Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small IEC 60309 standard
plugs and sockets
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63A and 125A


IEC 60309 is a worldwide used standard defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission for plugs, socket, outlets and couplers for industrial purpose.

IEC 60309 specifies a large range of sockets and plugs. An overview of types, including details about sizes, colour codes and keying (4h, 6h, 9h etc.) are given on the IEC 60309 info page.

In catalogs of electrotechnical companies IEC 60309 material is categorized as CEE plugs and sockets.

16A types are rarely used for domestic purposes but are common in workshops and can be found at campings, marinas and farms etc. 32A, 63A and 125A plugs and sockets are clear industrial devices. 63A and 125A plugs are shown on a separate page.


IEC60309socket3pin IEC 60309 3-pin coding
IEC60309plug3pin IEC 60309 16A 3-pin inlet

IEC 60309 5-pin coding
IEC60309plug5pin IEC 60309 16A 5-pin inlet

1 - 3
IEC 60309 16A-6h 230V single phase socket outlet (1), plug (2) and appliance inlet (3)..
Plugs and inlets have a key and sockets have a matching keyway. Protective earth (PE) is positioned at 6 o'clock. See 60309 info page for details.
Manufacturers: JSL Material Eléctricos S.A., Portugal (1 and 2); ABL, Germany (3).
4 - 6
IEC 60309 16A- 6h 240-415V three-phase, 5-pin (3P+N+PE) socket outlet (4), plug (5) and appliance inlet (6).
Manufacturers: Mennekes, Germany (4); PC Electric, Austria (5); REV, Germany.

IEC 60309 16A 4-pin plug IEC 60309 16A 4-pin socket made in Poland

IEC60309-Perilex adapter coird

7 IEC 60309 400V, 16A 6h 4-pin three-phase plug. A connection without neutral pole can be used when a balanced load between L1, L2 and L3 is assured. A protective earth (PE) connection is standard on all IEC 60309 devices.
Manufacturer: ABL-SURSUM, Germany.
8 IEC 60309 400V, 16A-6h 4-pin three-phase socket made in Poland by an unknown manufacturer.
9 16A Perilex plug wired to an IEC 60309 16A-6h five-pole, three-phase connector plug. Manufacturers: Bals, Germany (CEE connector) and Insta (common subsidiary of Berker, Gira and Jung), Germany (Perilex plug).

IEC60309adapter3pin IEC60309adapter5pin Grimma 16A-6h 3P+E 380V socket

10 Adapter cable with CEE 7/7 (Schuko hybrid) plug and IEC 60309 16A-6h - 230V single phase outlet.
Manufacturer: PC Electric, Austria.
11 IEC 60309 16A-6h plug wired to a Schuko connector plug. Only L1, N and PE poles are wired up. The PE pin is connected to the Schuko earth clips. Manufacturer: Mennekes, Germany (CEE plug) and ABL (Schuko plug).
12 IFD 16A three-phase socket made in the 1980s by VEB Elektroschaltgeräte Grimma (GDR). Click image for details.


EC60309 16A 4h 2P+E 110/130V socket
PCE IEC60309 16A-4h 2P+E plug
PC Electric logo

PC Electric screwlesswire fastening technique

13 IEC 60309 16A-4h / 110-130V, 2P + earth socket.
Manufacturer: socket has trade-name CEEform     {WH}
14 IEC 60309 16A-4h / 110-130V, 2P + earth plug. The plug has screwless wire contacts;see image 14a,b,c for details.
Plug has been donated by the Austrian company PC Electric, manufacturer of an extensive range of CEE industrial plugs and sockets (see website). Other examples of PCE plugs are shown in images 5 and 11.   {PCE}
14a and
Besides the commonly used method to fasten wires with screws PC Electric offers for several plugs an ingenious screwless method. Images a-d shows the principle.
a. Each pin contact has a grey holder containing a wire grip. When holder is in down position, pin contact is fully open..
b. Top view of a pin contact with holder down. Open pin contact is accessible to a wire.
c. Wire with stripped off 10-12 mm of insulation.
d. Insert wire 'c' in open contact 'b'. When the holder is pushed up a metal grip (red arrow) presses the wire firmly against the contact interior. A spring (partly visible in image b) ensures that holder stays in up position and wire retraction is not possible.
To unwire the plug each holder have to be pushed down.

IEC 60309 32A 110V socket


IEC 60309 three-phase +N +PE socket, rated at 32A 110V.
According to IEC 60309 standard the Protective Earth connector has a 4 hour position.   {KC}

The hinged cover is grey, rather than the IEC 60309 100-130V AC yellow colour. Socket dates back to the early 1970s. It could be that the colour code was initially not compulsory.

Manufacturer: Steckerwolf, an Austrian company closed in the early 1980s.


HTCN IEC 60309 plug
HTCN IEC 60309 plug_1
HTCN IEC 60309 plug_3

IEC 60309 plug, inside  with colour coding
HTCN IEC 60309 plug_2
HTCN IEC 60309 plug_4

16a Extension cord with IEC 60309 16A-6h five-pole, three-phase plug with phase inverter. See nos 17 and 18 for explanation.
Manufacturer: Hengtong Electrical Co., China. Plug type HTN715.
16b Preferred wire insulation colours according to IEC 60446 (2004). Wires of HTCN extension cable (no. 16a) have these colours.
17a, b Front view (17a) and wiring (17b) of plug no. 16a.
Pins L2 and L3 are mounted in a white selector wheel that can be rotated with a screw driver.
18a, b Front view (18a) and inside (18b) of plug no. 16a . The selector wheel has been rotated 180°. The position of L2 (connected to black wire} and L3 (grey wire) is now inverted. The phase order (L1-L2-L3) has been changed into (L1-L3-L2), resulting in a reversed direction of rotation of a three-phase electric motor connected to the cord.

Mennekes IEC 60309 16A 4-pin plug with phase inverter Mennekes IEC 60309 16A 4-pin plug , inside view of phase inverter
Mennekes IEC 60309 16A 4-pin plug , inside view of phase inverter

19 IEC 60309 16A-6h / 380-415V 4-pin plug with phase inverter. Inside views with wire connectors are shown in images 19a and b.
Manufacturer: Mennekes Elektrotechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Kirchhundem, Germany.   {WH}
20a, b Inside viiews of 4-pin plug no. 19. The selector wheel (red) houses L1 and L2 pins.
Image 20a: orientation of selector wheel that results in L1-L2-L3 phase order.
Image 20b: 180º rotated selector wheel; phase order L2-L1-L3 results in rotation of a three-phase electric motor in reversed direction. Selector wheel can be rotated with a screw driver.


IEC 60309 32A-6h socket
IEC 60309 32A-6h plug

21, 22
IEC 60309 6h 32A / 240-415V, 3P + N +PE socket (21) and plug (22); the circle, showing pin confuration, refers to plug.
32A plug and sockets are about 10% larger than 16A 5-pin versions (see images 4 and 5).

Note that the three phase contacts and pins have 'hybrid' labels: R1, S2 and T3 rather than nowadays L1, L2 and L3.
Manufacturer of plug: Mennekes Elektrotechnik.
Socket has trade-name CEEform.   {WH}

IEC 60309 9h 32A 220V 3p+E socket IEC 60309 32A-9h socket

23 IEC 60309 9h 32A /  220V socket without neutral contact. Manufacturer: Mennekes Elektrotechnik; tradename CEEform.   {KC}
24 P17 32A 9h socket made by Legrand, rated at 127/220 V - 138/240 V. The socket is mainly used in North America for high leg delta wiring of split-phase electric power. It allows one to choose single-phase AC power at either 110-120 V between phase and neutral2, or 220-240 V between phase and phase.
However, the shown socket has been used in Britain and was wired for two separate single-phase 240 V circuits: R1 – N and S2– T3, of which T3 was wired as a second neutral connection, separate to the standard N.   {DF}


CEEform logos
CE mark
IEC 60309 plugs and sockets are also known as CEE devices.
CEE is an abbreviation of Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment. There are two CEE standards for plugs and sockets: CEE 7 (household plugs and sockets; for example 7/16 = Europlugs) and CEE 17 ( plugs, sockets and couplers for industrial purposes, for example material shown above). CEE 17 has been superseded by IEC 60309 (first edition was published in 1979). IEC is the International Electrotechnical Commission.
CEEform is a trade-name used for some time by Mennekes Elektrotechnik.

Occasionally a CE mark is used. CE stands for Confomité Européenne / European Conformity. A manufacturer that affix a CE mark declares that the product meets all legal requirements for CE marking and can be sold throughout the European Economic Area. See European Commission website for details.


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