Hospital-Grade Plugs: The Other Hotlines in Times of Crises

Posted on 3/16/20 11:28 AM

U.S.A.-Made Hospital-Grade Cords

Whether it’s a life-support unit in a large city or a heart monitor in a small-town clinic, reliable power is critical to medical facility patients, families and staff. Hospital-grade plugs can be molded or hand-wired in several colors. The color of choice for many hospitals and clinics, however, is the clear, see-through Interpower hospital plug. The clear plug allows medical staff to see if plug wiring and other components remain intact.

“Many medical professionals prefer clear plugs to solid colors,” says Dan Ford, Technical Support Specialist at Interpower. “The clear plug allows you to see the connected wires and the anchor rings that hold the connected wires and components in place in order to inspect for damage.”

North American Hospital-grade Plug Standards

In North America, hospital-grade plugs are used in operating and hospital rooms as well as in clinics and testing facilities—any medical facility application that demands power 24/7. The following briefly describes requirements found within these standards—UL 817 and 498 standards in the U.S., and CSA C22.2 no. 21, in Canada.

Molded-on, Hand-Wired Attachment Plugs and Connectors

For hospital-grade molded-on or hand-wired NEMA attachment plugs and connectors, the UL 817 and CSA C22.2 no. 21 requirements are applicable to the following configurations: 5-15, 5-20, 6-15, and 6-20. A sample of the language includes, “The blades on the plug shall be of solid brass material and may be nickel-plated.” “The grounding pin cannot be easily bent or removed.” (Note: CSA also allows a 1-15 which is an ungrounded plug with no ground pin.). “The plug needs to be a straight or a right-angle type.” In North America, Hospital-Grade plugs and cords require a green dot per the UL 817 requirement:27.1 An attachment plug and connector shall be marked ‘Hospital Grade’ and with a green dot. One or both markings on the face of the plug shall be permitted. The marking ‘Hospital Grade’ shall also be permitted on other external surfaces of the plug and connector.”

Medical Standards in Japan

Hospital-grade plugs and outlet-sockets need to be approved in accordance with JIS T 1021. Each shall be indelibly marked with an “H” and for plugs, a green dot is allowed. Hospitals have specific preferences when using hospital-grade plugs and sockets.

Medical Recommendations in Australia and Denmark


Medical equipment needs to meet the AS/NZS 3200 standard. There are no special requirements for plugs, only preferences. All Australian plugs must be approved to the AS/NZS 3112 standard. In Australian medical applications, it is preferred by some hospitals to have a clear plug with an orange, flexible cable.


There are Danish hospital-grade plugs and sockets that are recommended for use in medical applications. The socket is designed to prevent “normal equipment” from being connected and disrupting the mains circuit in specific medical settings. For select medical facilities in Denmark, red is the preferred color.

Meeting Hospital-Grade Needs

At Interpower, a wide range of hospital-grade plugs are available, along with choices of cable lengths and colors, including red and orange. Specialized labeling, packaging, and made-to-order assemblies are among the value-added services offered.

For more information on the complete line of hospital-grade products offered by Interpower, see Hospital-Grade Products. See also the Featured Product page.

Interpower offers free technical support. For further assistance, please see Interpower’s contact information below.

Hospital-Grade Cords in 1-Week!

Topics: Hospital-Grade Products, hospital-grade cords, hospital-grade plugs, USA Made Products

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