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Are There Any Differences Between C13 and C14 Plugs? 

Read Time:4 Minute, 33 Second

The office, industrial, and household devices have different power plugs to connect to the primary power source. There are various power cords for different devices; however, the most common ones are the C13 and C14 Plugs. They are ideal for computers, communications, and other appliances.  

However, every device has distinct features which make them suitable for only one cable. Many people may not be aware of these differences; hence the need to understand the key differences is crucial. Understanding the difference will enable you to select the correct plug for your device. Here are some key differences you need to understand. 

1. What Is A Power Plug? 

The cable enables you to connect the device to the power source. It connects to the power source to transmit the energy through the cable to power your device. The power cord or the cable has three internal cables connected to the plug to transfer the power from the source to the device.  

2. What Is A C13 Power Plug? 

It is a power cord to plug peripheral devices, such as monitors, PCs, and printers, into the power source. The power source can be wall sockets or generators. Most of the time, you will always find it attached to the back of a computer or monitor, or it will come with a new PC. They have three pins on both ends. 

3. What Is A C14 Power Plug? 

Unlike the C13 plug, it is used for other devices that require more power than PCs, monitors, and printers. They are suitable for big appliances such as washing machines, dryers, microwaves, and photocopying machines. They can fit into the ordinary C13 power sockets but cannot be used on a C14-designed device; otherwise, they short circuit the device.    

4. Critical Differences Between C13 And C14 Power Plugs

  • Plug Configurations 

The mounting style for C13 is a cable mount, while the C14 is a screw mount or a snap-in. You cannot connect the C14 to any device and power the device without screws. However, the C13 connector is available in different configurations, such as angled and straight versions.  

The C13 is commonly referred to as a female connector, while the C14 is frequently referred to as a male appliance inlet. They can both support devices in environments with temperatures up to 70oc.  

  • The Plug Diameter And Lengths 

C13 is one of the most commonly used plugs available in lengths ranging from 6 ft. to 25ft. You can select the most preferred lengths based on your needs. C14 is available in different lengths ranging from 6ft to 25 ft.  

The critical difference lies in the diameter; C13 has a smaller diameter than C14. The smaller diameter makes it vulnerable to damage when handled inappropriately. You can damage them easily when you pull them wrongly or when you trip them over; hence, C14 is more durable than C13 and can survive various conditions unless handled carelessly.  

The variation in diameters is due to the functionality and purposes. The C14 is suitable for transferring more current, hence the need for a thicker diameter for protection. The diameter also makes them ideal for use in various environments.  

They are suitable for industrial purposes, large-scale applications, and power-intensive devices such as refrigerators, dryers, and air conditioners. The C 13 is suitable for small-scale and home-based uses. It is ideal for machines that are less power-intensive and require limited energy. 

  • The Power Cord Sizes 

Both cords are suitable for connecting devices to generators or wall outlets. The most common power code length for C13 is three feet long, while the C14 is four feet long.   

  • The Shape Of The Plug And Number Of Pins

The difference also depends on the shape of the plug; the C13’s pin is circular while C14’s is octagonal. It is essential to note the plug shape to determine how they fit into the computer or any device. Different devices are suited to use only one plug; hence you need to determine the device inlet port before buying either of these cables.  

Based on the number of pins, the C13 has two ends: one is the standard AC plug, while the other is three prongs, two flat and a round one. The C14 has two ends but has three pins at both ends. It also differs from the C13 because it is slightly longer.  

  • Voltage Capacity And Applications 

The C13 has a rating of 10amps at 250 volts and supports devices that use 120 or 240 volts. The C14 is suitable for use in devices that require 230 volts. It has a rating of 15 amps at 250volts. They both are compatible with IEC-320-C13 receptacles and IEC-320-C14 inlets.  

They cannot be used on any device due to the differences in amps and voltage capacity. Therefore, you must understand the device’s ability before purchasing the plugs or replacing a broken one. Otherwise, you risk damaging the device or destroying the cable. 

The C14 is ideal for power-intensive devices, while the C13 can support multiple devices through limited voltage and power capacity.  


Nowadays, most devices come with either C14 or C13 power plugs. However, you need to understand the device before buying a replacement. They have vital differences such as inlet design, power capacity, and configuration, hence the need for caution when selecting a cable. You cannot use them interchangeably since every device is only compatible with one cable.  


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