IEC Connector


An IEC connector is a type of electrical connector named after the International Electrotechnical Commission, who developed the standards for these connectors. It is commonly used as the connecting device on many types of consumer electronics and computer equipment. The design allows for interchangeable power cords, making it easier to replace damaged cords or to use a device in different regions with different power standards.


The phonetics of “IEC Connector” are:IEC: “Eye – Ee – See”Connector: “Kuh – Nek – tuhr”

Key Takeaways

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  1. Standardization: The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) connectors refer to a set of power plug standards that are globally recognized and universally compatible, making it easier to supply power to electronic devices across different regions.
  2. Variety: There are several types of IEC connectors, each designed for a specific purpose and to carry certain amounts of electrical loads. The most common ones are the IEC 320 C13 and C14, often used for connecting devices like computers, monitors and servers to a power source.
  3. Safety: IEC connectors are designed to ensure safe use of electrical devices. They are well insulated, made to withstand high temperatures, and are classified based on the maximum current, the type of equipment, and the level of protection against electric shock.



IEC connectors are crucial in the field of electronics and technology due to their role in ensuring efficient power transfer in different devices. Named after the International Electrotechnical Commission which standardized these connectors, IEC connectors enable secure power connectivity in a wide range of electronic appliances such as computers, televisions, and audio-visual equipment. Their acceptance on a global scale helps in standardizing power cables, adapters and power supplies, thereby minimizing compatibility issues across diverse devices. This internationally recognized standard further aids in promoting safety, reliability, and efficiency in power delivery systems, leading to both improved performance of electronic devices and enhanced user experience.


IEC connectors are primarily used in applications that involve plugging in electronic devices like televisions, computers, gaming consoles, and even some types of lighting equipment. These are standardized connectors that are designed to ensure safety and compatibility between different pieces of equipment. An IEC connector helps to provide a secure and reliable connection between an electrical device and the source of its power. This is an essential role because it not only ensures that the device works as it should, but also minimizes risks related to electricity, such as short circuits or electric shocks.Moreover, IEC connectors are intentionally designed to be different shapes and sizes to prevent the wrong type of device from being plugged into an incompatible power source. They have been developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is why they hold the name “IEC”. These connectors are created with international standards, ensuring that they can be used all over the world which helps facilitate the global market for electronic goods. Each type of IEC connector is coupled with a specific type of cable to ensure the correct power is delivered to the corresponding device.


1. Power Cords: One of the most common real world uses of IEC connectors is in power cords for desktop computers. These cords, known as IEC C13 or C14 connectors, are used to connect the power supply of the computer to the wall socket. 2. Audio and Video Equipment: IEC connectors are used in the cables of audio and video equipment such as amplifiers or receivers. For instance, the IEC 60906-2 connector is specifically designed for this type of devices.3. Laboratory Equipment: A lot of electrical laboratory equipment, like bench power supplies, frequency generators, or signal analyzers also use IEC connectors for their power cords. Different types of IEC connectors such as C19 or C20 can be found depending on the device.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is an IEC Connector?A: An IEC connector is a type of connector used for connecting power supply cords to electrical appliances. It is designed by the International Electrotechnical Commission, which is why it’s referred to as the IEC connector.Q: What are the different types of IEC connectors?A: IEC connectors come in different types, ranging from Type A (IEC 60320) used for appliances that require 2.5 Amps, to Type B (IEC 60320) used for appliances that require 10 Amps. Other types include Type C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, and N. Q: How can I identify different IEC connector types?A: IEC connectors can be identified by their appearance, including the arrangement and the number of pins. Each connector type has a unique pin configuration. For example, Type C, also known as the Europlug, has two round pins, while Type F, also known as Schuko, has two round pins and two grounding clips.Q: Are IEC connectors safe to use?A: Yes, IEC connectors are safe to use when handled properly. They are specifically designed with safety features including protective ground connections, internal fuses, and insulation to prevent direct contact with live parts. Q: Can I use any type of IEC connector for my device?A: No, each device requires a specific type of IEC connector depending on its power requirements and the region’s power system. It’s recommended to check the device’s manual to find out the suitable IEC connector type.Q: How can I replace an IEC connector if it’s damaged?A: Replacing an IEC connector involves carefully disconnecting the damaged connector and attaching a new one. It’s generally recommended to have a professional handle this if you’re not experienced with electrical repairs to ensure safety.Q: Do all countries use the same type of IEC connectors?A: No. Different regions have different mains power systems and may use different types of IEC connectors. It’s important to check the local power system and connector standards when traveling with electrical appliances. Q: Can I use an IEC connector for data transmission?A: Typically, IEC connectors are used for power transmission, not data transmission. However, some exceptions may apply such as IEC 60906-3 connector, used for ISDN desk devices, providing both power and data transmission. Q: Where can I purchase an IEC connector?A: IEC connectors can be purchased from many electronics retailers, both in physical stores and online. When purchasing a connector, make sure it matches the exact type required by your device. Q: Can I use an adapter with an IEC connector?A: Yes, adapters can be used to convert one type of IEC connector to another, or to adapt an IEC connector to a non-IEC standard. However, always ensure the adapter is rated for the correct voltage and current levels to avoid potential electrical issues.

Related Tech Terms

  • AC Power
  • Plug Types
  • Male Connector
  • Female Connector
  • Electrical Standards

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