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  9. IEC 60320 C13 Ratings

One IEC 60320 C13 and Two Amperage Ratings?

Video Transcript

Ralph Bright—
Hello, I’m Ralph Bright, Vice President of Marketing and IT at Interpower.

We have real people answering the phones each day at Interpower which means we receive a number of product design questions. Usually if a question has been asked by one person, it means that others also have the same question.

One commonly asked question is: “How can one connector, such as the C-13, have two different amp ratings?”

To answer this question, we have Mike Boyle, Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics. Welcome, Mike.

Mike Boyle—
Thank you, Ralph.

Please explain why one connector can have two different amp ratings.

The dual ratings for electrical components are based on the different product safety standards around the world. Part of this is due to how the different agencies test and rate these components. Take, for example, the common I-E-C 60320 C-13 connector. In the United States and Canada, these connectors are typically rated at a maximum of 15 amps per the UL 498 standard and the relatively new U-L-C-S -A 60320-1 standard. Outside of North America, most countries follow the I-E-C 60320-1 standard and rate the connector at 10 amps maximum. Key assessments are the temperature rise and breaking capacity tests.

How will one know what the connector will be rated at?

The connector will always be rated at what the country allows. For instance, you have a piece of equipment that you have been selling in the United States  for years and now decide you would like to start exporting it. Your equipment is pulling 11 amps and has a C-14 inlet built into it. While this setup works great in the United States, it can cause a problem in other countries, such as Brazil.

In Brazil, the C-13 is only rated for 10 amps. Cutting the plug off of a NEMA power cord and adding a rewireable Brazilian plug will not solve the problem—it causes more. Even though the connector is rated at 15 amps in the United States, the connector will still be rated at 10 amps per the Brazilian standard. In addition, your power cord will not be approved because approved cords need to be made with international cable. That is why it’s important to know what the country of export has for regulations and standards.

Thank you Mike for the information and thank you for joining us today.

If you have a question that you would like answered, please let us know by e-mailing us at or calling us at 1–800–662–2290.