Plugs & Connectors
A Guide to Plugs and Connectors
At some point, everyone has had to deal with plugs and connectors. Whether you're an electrical contractor, a home user, or a commercial user, you've likely had to connect equipment to a power supply. This guide will break down the different plugs and connectors to make the best decision for your needs.
Straight-Blade Plugs and Connectors
Straight-blade plugs and connectors are the most common type. They are compatible with straight-blade receptacles and can be used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Straight-blade is always a safe bet if you're unsure what type of plug or connector you need.
Locking Plugs and Connectors
Locking plugs and connectors are locked in place with a twisting motion to prevent them from accidentally disconnecting. This is ideal for applications with a risk of disconnection, such as in industrial settings. Locking plugs and connectors are available in standard and midget sizes. Midget locking devices are smaller than standard-size locking devices and require less space when installing them.
Pin-and-Sleeve Plugs and Connectors
Pin-and-sleeve plugs and connectors keep dirt, grime, moisture, and other elements away from electrical connections. This makes them ideal for use in dirty or wet environments. Pin-and-sleeve plugs and connectors are available in standard, midget, watertight, dustproof, explosion proof, flameproof, and hazardous location versions.
Mechanical Interlock Devices
Mechanical interlock devices are receptacles that allow compatible plugs to be attached only when the power is turned off. They prevent the plug from being removed from the receptacle while the power is on. This safety feature is often required in commercial and industrial settings. Single-pole devices are the most common type of mechanical interlock device. They have two brass contact blades that mate with two brass contact studs on the plug body to complete the circuit when the plug is inserted into the receptacle. Three-pole devices have three brass contact blades that mate with three brass contact studs on the plug body to complete the circuit when the plug is inserted into the receptacle.
There are many different types of plugs and connectors on the market today. It's essential to choose the right one for your needs so that you can avoid accidents and ensure a safe connection. We hope this guide has helped break down the different types of plugs and connectors so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.