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  5. Designing with IEC 60320 C19 Connectors and C20 Inlets

Designing Products with IEC 60320 C19 Connectors and C20 Inlets

Designing a product that can be used in global markets can assist in creating excellent business opportunities. One way to incorporate this is by including power system components that are accepted worldwide, such as IEC 60320 connectors and inlets.

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.


A major advantage of the IEC 60320 system is that it can be used globally. When an equipment manufacturer designs an IEC 60320 inlet into a product, which is the most common means of connecting a detachable cord set to electrical or electronic equipment, it allows that manufacturer to make one product for sale worldwide. The detachable cord set needs to have a country-specific plug on one end and an IEC connector on the other end. This cord set allows connection to both the equipment (connector to inlet) and the power source (country-specific plug to wall socket).

IEC 60320 Connectors and Inlets

Among the components within the IEC 60320 system are connectors and inlets.


A connector is the outlet power end of a cord providing power to the equipment through connection to an inlet.


An inlet is the input power connection on equipment. It is the connection device that provides access for electricity to enter the equipment.

Appliance Coupler

An appliance coupler is the combination of a connector and an inlet that enables the connection and disconnection from the equipment. A connector and inlet allow manufacturers to make one product that can be used in many different markets, by only having to change the cord set. Each type of connector and inlet is identified by the letter “C” followed by a number, where the number of the appliance inlet is one higher than the number for the corresponding connector.

C19 Connector and C20 Inlet

Two of the most commonly used IEC 60320 connectors and inlets at Interpower are the C19 and C20. The mounting style for the C19 connector is cable-mount, while the mounting style for the C20 is screw-mount or snap-in.

C19 Connector

C20 Inlet

C19 connectors offered by Interpower are rated at 16A/250VAC international and 20A/125 or 250VAC North America with a temperature rating of up to 70°C/158°F.

C20 inlets are also rated at 16A/250VAC international and 20A/250VAC North America. The temperature rating is 60°C/140°F to 70°C/158°F, depending on the approval agency.

Interpower offers five different configurations for the C19 connector for North American and international use. There are four angle connectors and one straight version. The various angles allow for connections to be made to equipment, helping to eliminate the possibility of pinched or tangled cable, which can provide a safer routing of the cable. These are ideal for areas where space is limited between the equipment and the wall or where cord lengths need to be kept to a minimum for a tight or clean look, such as equipment racks.

Common uses for the C19 connector/C20 inlet include medical equipment, test equipment, and IT equipment, along with commercial appliances, some home appliances, data centers, power distribution devices, and professional food equipment, to name a few.

Additional Resources

For more information, see the complete line of IEC 60320 products available at Interpower, including the C19 angle connectors. 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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