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  5. Designing with IEC 60320 C5 and C7 Connectors and C6 and C8 Inlets

Designing with IEC 60320 C5 and C7 Connectors and C6 and C8 Inlets

When designing a product where the rated current only needs to be 2.5A, two IEC 60320 appliance couplers to consider using are the C5 connector with the C6 inlet and the C7 connector with the C8 inlet.

The IEC 60320 is a set of standards from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) specifying components for the connection of power supply cords to electrical equipment up to 250V. An advantage of using IEC 60320 components in a product design is that they are generally accepted globally.

UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) and CSA (Canadian Standards Association) have adopted the IEC 60320 standard and have similar standards with UL 60320-1 and CSA C22.2 No. 60320-1-10.

C5 Connector and C6 Inlet

The C5 connector and C6 inlet were originally intended for use on sewing machines, but today they are used more on laptop computers. C5 and C6 each have three pins, which includes a ground contact. With a Class I designation, they can be used in grounded electronic and electrical appliances. The presence of a ground at the equipment also allows designers to incorporate a high performance RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) filter into the inlet.

C5 connectors and C6 inlets are smaller in size than other IEC 60320 components, such as the C13 and C14, which allows them to potentially fit better in smaller applications where panel space is limited.

C5 Connector

C6 Inlet


C5 connectors offered by Interpower are rated at 2.5A/250VAC international and 2.5A/250VAC or 7A/125VAC North American with a temperature rating of up to 70°C. Rewireable construction for the C5 connector is not allowed per the IEC 60320 standards.

C6 inlets are rated at 2.5A/250VAC for both international and North American with a temperature rating of up to 70°C. The C6 inlet offered by Interpower is available only in the screw-mount style.

C7 Connector and C8 Inlet

The coupler of a C7 connector and a C8 inlet is another example of an IEC 60320 configuration that found “new life.” Originally, these were developed for use in electric razors, radios, and other home entertainment appliances. Now they are mostly used on laptop computers.

This combination is a Class II and has no ground contact. They are similar in size to a C5 connector and C6 inlet, which means they may also potentially fit better in smaller applications.

C7 Connector

C8 Inlet


C7 connectors offered by Interpower are rated at 2.5A/250VAC international and 7A/125VAC North American with a temperature rating of up to 70°C. Rewireable construction for the C7 connector is not allowed per the IEC 60320 standards.

C8 inlets are rated at 2.5A/250VAC for both international and North American with a temperature rating of up to 70°C. The C6 inlets offered by Interpower are available only in the screw-mount style.

Additional Resources

For more information, see the complete line of IEC 60320 products available at Interpower. IEC 60320 components are found in various Interpower product lines, including power cords and cord sets. See also the Featured Product page.

Interpower offers free technical support. For further assistance, please see Interpower’s contact information below.

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