Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small IEC 60320 standard
Appliance Couplers
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overview
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Power cords are frequently used for appliances that are sold world wide. The same product can be manufactured for each country, only power cords with different wall plugs have to be packed.
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has defined by specification IEC 60320 thirteen different appliance connectors and corresponding appliance inlets.

The standard was introduced in 1970 as IEC 320 and renumbered to IEC 60320 in 1994.

A separate page places IEC 60320 in a historical background.

Connector and wall plug are usually moulded to a power cord, but some connectors are available as separate devices that can be rewirered.

 

Diagrams of IEC 60320 appliance couplers
 

Diagrams of IEC 60320 appliance couplers.

Odd C-numbers refer to connectors; the corresponding equipment inlets are indicated by one number higher. The rated currents are given for 250V. In North America (120V) 10A devices are rated at 15A, and 16A at 20A.
70 C (='cold'), 120 C (='hot') and 155 C (='very hot') indicate the maximum tolerable temperature of the appliance inlet.

 
 
'Hot' and 'very hot' appliance couplers are made of special heat resistance material. Electric kettles are typical examples of 'hot' domestic equipment. Couplers C1-4, C7-12, C17-18 and C23-24 are meant for double insulated electrical appliances that do not require a protective earth connection.
X = withdrawn from standard.

 

IEC 60320 C1 and C2 appliance couplers IEC 60320 C5 appliance connector
IEC 60320 C6 appliance inlet
IEC 60320 C7 and C8 appliance couplers

IEC 60320 C13 appliance connector IEC 60320 C14 appliance inlet
IEC 60320 type F appliance outlet
IEC 60320 type E appliance plug (male)

1 C1 connector (right) and C2 appliance inlet (left). See Wikipedia page on IEC 60320 for example uses.
2, 3
C5 connector (image no. 2) and C6 inlet (no. 3). Shown connector has been made by Volex, UK; inlet by Rich Bay, Taiwan. Company logos are shown at the bottom of the page.
4 C7 connector and C8 inlet. Like C1-2, also C7-8 couplers are not polarized. However, polarized C7 and C8 models exists; see inset bottom left, but they are not a part of the IEC 60320 standard.
5 - 8
Group of commonly used 10A appliance couplers. Image no. 5: C13 connector; no. 6: C14 inlet; no. 7: type F: outlet; no. 8: type E male plug. Outlet and male plug are interconnection couplers, often used on computer cases and equipment racks to power monitors or other peripherals. Interconnection flex cable have a type E plug on one side and C13 connector on the other side.

 

IEC 60320 C14 appliance inlet with switch and fuses
IEC 60320 C13 appliance connector with lock
IEC lock, schemes

IEC 60320 C15 appliance connector IEC 60320 C15A appliance connector
IEC 60320 C16A appliance inlet IEC 60320 C17 appliance connector

9 C14 inlet with double pole switch and separate fuses for the L and N pole. The device has been used on hospital equipment. {AH}
10 - 11
C13 connector with locking mechanism. Figure 11 shows how it works. The connector has a metal plate in front of the earth pin contact (11a). After insertion of the connector, the earth pin of a standard inlet keeps the plate in a fixed position (11b). The connector is locked. Manually sliding back the red tab set the plate in a vertical position and the connector can be removed from the inlet (11c). The drawings are based on images by the IEC Lock manufacturer. Locks are available for C13 and C19 connectors, and type F and J appliance outlets.
12 - 14
Special types of 10A couplers that can withstand temperatures above 70 C.
No.12: C15 connector for temperatures up to 120
C; no. 13: C15A that can resist 155 C; no. 14: C16A 155 C inlet.
Connector C15A fits inlets C16A, C16 (not shown) and C14 (70
C).  C15 fits in C16 and C14, but not in a higher temperature inlet (C16A).  For the same reason C13 fits in a C14 inlet only.
15 C17, not earthed 10A connector. This type is not commonly used anymore. Matching C18 inlet is not in the museum collection.

 

IEC 60320 C19 appliance connector IEC 60320 C20 appliance inlet
IEC 60320 type J appliance outlet
IEC 60320 type I appliance plug (male)

IEC 60320 C21 appliance connector IEC 60320 C22 appliance connector

Philips appliance connector
Lookalike C1 and C2 appliance couplers (non-IEC)

16 -19
Group of commonly used 16A appliance couplers.
Image no. 16: C19 connector; no. 17: C20 inlet; no. 18: type J: outlet; no. 8: type I male plug.
Interconnection flex cables have a type I plug on one side and C19 connector on the other side.
20, 21
Special types of 16A couplers that can resist high temperatures. C21 connector (image no. 20) and C22 inlet (image no. 21) withstand temperatures up to 155 C.
22 Not an IEC 60320 connector, but a polarized, not earthed connector designed by Philips, Netherlands. Rated at 6A-250V. Can be regarded as an alternative to C11.
23 Polarized not earthed connector and matching inlet. Because of a small projection (green arrow), the connector can be inserted in one orientation only. No indication of rating; probably at most 2A-250V. The origin of this set of IEC lookalike couplers is not indicated.

 

IEC 60320 C13 US Hospital grade connector Wieland Electric appliance connector
AS/NZS 3221 10A plug without earth pin BS 1363 plug with ISOD

Palm PDA charger

Palm PDA charger with US type wall plug

Palm PDA charger with Europlug type wall plug

Palm PDA charger with BS 1363 type wall plug

Palm PDA charger with AS/NZS 3112 type wall plug


24
U.S. hospital-grade C13 connector (no. 24). Although it is not compulsory, many hospitals prefer that the plugs and connectors are transparent. It allows visual inspection of internal connections.   {AH}
25 Earthed connector, permanently fixed to an appliance cord, rated at 16A - 250V. Distance between centers of N and L1 contacts is 20 mm.   {PM}
The German manufacturer, Wieland Electric, is a world leader in pluggable installation technology. Equipment power cords with Wieland connectors are rather uncommon. Other examples of Wieland outlets and plugs are shown elsewhere.
26 Australasian 10A-250V, 2 pin plug for appliances that do not need an earth connection. Standard AS/NZ3112 plugs have three pins, but for appliance cords with a not earthed connector (C1, C7, C17 or C23) the use of a moulded wall plug without earth pin is permitted.
27 BS 1363 plug moulded to a appliance cord for not earthed equipment. An earth pin is still essential to open the safety shutters of a BS 1363 socket.  Instead of a metal pin, that may suggest earthing, a plastic replacement pin is used. This pin is known as a ISOD = Insulated Shutter Opening Device. An ISOD ensures also that the plug remains polarized.
28-32 Devices with separate, add-on plug modules are frequently used for chargers. It is an alternative to providing a charger with several, country specific appliance cords. The charger shown was used for a 2002 model Palm PDA.

 

Chin Chen wiring material, logo
Desco-Werk Seger & Angelmeyer, logo
Felmas logo
IEC Lock, UK logo
I-Sheng logo
JF logo
Martin Kaiser logos
Kautt & Bux logo
Chin Chen,
Taiwan
[no. 24]
Desco-Werk,
Germany
[no. 4]
Felmas,
Germany
[no. 4]
IEC Lock,
UK
[no. 10]
I-Sheng,
Taiwan
[nos. 8, 26]
Unknown (UK?)
company
[no. 5]
Martin Kaiser,
Germany
[nos. 12, 14-17
Kautt & Bux,
Germany
[no. 13]
Rich Bay manufacturer, logo
Volex, logo
Logo Wieland Electric



19-21]
Rich Bay,
Taiwan
[nos. 3, 18]
Volex,
UK
[nos. 2, 27]
Wieland Electric
Germany
[no. 25]





 


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