for use in kettles, however my kettle uses a C13 lead. In fact every literal kettle lead I can remember using in the UK was a BS4491 (C13). I assume the main reason I couldn't use a computer cable in my kettle is that it would blow the fuse. --Zoganes 15:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I've seen kettles that use both types. I suspect it depends on the design of the particular kettle (in particular how much heat can get to the socket area. Plugwash 01:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
The reason you can't use a computer cable in your kettle is because kettle leads require a higher temperature rating then computer leads, so this has been made impossible by the physical shape of the connector. Lmatt (talk) 02:31, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
All of the kettles I've seen in the UK are the C16 type (although cordless ones are far more common than them) KevS 18:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Appliance plug[edit]

The article currently says the c15 and c16 cords have been obsoleted by the "appliance plug" the appliance plug page sayse the appliance plug has been obsoleted and replaced by IEC C15 and C16 cord. I'm a Yank and I dont even know anyone who owns a tea kettle, so I'm not going to try to correct one page or the other, but they can't both be right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:29, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

This article was wrong and now appears to have been fixed, the appliance plug is long gone, C15 and C16 were later but they have mostly gone too because of cordless kettles Plugwash (talk) 19:59, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


{{Image requested|Technology|of=the C1,C2,C3,C4,C11,C12,C21,C22,C23 and C24 connectors need photos also outlet variants of connectors that do not have them would be nice}} There should be a photo for every plug type. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:30, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Squared C7 name?[edit]

I have seen several C7 type connectors that have the left side squared off. (The one photographed shows a rounded left and right hole). Does anyone know what the squared varient is called? -- 22:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Some vendors refer to this as "C7 Polarized," e.g. Quail Electronics. Apparently this connector is used on Sony's Playstation 2. jhawkinson 02:30, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm sure the PS-2's i've seen have used a normal figure eight lead and i don't remember the socket being squared either. Plugwash 02:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
A quick Google Image Search turned up this photo of a PS2 with a polarized C7. My PS2 (Model SCPH-39001/N) is polarized as well, as is my old PS1 (Model SCPH-9001). The other end of both cables is a standard NEMA 1–15P. —Wulf 05:34, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
My olympus AA x 4 battery charger came with a squared off plug; but I can use a rounded one. Speculatrix (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 11:54, 26 November 2008 (UTC).
No doubt that this version existed, bur was it ever part of the standard? (I know that it has not been since the second edition was published in 1981.) Mautby (talk) 00:54, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Current mismatch?[edit]

It is extremely common to find power cords with a C13 on one end and a NEMA 5-15P on the other. The C13 is rated at 10A while the 5-15P is rated at 15A. How is this allowed? Is the C13 allowed to carry 15A when operated at 120V? Similar situation with 5-20P (20A) and C19 (16A). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The 5-15P has a 'maximum' current of 15A, but any device that draws <=15A and needs a ground will use it. So it is fine for a 1A device to use a 5-15P. I can't speak to the 5-20P issue. jhawkinson 16:20, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Lets say that we have a cord with a C13 on one end and a 5-15P on the other. We plug it in and draw 14A. This is OK for the 5-15P, which is rated at 15A, but the C13 is drawing more current than it is rated for. I assume this is bad. This setup is so common I am wondering if there some kind of exception allowing it.
The same applies if you plug a 15A multi plug adaptor into an outlet on a 20A circuit and then load it down with big appliances. The fact is that most wiring systems do not provide absoloute protection against being overloaded (and even when the protection rating matches the rating of the connectors fuses and circuit breakers respond *VERY* slowly to small overloads). Most of the time however this sort of thing isn't too much of a problem because short term overloads don't really do that much damage and long duration high loads are fairly unusual in domestic and light commercial settings (and in industrial settings there really should be someone qualified keeping an eye on the electrics). Plugwash 18:09, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
A good design will not use a C13 on a device that will draw more than 10A. So assuming a good design, the device will draw 10A or less, which doesn't exceed the maximum current through either the C13 or a NEMA 5-15P or a NEMA 5-20P. While the NEMA connectors could support a higher current, they will not force a higher current. If the device draws more than 10A, then the C13 should not have been used in the first place. The same applies for any connector combination - the connector to the power company side of the cable can have a higher current rating than the connector on the device side, because the device won't exceed the current rating of the device-side connector. Another way to think about it is that the device side connector will pull a maximum of XX amperes. The power company side of the cable has to support at least XX amperes - any current rating higher than XX would also be sufficient, while any current rating less than the current rating of the device connector has the potential to overload that connector. Drcarasco (talk) 19:56, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
The maximum current rating for a lead should be no more than the current rating of the weakest part of the lead.
So, if a lead is made up of a 13 amp plug (as in a standard UK 13A 3-pin mains plug) at one end, a 10 amp C13 plug at the other end, joined together with a 3 core 0.75mm2 cable (which is rated at 6 amp) then the lead should be protected with a 6 amp (or less) fuse in the 3-pin plug. If the plugs were joined with a 3 core 1mm2 cable (rated at 14 amps) then the fuse can be up to 10 amp.
I am in the UK where our flex leads use a 3-pin plug with a fuse carrier in the live connection in the plug, the fuse should be rated to protect the lead from over heating if a fault arises in the lead or the connected appliance. Brannocks (talk) 22:56, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Brannocks: I am also in the UK but you have to understand that while we brits obsess about this nowhere else does. Fused plugs are basically unheared of outside of the UK and other places we influenced.
Drcaraso it is indeed true that a device shouldn't be fitted with an inadequate connector but that still leaves plenty of ways to overload these connectors with adaptors, passthrough connectors etc. And there is of course the possibility of fault conditions. Plugwash (talk) 19:30, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

History of IEC Plugs[edit]

What is the early history of the IEC-320 connectors? What is the firt use of IEC-320 C13 connectors? They were in "common" use before 1980 Please give any early examples, thanks 18:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I found a reference to a 1970 edition of IEC 320. It would be nice to have some history, but that's true of most electrotechnology-related articles on the Wikipedia. We've got lots of "what", often have "who" (especially when Tesla is involved), very little "when" and almost no "why". --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:09, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

More on polarised C7s[edit]

It would be interesting to know whether there's any compatibility between the polarised and unpolarised versions of the C7 and C8 connectors... will an unpolarised ("shotgun") C7 plug into a polarised C8 receptacle for example, and if not what stops it. There could be safety issues both ways, but it looks from the pictures as if it might work one way around and not the other. Either way, it would be good to know. Andrewa (talk) 12:22, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

In either case... does anyone else see anything wrong with this sentence?
Unpolarised C7 connectors can be used with appliances that require a polarized C8.
Well, I'm changing it anyway. rowley (talk) 22:19, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Keep connectors out of reach of young children[edit]


Can we put some warning on the page to keep this kind of connectors out of reach of children and animals Sometimes they want to put is in the mouth

Stef Breukel -- (talk) 13:48, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

...Is this a joke? --Wulf (talk) 05:48, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I know I absent mindedly put one in my mouth years ago, OUCH! Plugwash (talk) 19:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

"Telefunken" lead[edit]

I grew up with this phrase in the UK to describe the figure of 8 lead (C7) when they were less common, however I have rarely heard it in the last ten years, and I can only find a couple of hits for "Telefunken lead" or "Telefunken cable" that call it so. Does anyone know why they are also called Telefunken leads? (talk) 17:20, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe they were introduced on portable radios and cassette recorders by Telefunken. A competing plug was the Paros plug - similar but rectangular - most machines using that one have long since broken down. EmleyMoor (talk) 18:38, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

My belief was that the Paros was a rounded figure of 8 whereas the Telefunken had one side squared off, as you state, we are a dying breed and i can find no information other than what's in my head. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 14 April 2013 (UTC)


from a quick look at some pics online it seems that a c15a connector can be used with a c16 inlet but a c15 connector will not fit a c16a inlet, can anyone confirm this? Plugwash (talk) 23:58, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Changes to page[edit]

Have been using this page on a regular basis recently and have found it to be completely inadequate. Made a few minor changes to the page like join two images together and added a drawing of the C13 & C14 connectors. Also, found more interesting links as follows:

Decided to work on a table like in, what I would consider our sister article, AC power plugs and sockets. Following is far from complete and requires new drawings for most connectors.

IEC 60320 Connectors Reference Table
IEC 60320 designation Style (Male(inlet)/Female) Drawing IEC protection class Max. Rated Current (Amps) Max. Rated Temp (°C) Example application
C1 Female IEC 60320 C1.svg II 0.2A 70°C Electric shaver
C2 Male
C3 Female II 2.5A 70°C Unknown
C4 Male
C5 Female I 2.5A 70°C Apple IMac
C6 Male
C7 Female II 2.5A 70°C Dual Insulated Power Supplies
C8 Male
C9 Female II 6A 70°C
C10 Male
C11 Female I 10A 70°C
C12 Male
C13 Female I 10A 70°C
C14 Male
C15 Female I 10A 120°C
C16 Male
C17 Female II 10A 70°C Xbox 360
C18 Male
C19 Female I 16A 70°C
C20 Male
C21 Female 16A 155°C
C22 Male
C23 Female II 16A 70°C
C24 Male

William Branston (talk) 01:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Maximum Current Ratings C13/C14[edit]

The article says these are "3-conductor 15A. Most desktop personal computers use the fifteen-amp panel-mounting C14 inlet ...", but William's table and most references he cites list it as 10A (one suggests 10/15)

Would someone be kind enough to clarify the situations where 15A and 10A are applicable, please, and amend the article so us newbs are not so confused ;-)

Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:36, 13 April 2011 (UTC)


I recommend we move this article to IEC 60320 as it more accurately describes the contents of the article. Rewriting to reflect this change will be necessary. Lmatt (talk) 23:30, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Now the IEC 60309 section has been removed I renamed the article to IEC 60320 Lmatt (talk) 23:34, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
While I agree with the rename, do we really need to remove the IEC 60309 section [1] entirely? Should we include some sort of summary style section for these connectors, even if the original text will need to be reworded a little?

Another thought is we probably should have a {{redirect}} hatnote since IEC connector redirects here so that readers can find what they are looking for. Another option if we have other IEC connector articles would be to either create IEC connector (disambiguation) or possibly turn the IEC connector redirect itself into a disambiguation page. Given how common it is to refer to C13/C14 connectors as "IEC connectors" it would probably be best to maintain the IEC connector redirect to IEC 60320 and just use a separate IEC connector (disambiguation) page if we have more articles than IEC 60320 and IEC 60309 though. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:53, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

I just noticed the IEC 62196 article, so that makes a total of 3 (so far), so I'll go ahead and set up the disambiguation page. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:56, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I added a description of IEC 60309 in see also. Lmatt (talk) 03:57, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better to work something about IEC 60309 back into the body of the article instead of the See also section? --Tothwolf (talk) 04:03, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
It belongs in the See also section since the article is about IEC 60320. The description there could be expanded a little perhaps? Lmatt (talk) 05:13, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

How big?[edit]

A representative dimension on each receptacle would be very useful to gain some idea of the scale of these connectors - perhaps center-to-center spacing of the blades for each type? This is readily available for the NEMA connectors, but I haven't found a source for IEC. We don't need all the critical dimensions, but a general indication of the spacing would help readers grasp the approximate size of connectors. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:21, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

I have a copy of the standard, and it gives the exact dimensions for the connectors. I could look into doing some updated diagrams, but I'm not sure when I'll have the time. We already need diagrams for the C3/C4 and and the C11/C12, but I didn't see the diagrams for these in the version of the standard I have on hand. Were these dropped at some point after the change from IEC 320 to IEC 60320? If so, when were they removed from the standard? --Tothwolf (talk) 06:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I'm not really sure we should merge Mating Connectors here (it certainly should be renamed IEC 60320-2-2 though). It covers a parallel and related topic, but not the exact same topic as this article. I would like to avoid what happened with IEC 60309 or having this article grow too large and then have to be split back out again. --Tothwolf (talk) 06:29, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Actually they do cover the same topics: both cover IEC 60320-1 and IEC 60320-2-2. Merging all the IEC 60320 content from Mating Connectors and then leaving what is left to be moved to IEC 60320-2-2 seems like a good idea though. But then IEC 60320 should really be moved to IEC 60320-1. Lmatt (talk) 07:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I would really like to discourage articles about sub-parts of technical standards; I don't think it's an appropriate level of detail for an encyclopedia, and I don't think sub-parts are independently notable from their overall standard. (Few technical standards are notable anyway, outside of their own industry.) Encyclopedias are supposed to be a condensed overview of knowledge, not a catalog of every published fact. There's no referenced content in Mating Connectors that can be salvaged anyway; it's a rehash of what's already in this article and some unreferenced gneralities about "standards are good things" and appliance testing. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:31, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Despite the naming, while the two are related, it is actually covered by a separate standards document, and is not really a subpart. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:22, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
For that fact, the very first line of this article begins: "IEC 60320 (formerly IEC 320) is a family of international standards [...]" (emphasis mine) --Tothwolf (talk) 14:42, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
If the IEC has put them all under the same number, who are we to split them asunder? Could we not do a nice encyclopediac overview of what 60320 and its components mean, without copying the scope text of each sub-part and calling that an article? --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:47, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The family number is 60320. According to the 60320-1 standards document I have sitting on my desk, 60320-1 covers the general requirements and the cord-mounted connectors aka "appliance couplers" covered in this article. 60320-2-2 covers some of the material currently in Mating Connectors which includes "interconnection couplers", aka the flanged outlet in this photo on the far right, and the plug next to the outlet on the far right. --Tothwolf (talk) 15:42, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
And 60320-2-1 covers "Sewing machine couplers.." and 2-3 is for protection ratings above IPX0. But to the man-in-the-street they are probably all lumped together as "plugs" and "sockets". The article should be trying to find a place somewhere between "it's a kettle plug" and paraphrasing the standard. Preferably also giving some of the history of the standard, why it came about, the degree to which it has been adopted and any notable problems with it. GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. Rough merge done, now we can sort the rest of it out and add some proper citations. --Tothwolf (talk) 16:19, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, IEC 60320-2-2 does not specify "appliance outlets" and "plug connectors" which correspond with the 60320-1 C1/C2, C9/C10, C15/C16, C15A/C16A, and C21/C22. 60320-2-2 does however specify plugs and outlets that correspond with the 60320-1 C5/C6, C7/C8, C13/C14, C17/C18, C19/C20, and C23/C24. --Tothwolf (talk) 16:41, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I thought it useful to point out that 60302-1 is for sets of connectors that get power from the wall to the appliance, and 60302-2-2 is for connectors that an appliance uses to feed something else. Old-timers among us will remember the very handy outlet on the back of some PC power supplies, where you could, in principle, plug in your monitor so that it went on and off with the computer power. Only trouble for us N. Americans is that we needed a rare and goofy IEC to NEMA adapter to match our monitor, usually, unless IBM thoughtfully packed a mating cord with their monitor. This puts a lower bound on the age of these standards -- certainly the 1981 PC used an IEC 320 inlet and cord set and it wasn't unique at the time. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:40, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Some monitors actually shipped with short cords that had an IEC 320 plug connector for direct connection to the appliance outlet on the computer's power supply. You could of course plug the IEC 320 connector from a normal power cord into the IEC 320 plug connector on the monitor to connect it with a normal power cord instead. Most PC shops of the era usually had IEC 320 plug adapters in stock too.

The downside to the appliance outlet on the rear of the AT power supplies (see this photo) is the output current was limited by the computer's power switch. With the original power supplies from major vendors such as IBM, the switches were more than sufficient for the combined load of the computer power supply and a 12-14" CRT monitor. Problems began to turn up later as 15" and larger SVGA monitors hit the market because of the larger power requirements combined with the cheap import switches used by 386 and 486 IBM-compatible clones in tower style cases. The cheaper switches weren't designed to handle more than a few amps, total, and I replaced quite a number of these switches that failed for this very reason. The large orange toggle switches used by the PC/XT/AT 286 and 386 clones in desktop style cases tended to hold up well though.

IBM included the appliance outlet on the PC, XT, AT, and PS/1 (the PS/1's display made use of it), but they stopped including them when they introduced the PS/2 line. (See this photo for one example.) PC/XT/AT clones that used the "AT size" full-size power supplies in a desktop style case also included the appliance outlet. Most (but not all) clones that used "PS/2" power supplies (see this photo, also note the cheap push button switch) in both desktop and tower style cases also included the appliance outlet. With the shift to ATX power supplies (see this photo) which used soft-power, the appliance outlets were largely dropped since including them meant also including a relay to control power to the outlet. The extra space on the rear of the power supply also gave manufacturers a place to add a manual power switch, although not all manufacturers include the switch. --Tothwolf (talk) 17:41, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Should be a table[edit]

We can either change that long list of bullet points into a table, or else blow up the color tables to make them big enough to read. It's the same information in two forms, a bit redundant and hard to keep consistent. The table might say something like plug name, inlet name, rated current, rated temperature, grounding, polarized, illustration, and remarks. --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The table above would do very nicely! --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:37, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Might be good to have the protection class in the table and mention this was why C3/C4 and C11/C12 were withdrawn (they were class 0) Lmatt (talk) 17:19, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
A ref for that would be wonderful. But how does a cord set get an appliance class? It may or may not have a ground lead - I don't see why either one of those could not have been used with double-insulated appliancces that don't need a ground lead, rather like C1 or C7. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't have any references, but C3/C4 and C11/C12 were designed for non-double-insulated appliances. I think they are deliberately incompatible with the other connectors to prevent their importation to countries that don't allow such appliances, or something... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lmatt (talkcontribs) 19:45, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not yet convinced the C3 and C11 are appliance class 0. This link labels them as class II, however this link lists them as 0. I'm more inclined to go with class II, because that would seem to make the most sense since these are 2-pole connectors without an earth terminal. (Appliance classes#Class II) The later link which lists them as class 0 also lists 65°C instead of 70°C, but maybe this difference was due to the changeover from IEC 320 to 60320? --Tothwolf (talk) 19:47, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
We need a reference. The C3 and C11 standard sheets aren't in the current edition of the standard, and I have no access to old editions. --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:15, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
This link which Lmatt found is interesting too. It too lists the C3 and C11 as class 0 and also lists 65°C instead of 70°C. It also mentions under the C3: "This is a two-conductor version of the Mickey Mouse cord C5/C6 but with Mickey's face replace with a solid line" and under the C11: "Looks like the C8/C10 with a slot in the top only". Some of this seems to be confirmed from the photo at this link which allows direct comparison of the C5/C3 and the C10/C11. Based on this, it would seem one could have used a C11 in place of a C10 or a C5 in place of a C3, much like using a C13 in place of a C17 or a C19 in place of a C23. --Tothwolf (talk) 13:21, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the article already mentions that more capable cords can be used in less demanding inlets, but not the reverse. Web sites are a little erratic, they rarely cite their references and unless 60320 got revised the temperature should always be 70 C. At least one Web site cited in this article has interchanged inlet and connector standards sheet numbers. The C11 can't look like both the C8 and the C10; pin spacing is different and a connector can't be both a connector and an inlet nor round and square at the same time. I can't tell from the diagrams if you could have jammed a C5 grounded connector into a C4 ungrounded, but polarized,inlet, because I don't know the overall dimensions of each; the ground conductor looks like it might be a bit too fat to fit in place of the keying ridge. We don't have a non-Web reference to show if the lost C3/C4 had 10 mm spacing like a C5/C6, or 8.6 mm spacing like a C7/C8 - right now the article says 10 mm, but a reference would be good. (For once I'm growing to like an IEC-ism where we speak of "connectors", "inlets" and "outlets" - the contact holes on the end of a C13 are female, but the plug body is male - it's worse than sexing snails. ) Earliest trace of IEC 320 I've found so far was a snippet on Google Books dated 1974. And when did CEE change from the "International Commission on the Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment‎" to "[[International Electrotechnical Commission Electrical Equipment"? Some books say these used to be separate bodies. The IEC Web site is stone useless for history of their organization, and their "history of plugs and sockets" page is 404-compliant. And when did VDE (?) or DIN (?) hand off these plug and socket designs to IEC? The plug museum Web page is interesting for all the pictures, but again, no bibliography--Wtshymanski (talk) 13:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Based on the drawing of the no-go test gauge, 10mm pin spacing would appear to be correct for the C3/C4, although it would be far better if we could get a look at an earlier revision of IEC 60320 or IEC 320. You may be correct on a C5 connector not fitting into a C4 inlet, but without the standards documents we are both still just guessing. Because the current version of 60320-1 goes with 70°C, that's clearly what we should be listing. If we find an earlier revision used 65°C, then we can note the change from 65°C to 70°C somewhere in the article body. --Tothwolf (talk) 14:15, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The lost C11/C12 probably should not have both 10 mm spacing and 10 amp rating. If it look like C9/C10, why would the polarized edition have a different rating than the non-polarized? Let's see, the polarizing slot is on the connector, with a ridge on the inlet. You can't put a non-polarized C9 cord rated at 9 A into a missing C12 polarized inlet that also has a higher current rating, but it seems odd to combine both current and polarization keying this way. If you could jam a C9 past the ridge of a C12, it seems poor practice to put a 6 A cord into an 10 A inlet. All the other 10 A inlets have 14 mm spacing. This seems an odd glitch for the logical European mind, or is this the same logical mental process that made a prefixed unit of mass a base SI unit? --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Origins? Reasons? Inventions?[edit]

It would be nice to know where all this came from - were these connectors pulled from the wreckage of a flying saucer, or was there a development history? Who invented these plugs? When did they become standardized? --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, we know the original "standard" was IEC 320. I'd like to have more information myself since as I noted above, the C3/C4 and the C11/C12 connectors appear to have been dropped from 60320 at some point. On a related note, [2] this appears to be correct. The temperature ratings for the connector pins in the standard specify 70 °C. Page 7 states:
"70 °C for connectors for cold conditions"
"120 °C for connectors for hot conditions"
"155 °C for connectors for very hot conditions"
The charts on pages 75-76 have the same information. This is interesting to compare with NEMA connectors for example, which have a termination rating of 60 °C, which is what is also specificed by the National Electrical Code. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:10, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
All that IEC 320 would tell us is that the saucer crashed before 1997 (or whenever the 60XXX prefix was applied to IEC standards). There's some VDE standards that come up on Google Books but in German, so I'm not sure which came first.
Can anyone tell me, is it the intention of IEC 60320-2.2 to have plugs and inlets of the same dimensions as 60320.1 ? The copy I can access doesn't say so in so many words, but does give dimension sheets. The sewing machine couplers are not supposed to mate with 60320-2.2 or .1, it says so in so many words. Why are sewing machines special? Fascinating - and our office standards collection is irregular (I can see versions of 60320 but not 60309!) --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:37, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
More questions. Why are sewing machines so special? The standard doesn't give a dimension sheet, just minimum anyone can produce any shape they like and call it a 60302-2-1 connector. And what happened to C3/C4 and C11/C12? They aren't in the version I can access. Why were tbey dropped, and when? --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:27, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Some Google Books snippets from "Wireless World" talk about IEC 320 plugs being advertised as early as 1976. This puts an upper limit on the year of the saucer crash. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:20, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
According to 60320-1, rewireable connectors are not allowed for C1 connectors, however I discovered this photo on commons of a rewireable C1 connector. --Tothwolf (talk) 00:11, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
As for why sewing machines are special I belive the answer is because sewing machine connectors often have both a permanent live and a switched live from the pedal (at least on the sewing machines i've seen). Plugwash (talk) 02:31, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

This article currently lacks a proper lead section. The text currently in the lead section is a list of the various IEC 60320-x standards. While this list should be included in a section of this article, it does not do a good job of introducing the topic to a new reader because it is difficult for someone unfamiliar with this topic to understand. --Tothwolf (talk) 10:04, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Agreed, the lead section used to be much better for the newcomer. I CBA to find out who deconstructed it or why but i've tried to restore the important content while keeping the new information and keeping the fit with the new title. Plugwash (talk) 02:28, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Wtshymanski just undid most of my changes to the lead section claming it was "redundant" I have just reverted him and am explaining why here.
I quote from Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)
"The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points" (emphasis mine)
In other words a lead section is SUPPOSED to be redundant with information later in the article because it is supposed to be summarising it. One shouldn't have to search the article they reach on a redirect just to confirm that what it is reffering to is indeed the well known family of connectors containing IEC connectors, cloverleaf connectors, figure eight connectors and so on.Plugwash (talk) 03:45, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
A lead is also supposed to be SHORT. Let's delete the table instead, since your lead now has the whole contents of the article in it. --Wtshymanski (talk) 04:00, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I've justreread the MOS and indeed it was a bit overlength, I've had another go at it and hopefully removed some fluff while keeping the important stuff like common names and the convention of having two different codes for each type. Plugwash (talk) 10:03, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
When I made the original post here, this is what the "lead section" looked like. Wtshymanski later began working on improving it, [3] so it had already changed somewhat between my original post here and Plugwash's reply. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

suspect images[edit]

This article contains a number of images that seem to have been copy/pasted from the standard (though I haven't actually checked agianst the standard itself the formatting and naming really implies that they have). They have been uploaded under claims of a CC license but I find that hard to beleive. 12:25, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

No, they aren't taken from the standard. I just checked my accessible on-line copy of 60320.1:2004, the summary table in Figure 1 on pages 72-73 and the standard sheets on pages 44-67. The diagrams in the standard are only outlines and have no shading; they also have center lines and dimension lines. The diagrams in the standard have hatching around the female couplers. These illustrations are clearly different from the pictures in the standard. These are very simple objects and any depiction of them is necessarily going to strongly resemble the diagrams in the standard. Why would you allege this when you haven't even checked? --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:25, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
They appeared to have been taken from somewhere (they is they looked very proffesional and yet at the same time out of place). I assumed (wrongly) the most likely place they had been taken from would be the standard, it seems that assumption was wrong.
However the images are still suspect. Doing some further research (googling the caption) it looks like they were taken from Plugwash (talk) 17:13, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, you're talking about the colored tables (Table 1, table 2, etc.) - I'd ask the original provider what the story is, but they do rather strongly resemble the tables in the publication you've cited. Blow 'em away, they are redundant anyway. You were right to be suspicious of any Wikipedia content that appears professional or correctly spelled. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:28, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Never mind trying to contact the original contributor, according to Wikimedia Commons [4] she was only here for 20 minutes in 2009 and hasn't contributed since. You might want to let Commons know these images are copyright violations. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:39, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Images for deletion[edit]

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CSA/UL ratings[edit]

Could we get a reference saying that any connector rated by IEC 60320 standards is rated by CSA and UL at a higher current than the IEC rating? "Why" would also be interesting to know. --Wtshymanski (talk) 03:38, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't know the reason why but i've dug up a few datasheets from Schurter (who afaict are a major manufacturer of IEC connectors) that claim higher UL/CSA ratings than the IEC standard ratings is a C13 connector and claims "Ratings IEC 10 A / 250 VAC; 50 Hz" "Ratings UL/CSA 15 A / 250 VAC; 60 Hz" is a C15 connector and likewise claims "Ratings IEC 10 A / 250 VAC; 50 Hz" "Ratings UL/CSA 15 A / 250 VAC; 60 Hz" documents a range of C19/C20 that they claim are UL/CSA certified to 20A
-- Plugwash (talk) 15:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Frustrating. Is it just a case that Manufacturers A, B,C, test their IEC connectors to 15 Amps and certify the, or is it a general principle that the IEC test at 10 amps guarantees passing UL or CSA at 15? Wish I had a good contact inside the CSA - an E-mail to them might turn up something, though. It looks like 60320 requires testing a 10 amp plug at 12.5 amps, which gets you part way to 15 amps. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:53, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Do we really need a column for appliance class?[edit]

especially when it is essentially duplicating the "earth contact" column right next to it. Plugwash (talk) 11:23, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikpedia thrives on redundant explication of the trivial but have at it. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:29, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

C5/C6 measurement wrong, or new standard?[edit]

I just received a sample of a lighting fixture from China that has an "inlet" that looks exactly like C5/C6, however the pin spacing (line to neutral) measures 9.0mm center-to-center rather than the 10mm listed for C5/C6. I could upload a photo, but it would look exactly like the ones for C5/C6. So is the 10mm shown for C5/C6 wrong? Or is this something new? Or maybe unique to China? Professor Hosquith (talk) 20:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

A lot of references seem to think 10 mm center to center is the right number. Does the Chinese part claim to be an IEC 60320 connector? --Wtshymanski (talk) 22:08, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't know. The manufacturer doesn't identify what standard it is. I've contacted them to find out. Will update once I know. Professor Hosquith (talk) 04:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

For what it's worth, Standard Sheet C6 on page 47 of IEC 60320.1:2004 shows the center-to-center distance as 10 mm. The "NOT GO" gauge on page 79 has the pins spaced 9.9 mm on centers. Whatever the 9 mm connector is, it's not a compliant IEC C5/C6. Maybe it's delibrately incompatible for interlocking or security purposes? --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:36, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

C7 Polarization: Believe square pin is neutral[edit]

The article currently says that the polarized C7 has the round pin as neutral and the square pin as live. The evidence presented is a chopped cable showing the round pin wired as blue and the square pin is brown.

This assumes on the person wiring the cable uses European colour coding but without knowing the wiring of the other end of the cable I'm not sure it actually tells us much.

I just purchased a pre-moulded C7-PW to NEMA 1-15 cable and it has been wired so that the square pin goes to the wider of the two prongs. The article on NEMA_1 says that the wider pin is neutral which makes the square pin neutral which is wrong according to this article.

So, does anyone know for certain who is correct? Nick Austin (talk) 11:10, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. That statement's been deleted from the article and it currently says nothing, but here's a manufacturer's drawing clearly showing polarization preserved (and marked with ribbing) from the NEMA 1-15P neutral blade to the square pin. (talk) 22:27, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Plugs Sockets Connectors and Gender[edit]

THIS SECTION HAS BEEN COPIED FROM THE TALK PAGE FOR AC power plugs and sockets. IT COVERS ASPECTS OF BOTH SUBJECTS. Mautby (talk) 23:21, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

I innocently corrected what I thought was a simply oversight/misunderstanding on this page; which came about because of a kit that tried to build a "plug" into chassis, and then connect a plug (in- over- round-?) it, but on later reading this talk page (read: rookie) by DieSchwarzPunkt I was rather surprised at the extent. Plugs fill holes (sockets, which may or may not be shrouded, shielded, internal, external.) Connecting pins are designated male or female and have nothing to do with plugs and sockets, which can be male or female.

The text "Plugs have male circuit contacts, while sockets have female contacts" contradicts both ASME_Y14.44-2008 which follows the same commonsense of Gender_of_connectors_and_fasteners <IEEE STD 100 and ANSI Y32.16 (identical to IEEE 200-1975 and replaced by ASME Y14.44-2008) which define "Plug" and "Jack" by location or mobility, rather than gender.[3][4]>

and partly the picture with explanatory text to the right. To clear up confusion, because the hermaphroditic socket with the male earth pin shown in the picture is normally never energized (and this plug/socket combination, incompatible with surrounding countries, is likely to disappear into the museum one day) a picture of a male socket (eg a portable cement mixer might be more useful. It does not contradict Gender_of_connectors_and_fasteners:- <In some cases (notably electrical power connectors), the gender of connectors is selected according to rigid rules, to enforce a sense of one-way directionality (e.g. a flow of power from one device to another). This gender distinction is implemented to enhance safety or ensure proper functionality by preventing unsafe or non-functional configurations from being set up.> because the term connectors is used which like plugs and sockets may also be of any gender and the female connector must of course be the energized one. Referring to these as sockets on cables as in common usage ( on extension leads/cables) is as bad as (audio) 'jack' plugs being shortened to jacks.Spaghettij (talk) 14:52, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

"Connectors" can be of any gender but the situation with plugs and sockets (and jacks, and inlets, and receptacles for that matter) is a lot more complicated in actual usage than ASME Y14.44-2008 would like us to believe. Consider the very widely used wording in which putting something in a hole is referred to as "plugging the hole." Hence, it would seem that electrical plugs, whether chassis-mounted or cord-mounted, have protruding electrical contacts that can fill holes. That makes them male, and the connectors that mate with them therefore must be female; a female-shaped contact cannot possibly fill any holes. This has nothing to do with which connector is at the end of a cord and which is mounted on something.
Now you are probably going to say "but Wikipedia has to follow ASME". And you are probably going to think that that settles it. Surprise! —No, we don't, and no, it doesn't. Wikipedia has to follow the usage found in reliable sources. And I can link you to dozens of different product catalogs listing tens of thousands of products that refer to things with male contacts as "plugs" and female as "sockets", "jacks", etc., regardless of cable-mount or chassis-mount.
Just for example, here is a collection of D-sub connectors from the DigiKey catalog. I selected for DB25, and then for all three varieties of "panel mount". The online catalog comes up with items with both "plug, male pins" and "receptacle, female sockets". Hm, a panel mount plug.
Or, here are some cable-mount phone jacks (female).
Just like here at Markertek.
Is this just an American thing? How about Japanese? "Yaosheng electric co.,ltd is releasing many kinds of extension cords.which is a length of flexible electrical power cord (flex) with a plug on one end and one or more sockets on the other end (usually of the same type as the plug)."
That's just three catalogs. There are dozens more. (And, yes, you'll find counterexamples too. For example.)
We went through this "follow the standard, or follow the vast majority of reliable sources?" problem awhile back regarding the IEC Binary prefixes (GiB for "binary gigabyte", etc.): Many of us, including myself, like the IEC prefixes and so felt WP should use them. However, despite the existence of an IEC standard promoting their use, the rule here is that WP must follow usage in its sources. And the number of reliable sources that completely ignore the IEC (and other organizations') standards on this point is overwhelming. Hence, we ignore that particular IEC standard, except when writing about the standard itself, or in articles where the majority of sources use the IEC prefixes.
We can ignore ASME Y14.44-2008 too (except of course in the article that covers that standard), with the same justification. To follow it blindly on this point would, I believe, confuse our readers.
Perhaps we should document the discrepancy, but we cannot ignore popular usage as documented in our sources. To a great many people, and in a great many catalogs, a female connector at the end of an AC extension cord (or of an IEC power cord for that matter) is a socket, not a plug. (It is, after all, quite different from the male connector at the other end of the cable. Why should it have the same name? Aside from the generic "connector", of course.)
btw, the term "jack plugs" is to me an abomination. If you're talking about the things with male contacts, that term is properly shortened to "plugs", not to "jacks." Again, a plug is something that fills a hole, therefore the only term that is left for the hole is "jack". Or "socket" or "receptacle." I would also note that the term "jack" is very, very rarely used with power connectors, so I'm not sure what it's doing in your note at all. Nor do we want it in the AC power plugs and sockets article. Jeh (talk) 20:05, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm with Jeh on this, but I believe that we should limit any discussion to the context which is described in the title, "AC power plugs and sockets". Since the late 19th century (when plugs and sockets were first introduced into British homes) the socket has been that which is mounted to the building etc, and the plug is that which has pins to engage with the socket and is attached to the appliance power cord. The usage of the terms in contexts other than "AC power plugs and sockets" is not relevant to this article. Connectors which are used at the interface between power cord and appliance are NOT plugs and sockets, they are "Appliance Couplers" as defined in IEC 60320 3.1 as the "means enabling the connection and disconnection at will, of a cord to an appliance or other equipment, it consists of two parts, a connector and an appliance inlet". IEC 60320 3.2 defines the connector as "part of the appliance coupler integral with, or intended to be attached to, the cord connected to the supply" and IEC 60320 3.3 defines the appliance inlet as "part of the appliance coupler integrated or incorporated in the appliance or equipment or intended to be fixed to it". The description as reverted by Jeh is appropriate. Mautby (talk) 21:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the reasoning of your arguments but not the outcomes. Yes rules are there to be broken if there's good reason, but the usage of plug and socket as I describe has a long and continuing history which should not be contradicted by one WP page, and the example I gave of false usage just caused me great confusion that led me to 'correct' this page. Additionally you have the example of light sockets on this same page, one of the common apparent exceptions which however still follows the rule because the more mobile light bulb plugs into it. Blocks of fixed sockets of course also exist on the ends of extension cords, consistent with the principle, single plugs are more mobile. Rules vs usage found in reliable sources: If you regard recent cherry-picked exception examples as more reliable than a standard which is no more than a modern repetition of many prior standards embodied in general language usage then fine, but this is not my approach. Instead, I searched on terms like "male/female plug/socket/connector chassis/mounted/extension" etc looking at the number of hits and pictures, evaluating the quality of the source, especially limiting it to AC power, unlike your examples, to build up an overview. Chassis mounted plugs are a rarity (typically shielded male sockets), as are cable mounted sockets (female plugs). "To a great many people" does not constitute a reliable source either, unless you can proove its a sizeable majority. It does not appear that the general view has changed, nor do I find any WP pages that contradict my view. IEC 60320 in fact contains a link close to a picture showing a female plug as listed, pointing straight back to this page in direct contradiction. Couplers are generally synonymous with connectors, and connectors which are used at the interface between power cord and appliance certainly ARE plugs and sockets in general usage. Or have you seen consumer appliance instructions which say "Attach the appliance coupler to the power entry module via the appliance inlet" in general? It is unfortunate that many domestic AC power plugs don't "plug their socket" except for the connecting pins, thus leading to the common misconception male=plug.
I concede this page is not the place to mention "jack" whether for socket(correct) or plug, its history is correctly described in Gender_of_connectors_and_fasteners Sorry if I trod on your royal territory.Spaghettij (talk) 07:26, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Spaghettij, thanks for drawing attention to some errors and inconsistencies on the IEC 60320 page which I have endeavoured to correct. There is no reason to import those errors to this page! Mautby (talk) 15:54, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Mautby There were of course no errors, plug and connector can be interchanged and most users will continue to plug in their PC regardless. The erroneous link is still in there for power plug under C13/C14, but if you continue on this route you have a number of other pages to 'correct' for consistency which may be less amenable to correction. May I suggest to adopt the corrections I proposed with a note and link to IEC 60320 which is missing here.Spaghettij (talk) 17:22, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the comments made by Jeh and Mautby. I find it hard to understand what Spaghettij is trying to achieve by dumbing down this article? I also do not understand the point that Spaghettij is making by writing "The erroneous link is still in there for power plug under C13/C14". It appears to be referring to this: "A power cord with a suitable power plug for the locality in which the appliance is used on one end and a C13 connector on the other is commonly called an IEC cord." The reference is clearly to the power plug on the opposite end of the cable to the C13 connector, where else would Spaghettij prefer that link to go? Deucharman (talk) 19:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Mautby , plug and connector should be combined per [[5]] in the Appliance section. I changed IEC 60320 to reflect this. A backtrack on Plug (not with connector) which IS (in a prior IEC section) defined as male and fitting the energized socket-outlet (but not a socket-inlet = appliance inlet). Limiting the scope of the page to Domestic AC power plugs and sockets the Section Generally the plug is the ... should read:- The plug is the movable connector attached to an electrically operated device's mains cable, and the energized socket-outlet is fixed on equipment or a building structure. Plugs have protruding prongs, blades, or pins (male) circuit contacts, while sockets have matching slots or holes (female) contacts. A socket is also called a receptacle, outlet, or power point (British English) The links are then consistent and the page consistent with the rest of WP Spaghettij (talk) 14:33, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Spaghettij, you appear to be confusing interconnection couplers as defined in IEC 60320-2-2 with appliance couplers as defined in IEC 60320-1. The link you provide is to a definition of plug connector, the part of the interconnection coupler integral with or intended to be attached to the flexible cable, it is not a term which is used for any part of an appliance coupler. I note that Wtshymanski has already reverted your erroneous edit of the table in IEC 60320 which deals only with appliance couplers. (If you want to make a contribution to IEC 60320 that is actually useful, you may wish to consider adding information to the article on the various interconnection couplers specified in IEC 60320-2-2 as there is currently only a general description of that standard.) I do not see the need for your suggested change to AC power plugs and sockets. Any further discussion of IEC 60320 should take place on the talk page for that article only, accordingly I have copied across all of this section. Mautby (talk) 23:21, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Did we really need 15,000 bytes of that copied here? What is the relevance to *this* article? IEC seems to define their terms and all that above won't influence them. --Wtshymanski (talk) 02:28, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Fully agreed space and time cost too, most of the above could disappear Mautby, along with almost everything referencing AC plugs and sockets. You're also right Wtshymanski, with IEC seems to... I don't have a copy of IEC 60320-2-2 but Schurter's pdf IEC Appliance Couplers- Safe, Simple and Flexible (- Digi-Key ) or [[6]] would provide an excellent base which , at least here, makes it clear that interconnection couplers are no more than a subset of appliance couplers. IEC "Plug connectors" are male and connectors are often implicitly female to IEC in this context, promoting the plug=male (power from the female!) idea which is correct from a safety network point of view, but thus all male=plug therefore all females=sockets which I disagree with. Search on "inlet socket"(shows built-in male and female) "outlet socket"(shows built-in female) and "plug"(always on cable) for example in alibaba. IEC is thus very loose with the term connector using it both in the specific and generic sense (probably to get international consensus) but plugs are floating and sockets fixedSpaghettij (talk) 09:20, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
It should be quite clear to all that a discussion of the IEC 60320 article should not have been taking place on the AC power plugs and sockets talk page. However, it would have been a huge waste of time, and very disrespectful to other editors, to attempt to edit out the relevant parts and distribute them between the two pages. To maintain the context in which the discussion developed I believe that copying the entirety was the most appropriate action.
As this is an article on the various standards within IEC 60320 then it is also clear that the definitions within those standards are the only ones which matter in the context of the article. The article is a description of the standard, not a commentary!
In general, editors who are unable to access a document should refrain from editing content which is specific to the document as such edits are purely speculative.
It is quite wrong to suggest that "interconnection couplers are no more than a subset of appliance couplers", the two classes of coupler are specified by two different standards within the IEC 60320 family, and their relationship is clearly shown in this diagram on the Schurter page referenced by Spaghettij.
The concept that reliable reference information on electrical connectors is to be found on Alibaba is amusing but irrelevant. Mautby (talk) 13:42, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
That diagram actually supports my point -if you look carefully, as above Appliance Couplers, you will see - Appliance Couplers!, -as does the hierarchy of word definitions for "plug connector" in the section Appliance Couplers.
As to the general public use of plug and socket, which were Jeh's argument for not using the standard above, then Alibaba is as good as eBay or Google for a global sample, not an individual supplier, however, if as I originally proposed, we use the standard, then its ASME Y14.44-2008. Either way, it comes to the same interpretation as mine above. Or must we start a game of "gathering sources" until one side runs out of energy?
Mautby, on "editors should..." I agree and apologise, but which is why I pass the buck on writing IEC 60320-2-2 too. Publicly available standards like laws, would probably save an awful amount of talk and confusionSpaghettij (talk) 14:34, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your apology, much appreciated.
Subset: "a set each of whose elements is an element of an inclusive set". Not one of the connectors defined by the "Appliance Coupler" standard is included in the "Interconnection Couplers" standard, as I said, interconnection couplers are NOT a subset of appliance couplers. The configurations of interconnection couplers might fairly be described as variations of appliance couplers. The interconnection coupler standard does reference applicable specifications from the appliance coupler standard, rather than repeating those parts.
We should not be discussing "the general public use of plug and socket" on this page which is not about plugs and sockets! Mautby (talk) 00:52, 14 February 2013 (UTC)


What exactly does the "rewiring allowable?" column of the table indicate? This should be described in the article prose, probably in the "Contents of standards" section. Jeh (talk) 08:11, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Jeh, good point, it applies to the connector which attaches to the cord (as opposed to the appliance inlet or outlet). Some connectors are allowed only in non-rewirable types (mainly the physically smaller ones) while others are allowed to be either. I have included a sentence in "Contents of standards" as suggested, and also amended the column heading in both tables (which I had simply copied to form the new table). I also found that the sheet K plug connector is allowed to be rewirable, whereas the corresponding C23 may not, so corrected my mistake in the new table. Mautby (talk) 14:34, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'm confused. Let's say we're talking about a cable, where one end is a U.S. [2-pin] male NEMA 1-15P and the other end is a C7. Does this mean that the NEMA connector can't be a rewireable one (like this)? Or that the C7 can't be rewireable (like this)? Or both? (talk) 11:36, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
IEC 60320 is a standard for appliance connectors, not mains plugs or appliance cords, and the reference to rewirable, as explained in the article, relates to whether an appliance connector can be rewirable or not. The example you linked to claiming to be a C7 should not be described that way as it does not meet the standard. C7s may only be sold as part of an appliance cord. (talk) 12:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, that's very helpful. Why are rewirable connectors disallowed by the spec? Is it a safety issue? (talk) 18:16, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

use of a "connector" and "plug connector" to join two flexible cords.[edit]

It is clearly possible for a user to use a "connector" and "plug connector" to join two flexible cables together without involving any "inlets" or "outlets". Anyone familiar with the standards know if they have anything to say on such use? Plugwash (talk) 13:04, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

I can find nothing in IEC 60320-1 or IEC 60320-2-2 which mentions such a use, but I am certainly familiar with it, as far as the connection of an interconnection cord set to a cord set is concerned. This usage is already mentioned in the article at the end of the Contents of standards section, I have now added the definitions of cord set and interconnection cord set. Mautby (talk) 15:02, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Earth contact colour in tables[edit]

The tables, as they are today, include a column with "Earth contact" which is red in case of "no" and green in case of "yes". From my point of view, it leads to the belief that cables with earth are better than cables without earth contact (or devices with earth are safer than devices without it), which is by no means exact. Class II devices are MUCH SAFER than Class I devices, because all the means of protection are built-in into the device, and thus the safety is independent of the conditions of the electrical installation where you plug it. To say in a different way, having an earth contact normally denotes a product without less protections. Does it make sense to remove the colour code of the tables?--Jacobopantoja (talk) 08:12, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

I think that Jacobopantoja is reading too much into this, it would seem that in this table green indicates Yes and red indicates No, this is the case in both the Earth column and the Rewirable connector allowed? column, in neither case is any judgement implied and it would be quite wrong to infer otherwise. The proposer admits POV and backs this up with OR. There are no grounds for change. SSHamilton (talk) 10:19, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Wrong way round?[edit]

Is "the female part connector supplies power to the male appliance inlet" in Parts of the standard the wrong way round? I always thought the male part inserted a piece into the female part, or am I totally mixed up? RainCity471 (talk) 00:57, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

This was pretty much done to death above. The connector part carrying the power must, for safety reasons, contain the female contacts. The appliance inlet must, therefore, contain the male contacts. The parts are named for the form of the contacts, not the form of the bodies carrying the contacts. RainCity471, if you wish to edit articles which describe standards then it would help if you would actually refer to those standards when editing, that way you could avoid replacing the titles and definitions used in the standard with your own variations. Deucharman (talk) 13:59, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Just to clarify, many connectors have multiple layers of insertion nesting. Male/female gender is normally assigned based on the innermost layer, which are the conductors. A C14 connector may be recessed to accommodate a C13, but the conductors themselves protrude and, when mated, are surrounded by the C13's spring-loaded sockets. Thus, the C14 is "male" and the C13 is "female". Power cables are invariably oriented this way so that there are no energized protruding conductors when not mated. A similar confusion can arise with coaxial cable connectors (for example, a F connector, but the side with the central pin is male, even though that usually surrounds the female connector. For things like USB and SATA, where the conductors are held adjacent but do not surround each other, it's more confusing. (talk) 00:10, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

C7 polarized, one more time[edit]

There have been several notes on the C7 and some recent changes to the pictures of the C7-PW (polarized version). The problem is that the picture of the C7 polarized plug and the text now do not match.

I believe the C7-PWs that are in the wild will all have a matching polarization, but before simply changing the text or picture I wanted to see if anyone else has hard data on the plug type and whether the rounded or squared is 'live'. If you happen across this, please confirm or refute the below - I'd especially like a PlayStation cord checked against the below as I believe they are the most prevalent using this connector.

The C7-PW cord I have handy is small (live) of the NEMA-1-15P to the rounded portion of the C7-PW and the large (neutral) portion of the NEMA-1-15P to the square portion of the C7-PW.

Velowiki (talk) 04:11, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I've now edited the text to reflect the image (as well as online references). I suppose the previous text was based on the previous erroneously labeled image. Does that clear things up? nagualdesign (talk) 04:46, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I can find no evidence that the so-called C7-PW was ever part of the standard, and no reliable reference for which pin is which. The information on this connector is not supported by reference so I am reducing the coverage of C7-PW to a simple mention with no claims about which way it is polarized. If we don't know it is time to stop speculating. I have also removed the labelled but unreferenced picture. FF-UK (talk) 15:59, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Which vs. that[edit]

Regarding this edit by Eric Corbett (talk · contribs), which I reverted, and he subsequently restored with the unhelpfully rude comment "reverted misinformed rubbish":

Please see , , , , , , , and many others.

For that matter, please search the web and try to find anything contradictory.


A kettle plug is an imprecise colloquial term that may refer to 
the high-temperature C15 and C16, or the regular temperature C13 
and C14 connectors.

the clause following "that" is nonrestrictive: It adds description, but it is not restrictive: It does not identify a subset of possible subjects (the subject is the term "kettle plug", and there is only one term under discussion; nor can "could be this, could be that" be considered restrictive to one usage). Therefore "which" is correct.

The common use of "which" in the question "which one?" is perhaps confusing in this regard, but a way to remember the correct usage is to remember that the answer to the question, if accompanied by pointing, would always be phrased as "that one". Restrictive (or as I put it in my edit comment, "selective").

While we're here: the leading article "A" should not be present (at least as long as the italics are there to demarc the term), as we are discussing the term, not the object. Jeh (talk) 21:10, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

It is pretty clearly restrictive. It is giving a partial definition (note "refer") consistent with the imprecision of the term in question. I am One of Many (talk) 21:39, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
"Imprecision" is not the subject. The various things to which any use of the term might refer are not the subject. The term kettle plug is the subject. There is just one thing that is the subject, therefore the clause absolutely cannot be restrictive. How can you have a "restrictive clause" when you are "restricting" to one out of a possible one? Jeh (talk) 21:46, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
At any rate “a kettle plug” should not be equated with “a term”: either write “Kettle plug is a … term …“ or recast the sentence, perhaps along the lines of “A high-temperature C15 or C16 connector, or a regular-temperature C13 or C14, may be referred to colloquially as a kettle plug.”—Odysseus1479 22:26, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I mentioned that above, and recently removed the article "a". Also removed a couple of useless "the"'s. Jeh (talk) 22:31, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, missed that. It distracted me from the observation I originally wanted to make, in disagreement with your first argument above. I think the defining usage is appropriate: despite the sentence’s equivocal phrasing, the purpose of this clause is to (further) specify what kind of term kettle plug is, not just to provide ancillary or parenthetical information. “Kettle plug” is indeed the subject of the sentence, but it’s not the referent of the relative clause, which is “term”. Removing the clause would make the sentence pretty vacuous; “Kettle plug is an imprecise colloquial term” conveys very little on its own (and note the indefinite article).—Odysseus1479 01:26, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
The sentence is question is a well-written sentence in English that conveys a clear meaning. My view is keep it as is and move on. I am One of Many (talk) 22:42, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
This entire discussion is completely irrelevant as it is about the use of American English, whereas this article clearly states it it uses British English. British English, as the last of Jeh's references clearly indicates, does not fuss over the difference between 'which' and 'that', both are fine. Here is another discussion on the subject: ElectricTattiebogle (talk) 03:39, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Kettle plug[edit]

I do not wish to become embroiled in the "which vs. that" debate, but I do want to point out that it is quite wrong to describe either the C13 or C15 as a "plug", as both connectors are "sockets". Also, as the C14 is not for use at high temperature, it cannot accurately be called a "kettle plug" as it is completely unsuited to that application. Only the C16 can be properly described thus. Perhaps we should concentrate on rewriting the offending sentence in a way which describes the correct term, as well as acknowledging the inaccurate colloquial usage? Mautby (talk) 02:07, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

You are right, I have fixed that. Deucharman (talk) 19:27, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

CSA/NOM/UL rating C7/C8 for 125V 10A: Any authoritative sources?[edit]

The IEC may have designed the C7/C8 connector for 2.5A service, but the great majority of the cables with North American plugs and CSA/NOM/UL certifications I can find claim 10A (sometimes 7A) ratings.

Digi-key list 15 such cord sets, Mouser list 9, and there are plenty more: [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]. Or just do a web search for "C7 125V 10A" and see how many you can find.

The sheer number convinces me that the certifications are genuine and North American certification agencies have a more generous view of the C7/C8 coupler's current capacity than the IEC.

I also note that Digi-key and Mouser list no NEMA 1-15R to IEC C7 cords with less than 7A ratings. Web searching turns up some 125V 2.5A C7 cords (among the hits for "10A/125V; 2.5A/250V"), but they're generally less detailed listings, from some distant reseller, not the original manufacturer. Here is one of the few 2.5A NEMA 1-15P manufacturer's data sheets I could find, and note that it's certified for Taiwan, not North America.

I can even find some C14 to C7 cords (p. 24 of PDF) claiming UL/CSA approval for 10A/250V, so it appears that the difference is the certifying agency, not the operating voltage.

It's not particularly unusual to revise a rating based on real-world experience, although a factor of 4 is remarkably large. But can anyone find an authoritative source for thus? UL 1681 might say something, if anyone has access to a copy. (Likewise, C13/C14 is normally used up to 15A in North America, but that's a much smaller discrepancy.) (talk) 22:52, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

I haven't found the relevant standard, but I easily found UL certifications for specific products at the higher current levels. It turns out that UL will allow C5 at 13A! Section added to article. Oh, and apparently the relevant standard is ANSI/UL 817 "Cord Sets and Power-Supply Cords". (talk) 02:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Having read that, that's mostly a standard for the cords. The connectors appear to be in UL 1681 "Standard for wiring device configurations". Still searching for a copy of that. (talk) 02:47, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

"Non-standards" section[edit]

An IP is persistently adding this section, and a registered user is deleting it. Per WP:BRD and WP:EW, please discuss here, not in edit summaries. Please be aware that continuing to edit disputed text is considered edit-warring, even if you haven't reached the "three revert rule". Jeh (talk) 02:12, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Er... where? I've looked through the edit history for all of 2014 and I don't see a section by that name anywhere, even once. I specifically examined every diff by an IP user that added text.
I ask because the title is similar to the "Non-standards" I just added (once, and Winkelvi removed, and we're discussing it), and I'm curious to see if it has any useful contents I could salvage. (talk) 03:25, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's the section I meant. Corrected. But discussion of article content should happen on the article talk page, not users' talk pages. Jeh (talk) 03:39, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, then who added it persistently? That's a second reason I was sure you couldn't be talking about my edits. (talk) 03:53, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Per some discussion with User:Winkelvi (which has since been deleted), where we couldn't figure out what specifically was the problem, I'm re-adding my changes (including this one) in smaller pieces with larger edit comments so they can be reverted/discussed/etc. individually. I've to the point of recreating this section. This is not meant as vandalism, much less persistent vandalism, just a second try to work out something acceptable. Okay? (talk) 05:56, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Congratulations to IP for all the research you have put into the subject of non-standard appliance connectors, I hope that you manage to reveal the logic behind this seemingly widespread American disregard for the IEC Standard (Both the US and Canada are full members of the IEC).

Perhaps, to avoid confusion, would it be better to place the non-standard content in a separate article, linked from this article? FF-UK (talk) 14:15, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

We have AC power plugs and sockets which might be the best place to make an observation that in spite of standards, manufacturers also make their own styles of connectors, too. This article should be about connectors *in* the standard; it will keep it focused that way. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:29, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with including the "polarized C7" and the so-called "mini-IEC" in the main section (as the polarized C7 already is). They are very clearly related to something covered by the standard, and where else in Wikipedia would anyone look for them? AC power plugs and sockets is wonderful but it very obviously is about the things at the other end of the power cord. Jeh (talk) 17:46, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

"few appliances are power cord limited anway"[edit]

Sorry for the delay; I had posted this in the wrong talk page. D'oh!

In this edit, with the above edit comment, User:Wtshymanski removed a prefatory comment I included in the "North American ratings" section I created:

Because mains electricity in North America is at half the voltage (120 V) used in other parts of the world, power cords in that region need to carry twice the current to supply the same electrical power. To facilitate this,

I'm of two minds. On the one hand, it's unsourced editorializing (even though I think it is verifiable if I went to a library and dug deep enough).

On the other hand, I think it is an issue sometimes. I agree it's uncommon, but definitely not rare; there are plenty of products that depend on the uprating. Computer power supplies more than 880 W, assuming they are 80% efficient and operating from 110 V (it's worse in Japan) mains power, will draw 10 A (1100 W) from the wall. But power supplies up to 1200W use C14 inlets.

And there are 300 W power supplies with C6 and C8 inlets. Less common, because of the popularity of the C14 inlet, but they exist. A 2.5A limit would make that impossible.

Basically, a 125V/5A and 250V/2.5A lets products use smaller C6 and C8 inlets up to 5×110 = 2.5×220 = 550 W input power.

(Oh, I might mention: no appliance is technically limited by its input power cord, at least not after the design phase, as the safety rule is that the appliance must do the limiting for the power cord to ensure the latter is not overloaded.)

I'll try to add something else, but just wanted tp start discussion here. Maybe I'm just attached to it because I spent a long time agonizing over it (multiple drafts are visible in the edit history). Do people think any such comment is useful? (talk) 01:01, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm trying some alternative wordings to see what people think. (talk) 05:04, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

References: What is alleged to be original research?[edit]

Lots of little blue numbers in a Wikipedia article doesn't guarantee that it's free of original research either. Is there something in particular we're concerned about, perhaps tagging a section or paragraph is a more useful guide to places that references need to be improved? There's not much I suspect of being "original" here, even if it doesn't have little blue numbers after it. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:15, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

FWIW, here's the edit that added it. It was in the middle of a flurry of edits by me, so I'll refrain from yanking it, but if someone else wants to, I'm all for it. (talk) 04:10, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

C13 kettle lead[edit]

This sentence is wrong: 'In some countries these cables are sometimes referred to as a "kettle cord" or "kettle lead", but the C13/14 connectors are only rated for 70 °C; a device such as a kettle requires the C15/16 connector, rated for 120 °C.' In the UK, we use the C13 as a kettle cord, not the C15; that is why we refer to it as a kettle lead.--Jcvamp (talk) 23:59, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

The above is completely untrue, UK kettles traditionally used the appropriate C15 connector as the C13 is not rated for hot use. Modern kettles mostly use a completely different connection method where the connector is part of a seperable base. FF-UK (talk) 01:17, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
UK kettles tend to have a base with an attached lead nowadays, but the all the older ones I have ever seen have C13s; in fact I still have an old kettle with a C13 connector. I have never seen the C15 on any kettle. Now, just because I've never personally seen a C15 being used on a kettle, I wouldn't presume that they have never been used. I can assure you that the C13 has been used on UK kettles, and that that is the reason they have the nickname 'kettle lead'.--Jcvamp (talk) 20:25, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Older electric kettles like those in the links below would use completely different kettle connectors.
However, in the 1960s and 1970s before the introduction of the modern "cordless" kettles (not really cordless, but the cord is attached permanently to the base with the kettle held only by gravity) the C16 appliance inlet was used. The C15 connector is the only one which will fit into a C16 inlet. It is very unlikely that any reputable kettle manufacturer would have considered using an inlet and connector which did not have an adequate temperature rating, I have certainly never seen the use of a C14 inlet on a kettle. Here are some examples of British kettles with C16 inlets:
FF-UK (talk) 12:59, 29 November 2014 (UTC)


Please add better diagrams with complete dimensions, such as pin diameters. Until then, please add a working link to such!- (talk) 21:38, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

I think that what you are asking for is the diagrams contained within the copyrighted standards, which would not be legal! As these standards are not available without payment then they may not be linked to either. FF-UK (talk) 16:36, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Difference between Appliance Couplers and Interconnection Couplers[edit]

They are basically the inverted versions of each other. This can not be seen in the drawings and should be clarified. Check out for a drawing which clarifies how the connectors are actually build. Adius (talk) 16:11, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

They are basically the inverted versions of each other. While that is sort of true for the six styles of appliance coupler for which there are interconnection couplers having a similar style, it is clearly not true for the other seven styles of appliance coupler. I have added a couple of examples of interconnection couplers. FF-UK (talk) 17:41, 4 August 2015 (UTC)