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Frequently Asked Questions About Hospital Grade Power Cords

Posted by MEGA Electronics on Jan 23, 2018 11:30:00 AM

Hospital Grade Power Cord over emergency room image.

Where are hospital grade plugs required? 

Hospital grade plugs are required in any hospital-type environment in North America where the patient can come into contact with the cord, including doctor and dentist offices. 

There is no other global destination that requires a hospital grade plug, although clear plugs are recommended for use in Australia and New Zealand. 

What is the difference between standard plugs and hospital grade plugs?

Both standard commercial NEMA plugs for North America fall under UL 817 and CAN/CSA C22.2.  These cords are subject to special requirements contained in the following standards: Medical equipment standards: UL 60601-1 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 21.

Hospital grade cords and cord sets have solid pins, larger plug bodies which virtually eliminate the risk of wire to outer contour shock, and withstand greater pull forces.

NEMA hospital Grade Power Cord DiagramHospital grade cord plugs must carry the “green dot” signifying that they have been designed and tested to UL 817 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 21 as hospital-grade power cords and cord sets.

Specifically, UL 60601-1 sections 57.2 and 57.3 require that “patient care equipment” used in the “patient vicinity” must use hospital-grade attachment plugs. “Patient care equipment” and “patient vicinity” are defined in UL 60601-1 sections 2.12.19 & 2.12.20. 

Why are hospital grade plugs bigger than standard plugs? 

Larger plug bodies virtually eliminate the risk of wire to outer contour shock.

Hospital Grade Power Cord NEMA

Why are solid pins required?

Contrary to what would be thought to be logical, hospitals are one of the most abusive environments for equipment.  Beds are often moved without regard to the fact that they are plugged into the wall.  The solid pins are used to lower the risk of breakage inside the plug. 

Are hospital grade power cord plugs required to be clear?

No, hospital grade plugs do not need to be clear.  They can be any color, although clear plugs can be used to see the connection between the wire leads and the plug pin contacts. 

Are the IEC connectors required to be clear in hospital grade cords?

Like hospital grade plugs, IEC connectors do not need to be clear, and can be any color. 

Are there hospital grade plugs other than the NEMA 5/15?

Yes, is addition to the NEMA 5/15 (15A/125V) the below plugs are also available in hospital grade rating:

  • NEMA 5/20 (20A/125V)
  • NEMA 6/15 (15A/250V)
  • NEMA 6/20 (20A/250V)

Are lighted hospital grade plugs available?

Lighted plugs, which indicate when there is power reaching the cord, are available.

Spiral cords available on hospital grade cords at MEGA ElectronicsAre hospital grade cords available with coiled cords?

Yes, the cord can be coiled. 

To read information on how MEGA achieves a higher level of coil retentions please visit:

http://www.megaelectronics.com/spiralcords/

IECLock Rewireable C13Are hospital grade power cords available with the locking C13?

Yes: The hospital grade power cords are available with the locking C13, which requires no additional hardware to lock into any C14 inlet.

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