How NEMA Connectors Have Helped Bring About Standardization In Power Cords and Plugs

Do you have a problem decoding NEMA connectors? Read on to learn about NEMA, including plugs, power cords, and receptacles.

A NEMA connector offers a way of connecting various electronic devices to power outlets. They are capable of carrying AC or DC.

You must have come across the commonly-used three- or two-pronged or three-pronged connectors in your home. You will be surprised to learn that hundreds of types of connectors are used in the industry. Each type is constructed for a different amperage and voltage.

In the United States, the current ratings are 15 amps to 60 amps. The voltage ratings are from 125 to 600V. It is common to find connectors, plugs, and outlets in various configurations.

Types of Connectors and Plugs

Connectors, plugs, and outlets are available in various configurations. They have different blade widths, measurements, positions, and shapes. The varying dimensions make them unusable with different voltage and current capacity combinations.

It is now mandatory for all manufacturers in the US to make their products in compliance with the specifications and standards established by NEMA. The goal is to help achieve standardization throughout the country. Based on the amperage and voltage, this standardization classifies the different pin positions of plugs and receptacles.

NEMA 6-50 and NEMA 14 30 have different pin configurations and positioning. They also have different amperages and voltages.

Connectors Classifications

The quality standards and design standardization of NEMA are used in the electrical plugs and receptacles in the United States. The common connectors used are NEMA 1-15P and NEMA 5-15. They have molded rubber bodies. The prongs are made of steel or brass. They have a coating of zinc, tin, or nickel. The prongs in other connectors are placed differently and have increased voltage.

The connectors are further classified as locking and non-locking types. The locking connectors have curved prongs. They can be twisted to complete the locking process. Non-locking connectors have straight blades. They are used for computers, appliances, and everyday applications. The locking plugs and receptacles prevent the connector from getting dislodged or disconnected accidentally.

Non-Locking NEMA Connectors

Of the non-locking NEMA connectors, 1 & 5 are commonly used. They have two blades with and without grounds. The NEMA 1 series is being phased out slowly.

In most cases, the ground pin is located up. This prevents metal objects from making contact with the hotline. The up position of the grounding pin prevents falling objects from striking the neutral and establishing connections.

Locking NEMA Connectors

Locking NEMA connectors are designed to help securely fit the connectors to stay connected. The plugs have curved blades that can be turned on insertion into the receptacle.

Most locking connectors are made for industrial and commercial use. ML signifies miniature locking connectors. They are available in multiple varieties and are used in situations where the larger locking connectors do not fit.

Looking for reliable NEMA connectors. Buy from an established and reputed manufacturer of quality electrical products. Duraline fits that bill perfectly. The company offers a large selection of our industrial and commercial Grade NEMA Style products. They include male pigtails, female pigtails, and extensions.


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