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General Information - NEMA
NEMA connectors are are power plugs, receptacles and connectors for AC power in North America and other countries using the standards set by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (US). NEMA devices have current ratings ranging from 15 to 60 amperes, with voltage ratings from 125 to 600V. Depending on the application, plugs can come with ground, neutral or line pins in multiple combinations with corresponding connectors/receptacles.
The two main classifications for NEMA plugs are straight blade and locking. The straight blade plugs can be easily inserted into a matching receptacle and in turn disconnected by tugging on the plug head. The locking plugs were designed to prevent accidental unplugging in primarily industrial settings and must be twisted into place upon installation. The Locking series of NEMA plugs offers the same power functionality as the standard series, but are classified by "L". In example the NEMA 5-15P and L5-15P both offer maximum 15A 125VAC ratings, but the L series offers the extra locking safety feature.
The blades of a NEMA connector are identified as follows. "G" is the grounding conductor, "W" is the neutral conductor, and "X", "Y" and "Z" are the line conductors. Single phase will either use (X) or (X and Y) phase depending on the application, and three phase plugs will use all X, Y and Z.
The NEMA 1-15P is a 2 Wire 2 Blade ungrounded plug rated at 125V and 15 Amps in North America. The use of NEMA 1-15R (the receptacle matching the 1-15P) is discontinued in new home installations in the U.S (since 1962). NEMA 1-15P are compatible with the NEMA 5-15R outlet. This plug can be "polarized" or "non-polarized", a polarized 1-15P will have unequal blades to prevent harm to devices attached.
The NEMA 5-15P is a 3 Wire grounded plug featuring two blades (can be equal or unequal widths due to the ground pin forcing polarity) and one ground pin rated up to 125V AC and 15 Amps. The NEMA 5-15P is your standard household plug used for to connect small appliances such as TV's, Microwaves, hairdryers, etc to a wall outlet. The NEMA 5-15P is compatible with a Nema 5-20R T-Slot outlet, which is commonly found in new home installations.
The NEMA 5-20P is a 3 Wire grounded plug featuring two blades and one ground pin rated up to 125V AC and 20 Amps. The NEMA 5-20P is used in applications that require higher power draw such as large refrigerators, space heaters, large kitchen mixers, etc. The 5-20R T-Slot receptacle allows you to plug in either a 5-20P or a 5-15P plug, allowing greater flexibility. In modern home installations, 5-20R T-Slot receptacles are often used when 20A circuits are installed due to flexibility of being downward compatible with the 5-15P.
The NEMA 6-15P is a 3 Wire grounded plug featuring two blades and a ground pin, rated up to 250V AC and 15 Amps. The NEMA 6-15P has two, horizontal blades on the top of the plug spaced 23⁄32" center to center and a ground pin spaced between the two on the bottom of the plug. The NEMA 6 Series is commonly used with 208V and 240V circuits depending on your electrical service
The NEMA 6-20P is a 3 Wire grounded plug featuring two blades and a ground pin, rated up to 250V AC and 20A. The 6-20P has a horizontal and vertical blade to prevent attachment to lower ampere rated receptacles. However, the 6-20R (receptacle) offers a "T" slot allowing connection of both a 6-20P and a 6-15P. Common applications are commercial ovens and large air condition units.
The NEMA L5-15P is a 3 Wire grounded plug with a hot, neutral and ground pin rated up to 125V and 15A. The plug can be locked into place on the matching receptacle which prevents nuisance disconnection. This feature makes this plug popular in commercial and industrial settings where high traffic or moving of equipment is common. This plug can be distinguished against other NEMA Locking plugs by its small blade circumference on the plug head and inward turned tabs on the neutral blade.
The NEMA L5-20P is a 3 Wire grounded plug with a hot, neutral , and ground pin rated up to 125V and 20A. This plug can be locked into place on the matching receptacle which prevents nuisance disconnection. This plug looks nearly identical to L5-30P but is slightly smaller in pin thickness and alignment circumference. Refer to either plug, receptacle or face plate to find out your amp requirements.
The NEMA L5-30P is a 3 Wire grounded plug with a hot, neutral and ground pin rated up to 125V and 30A. This plug can be locked into place on the matching receptacle which prevents nuisance disconnection. This plug looks nearly identical to L5-20P but is slightly larger in pin thickness and alignment circumference. Refer to either plug, receptacle or faceplate to find out your amp requirements.
The NEMA L6-15P is a 3 Wire grounded plug with a hot, hot and ground pin rated up to 250V and 15A. This plug can be locked into place on the matching receptacle which prevents nuisance disconnection. The NEMA L6 Series is most commonly used for 208V or 240V applications, This plug can be distinguished by its tight pin alignment on the plug head and the outward turned tab on the ground pin.
The NEMA L6-20P is a 3 wire grounded plug with a hot, hot and ground pin rated up to 250V and 20A. This plug can be locked into place on the matching receptacle which prevents nuisance disconnection. This plug is commonly found on in-rack power distribution units (PDU) where standard electrical service exceeds 125V, also in industrial settings to supply power to equipment or power tools.
The NEMA 6-30P is a (hot-hot-ground) grounded plug that is rated up to 250V and 30A. This plug will supply either 208V or 240V based upon your electrical service, and will provide no neutral connection. This is commonly found on in-rack power distribution units where the electrical service is greater than 120V. The locking safety feature prevents this plug from disconnecting without intent
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