Replacement Mains Cables Explained

From time to time, you may need to replace the mains cable for any one of a range of devices used in the home or the office (such as a laptop or desktop PC, monitors, games consoles etc.). The mains cable is, of course, what plugs into the socket on your wall, an extension lead, or something such as a PDU (power distribution unit), usually found rack-mounted in a cabinet, and powers your device.

In this short article, we’ll explore just exactly what you need to look for, the different types/shapes of connector to fit your device, as well as how the cables are tested to ensure that they meet a variety of safety regulations and standards.

Size Matters

…or more specifically, shape. In the UK, every plug has three pins as standard, but it’s the other end of the cable – the connector – that is crucial to get right when you’re purchasing a replacement. Buy the wrong one and it simply won’t fit into your device.

IEC 60320 is a set of international standards for appliances up to 250 Volts, and all the UK mains connectors you will find on our UK Mains cables conform to this. Each type consists of the letter C followed by a number which denotes what shape the connector is.

Here at Cable Intelligence, we stock the most commonly used variants used in the UK. These are:

  • C5 – Often referred to as a ‘cloverleaf’ connector due to the rounded shape of its three pins.
  • C7 – Often referred to as a ‘figure eight’ connector.
  • C13 – Also known as a kettle lead.

For the full list of connector shapes, click here:

C5 'Cloverleaf' Connector

C7 'Figure-Eight' Connector

C13 'Kettle Lead' Connector

Safety First

Of course, as with everything in the world of consumer appliances, testing is performed on all these cables to ensure that they are safe to use.

Our cables are ASTA approved, which is an industry-standard recognised certification from a company called Intertek. They are also CE marked, meaning that they meet a strict set of standards for products sold within the EEA (European Economic Area). The plugs themselves also conform to BS1363, the British Standard for 13A plugs.

Hopefully, this short but sweet post has helped you to understand the difference between the mains cable connectors that are available and has equipped you with the knowledge to be able to buy a replacement confidently. Don’t forget, that if you find you need a cable that’s not listed on our website, give us a call on 01684 299 223 – the chances are we can source it for you!

IEC Connector Images Courtesy of Wikipedia/Museo8bits


Got Questions?

If you want to know more about anything in this blog post, call us on 01684 299 223.