Before deciding to replace any of your electrical plugs or electrical plug connectors, there are a few things you should consider.
Electrical Plugs and Plug Connectors Considerations
When shopping for plugs and plug connectors, make sure you’re aware of the voltage, the electrical potential between two points on a circuit. A variety of voltages are used around the world, but 120v and 240v plugs and plug connectors are generally the most common. Many appliances and extension cords have standard 120v electrical plugs, while 240v plugs are designed for larger appliances including generators and industrial applications.
Amperage, or the strength of an electrical current, is another important factor to consider. The amperage of an electrical plug has a direct influence on the wattage – or the measurement of electrical power. The most common electrical plugs and plug connectors are 15, 20 and 30 amps. Ensure that your new plug or connector has the same amp rating as your old one.
Electrical Plug Safety
All electrical plugs and plug connectors have a National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) code associated with them to help you differentiate between various configurations of voltages and amperages. This ultimately helps prevent dangerous combinations of plugs and electrical outlets that could lead to electrical fires, shocks and other hazardous incidents.
Types of Electrical Plugs and Plug Connectors
Keep in mind the connection type you might need for your plug or connector. Electrical plugs and connectors will have either a straight blade or twist lock connection. While straight blade plugs and connectors are usually designed for household and industrial appliances, twist lock plugs and connectors are typically found in industrial settings.
There are also adapter plugs that can easily convert a straight blade connection to a twist lock connection and vice versa.
Whether you need a replacement plug or connector, it’s imperative to know what you’re looking for so you can select the best one for your specific application. Our How to Shop for Different Types of Electrical Outlets guide explains the standard residential wiring requirements and appropriate outlets.