7 Different Types of Power Cords

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Power cords are one of the most essential components of an electrical system. These are used almost everywhere, from mining, welding, laptops, treadmills, hair dryers, televisions, vacuum cleaners, and so on. So, power cords are electrical cables that connect an appliance to the main electrical supply through a power extension cable.  

So, if you want to buy a particular application, you need to decide which type of power cord to buy. So, keep reading further to explore different types of power cords.

International Standards IEC 60320:

IEC is an internationally accepted standard for power cord appliances. Most countries recognize the IEC 60320 as an international requirement. But different countries use different standard power cords, which are unique to that country.

There are many subtypes to these cords. IEC stands for International Electrotechnical Commission, and IEC 60320 is used for appliances ranging up to 250 volts. These are all ‘C’ types, where ‘C’ stands for connectors that include a unique combination of voltage, current, and temperatures.  


C5/C6 is a coupler also known as a ‘Mickey Mouse” because its shape resembles Mickey Mouse, the Disney cartoon character, as it has 3 holes of circular shape connected. And the C6 inlet is used in laptop power supplies, LCDs, LG televisions, and all other portal projectors.  


C7/C8 resembled figure 8 and was commonly used in old televisions, laptop power supplies, and DVDs. These are typically paired with 1-15 NEMA connections, which we have discussed later in this article. 

C7/C8 has two different versions: polarized and non-polarised. In the polarized version, one side is flat, and the other is round. Both sides of this connector are round in shape. So, you need to check which versions of the power cable you need for your electrical devices. 


C13/C14 is also called the “universal power cord.” It is the current standard, followed by televisions and desktops. Older, smaller devices like old laptops might have C13/C14 ports, but for the most part, these have other downsized options like C5/C6. 


C15/C16 power cords look very similar to the C13/C14; the only small difference between them in the design part is that C15/C16 has a notch, and a prong, which is used for grounding. These cables are used for generating extra electricity. It is used for equipment that uses high voltages, like for the appliances that we use in our kitchens. It is rated for 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 


C19/C20 is the evolved version of C15/C16 and is rated with higher amperage. These types of power cords are used for areas with a large amount of power running through these cables, like in a data center or a hospital. 

North America: NEMA Power Cords:

NEMA power cords are a type of benchmark for North Americans, considering the voltage capabilities and plugs. The most common types of NEMA cords are Type A and Type B. 

Type A has 2 conducting prongs, and blades, whereas Type B, has an extra grounding rod. NEMA-approved devices are usually either one wired or two wired devices that are polarized or grounded. But, before buying a power cord, you should know the purpose you need it for, its connectors, and the amount of load or power it needs to carry. Keep reading further to explore different types of NEMA cords.

NEMA 5-15P Power Cords:

NEMA power cords come in various ranges, from 15-60 amperes to 125–600 volts. These are classified based on these criteria. 

It comes with various connectors, and the plugs of these cords should match the specific purpose. 

NEMA 5-15P Power Cords (Type B):

These types of NEMA power cords have 3 different wires: the neutral, the hot, and the cold wire. These have about 15A at 250V ratings, which is enough to carry around 110V usually. There are many subtypes in this type as well. The most common ones are the NEMA 5-15 to NEMA 5-15R power cords. 

The subtypes of NEMA include NEMA 1, NEMA 5, NEMA 14 A, and NEMA TT-30. These are commonly used in the US in normal houses and the power outlet. 

Europe: CEE 7/7 (Type E, Type F):

CEE 7/7 sets are used in Europe, Ireland, Cyprus, Denmark, Malta, Italy, and many other places as a standard; even countries that go by CENELEC standards also use this. 

JIS C 8303, AS/NZS 3112:

Different countries use different sets of plug standards. Like Japan uses JIS, C 8303, Brazil uses NBR 14136, Australia uses AS/NZS 3112, and so on. But one thing that is common in all the countries is the IEC 60320 connector standard. 


Any kind of electrical appliance requires a power cord. But it also depends on the country, the standards, and the appliance’s voltage. So, you need to choose a cable; only then would you make your electrical appliances work or save data in a data center. So, you need to choose the right cables, which is also vital to our safety. And the market has a range of these kinds of power extension cables. This will not only give you the best quality but is also cost-effective. It also improves the life of the electrical appliances, safeguarding from the heating damage that electricity can cause. It also saves you a lot of money that would go into repairing or buying a new one in the short duration.