What are IEC and Schuko Connectors?

IEC and Schuko Connectors

The computer is one of those series for geeks that you have to see it or yes. Especially if you dedicate yourself to this world of technology, in it, there are two consolidated patch cords that, at least I, have used a hundred times: Have you tried turning the computer off and on? and above all, are you sure it is plugged in? Because, yes, things unplugged give a lot of headaches. So many, which is the first thing to check in the event of an absence of operation. That is why we will deal today with the most common electrical connection in Spain, referring to small devices (up to 2.5kW). And although we will dedicate more inputs to connectors, we focus on the best known and most used: IEC and Schuko.

Schutzkontakt… or Schuko connectors

When I spoke making you Schukowe refer to the system plug and the base defined in CEE 7/4 standard and F type. It is the abbreviated form of the German term Schutzkontakt (protective contact). Not surprisingly, this socket is distinguished by 2 contacts, upper and lower, of protection to earth that establish a connection before the phase and neutral pins do. It also has a pair of lateral guides that provide greater stability and allows an amperage of 16A.

A hybrid Schuko

Apart from the German standard type F, we can find a German-French hybrid (like the flaky co-productions of the 70s): the type E + F or CEE 7/7. It was des rolled to respect the polarity differences between the two countries’ standards, allowing its use in both. It has grounding clips, in German plan, and a female contact (the French touch) to accept the CEE 7/5 ground pin. Currently, all the devices destined to any of these sockets include the CEE 7/7 plug. Thus, they can be used in all countries whose standards are based either on the German or the French.

IEC connectors

IEC connector’s generic name refers to 13 connectors and as many electrical power plugs included in the IEC 60320 specification. The correct denomination is defined as the connectorto the metal contacts tubular (female type designated by odd number) and as input to the set of metallic contacts cylindrical (male type, with an even number). If I have to come and explain what male and female mean, it gives me a chance. I continue.

Most used connectors

Namely, and from low to high intensity:

The C1 / C2, with 2 pins with maximum support of 0.2 A. The C5 / C6, also called Mickey Mouse or clover, has 3 pins and support 2.5A. We continue with the C7 / C8, known as 8 or shotgun. They are 2-pin and repeat 2.5A. For its part, the C13 / C14 has 3 rectangular plugs and admit 10A. Finally, the C19 / C20 is similar to the previous ones but rectangular and with the pins a little bigger and turned. Not surprisingly, they have 16A.

With a graph, you will see it more clearly.

IEC 60320 Power Cord Configurations Chart
Pin Layout
Female
Male
Connector
Outlet
Female
Classification
Plug
Inlet
Male
Classification
International
Rating
N.America
Rating
Is
Grounded?
Poles
IEC C1 C2 connectorC1C2250V
2.5 Amps
125V
10 Amps
No2 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C3 C4 connectorC3C4250V
2.5 Amps
125V
10 Amps
No2 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C5 C6 connectorC5 C6250V
2.5 Amps
125V
10 Amps
Yes3 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C7 C8 connector C7C8250V
2.5 Amps
125V
10 Amps
No2 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C9 C10 connectorC9C10250V
6 Amps
/No2 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C11 C12 connectorC11C12250V
10 Amps
125V/250V
15 Amps
No2 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C13 C14 connectorC13C14250V
10 Amps
125V/250V
15 Amps
Yes3 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C15 C16 connectorC15C16250V
10 Amps
125V/250V
15 Amps
Yes3 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C17 C18 connectorC17C18250V
10 Amps
125V / 250V
15 Amps
No2 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C19 C20 connectorC19C20250V
16 Amps
125V/250V
20Amps
Yes3 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C21 C22 connectorC21C22250V
16 Amps
125V/250V
20 Amps
Yes3 Wires
2 Poles
IEC C23 C24 connectorC23C24250V
16 Amps
125V/250V
20 Amps
No2 Wires
2 Poles

Unplugging

At this point, I suppose you will have finished asking for a power cable with a round thing at one end and a square at the other. It is more professional to say, to the delight of commercials and the envy of brothers-in-law, that of a CEE 7 male to C13. Although on some occasions, your interlocutor is left with a loony face and answers “water.”

At last, I remind you that you can see everything about power cables and devices with Schuko connectors and everything related to IEC in our online store.

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