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Product Focus: C18 to C7 Power Cords

Posted by Jim Smits on July 16, 2018

Stay Online now sells C18 to C7 power cords that are UL listed. Most common PDUs in the data center have C13 inlets, but some equipment such as laptops or other low-amperage devices are built with a two-pin C8 inlet. For a time, C14 to C7 cords were a go-to solution for plugging these devices into a PDU, but the form factor cannot get agency approvals which can be problematic for manufacturers. C18 to C7 power cords are UL listed and have many other certs which make them an ideal choice for powering a laptop or other device with a C8 inlet.


If you look at the end of a C14 plug, you will notice that it has three pins. However, the C7 is a two-pin connector. While this product can be made by leaving the ground unterminated and wiring the line and neutral, UL will not list the product due to the wire count mismatch. The C18, on the other hand, is identical to the C14 in shape and size, which allows it to be plugged into a C13 outlet. Think of it like the common two- and three-prong plugs in use in the United States (NEMA 1-15 and NEMA 5-15). The NEMA 1-15 can be UL listed even though it has two pins and mates with a standard three-pin receptacle.
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"So what's the big deal?" you may be thinking and, to a certain degree, you are right. The C14 to C7 cords that we sell, while not UL Listed, are safe in the sense that all power cords purchased from Stay Online are of the utmost quality and have been fully tested. However, UL has chosen not to list them due to the wire mismatch and the potential confusion that an end-user might have in thinking that the unit is grounded. Furthermore, if somebody had incorrectly wired a C13 outlet, that extra ground pin would become energized resulting in a dangerous situation. And finally, with Data Center UL Certifications around the corner, that non-UL C14 to C7 may soon become a liability.

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