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NEMA Plug Configuration Chart

9/13/23

Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about electrical plugs and receptacles. They take it for granted that just about any power cord will end in a plug that fits neatly into that socket it the wall.

But the pros know that there are more configurations for plugs and receptacles than the average person ever dreams of, with blades of many sizes and shapes. That’s because, once you get beyond the requirements of simple household appliances, you’ll need circuits that deliver more power with higher amperages, voltages or both.

And while these circuits are perfect for welding machines and other industrial equipment, you wouldn't want to plug something into them that wasn’t designed to handle their voltage and amperage.

Fortunately, there’s a set of standards developed by the National Electronics Manufacturers Association (NEMA) that specifies which plug and receptacle configurations can be used with which amperages and voltages. These standards, ANSI/NEMA WD 6-2021, are designed to prevent “unsafe interchangeability” by making it physically impossible to plug a device into a receptacle that has the wrong kind of power for it.

These charts show many of the possible NEMA straight-blade configurations, from the common wall socket to more rarely seen plugs and receptacles.

NEMA Straight-Blade Plug and Receptacle Configurations

Classic straight-blade NEMA configurations are quick to plug in and unplug.

Two-Pole, Two-Wire

NEMA Number

Voltage

Amperage

Configuration

Application Notes

1

125V

15

1-15 plugs and receptacles

• Old wall outlets

• Some small appliance plugs

2

250V

20

2-20 plugs and receptacles

Two-Pole, Three-Wire, Grounding

NEMA Number

Voltage

Amperage

Configuration

Application Notes

5

125V

15

5-15 plugs and receptacles

• Wall outlets and most household appliances

20

5-20 plugs and receptacles

30

5-30 plugs and receptacles

50

5-50 plugs and receptacles

6

250V

15

6-15 plugs and receptacles

• Air conditioners

20

6-20 plugs and receptacles

• Air conditioners, power tools

30

6-30 plugs and receptacles

• Air conditioners

50

6-50 plugs and receptacles

• Some EV chargers

7

277V

15

7-15 plugs and receptacles

• Some high-powered lighting

 

TT

125V AC

30

TT-30 plugs and receptacles

• RVs and trailers

Three-Pole, Three-Wire

NEMA 10 has been deprecated for new installations since the National Electrical Code (NEC) of 1996. NEMA 14 plugs and receptacles are comparable but with the addition of a ground connection.

NEMA Number

Voltage

Amperage

Configuration

Application Notes

10

125 / 250V

20

10-20 plugs and receptacles

• Clothes dryers and kitchen ranges

30

10-30 plugs and receptacles

• Clothes dryers and kitchen ranges

50

10-50 plugs and receptacles

• Clothes dryers and kitchen ranges

Three-Pole, Four-Wire, Grounding

NEMA Number

Voltage

Amperage

Configuration

Application Notes

14

125 / 250V

20

14-20 plugs and receptacles

30

14-30 plugs and receptacles

• Clothes dryers, some EV chargers

50

14-50 plugs and receptacles

• Ovens, some EV chargers, RVs, portable generators, commercial audio and lighting

60

14-60 plugs and receptacles

15

3 Ø
250V

20

15-20 plugs and receptacles

30

15-30 plugs and receptacles

50

15-50 plugs and receptacles

60

15-60 plugs and receptacles

Four-Pole, Four-Wire

NEMA Number

Voltage

Amperage

Configuration

Application Notes

18

3 Ø Y
120 / 208V

20

18-20 plugs and receptacles

50

18-50 plugs and receptacles

60

18-60 plugs and receptacles

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The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.