Learning
Center

Leading you to an educated decision.

NEMA 5-15

Two basic classifications define NEMA devices: straight-blade and locking. The straight-blade 5-15 and 5-20 are found nearly everywhere in countries using the NEMA standards, and are intended for supplying lighter-duty, general-purpose electrical devices. Twist-locking types are used for heavy industrial and commercial equipment, where increased resistance to accidental disconnection is required. The numeral preceding the hyphen in NEMA nomenclature indicates the configuration, that is, the number of poles, number of wires, voltage, and whether single- or three-phase. A grounding type of device will be described as two-pole, three-wire; or four-pole, five-wire; etc. A non-grounding device will be two-pole, two wire; or three-pole, three-wire; etc.

The numeral following the hyphen is the rating of the device in amperes. The amperes number is followed by the letter R to indicate a receptacle (female connector), or the letter P to indicate a plug (male connector).