Know the North American Hospital-Grade Plug Requirements

Posted on 10/22/18 5:03 PM


Safety. Knowledge. Quality.

Patient safety and knowledge of the appropriate standards are essential in the product design of hospital-grade products—because every day is critical in a medical setting.

North American Standards

When designing, building and maintaining North American hospital-grade components to be used within any kind of medical setting, it’s important to know the requirements contained in the North American standards.


Molded-On Attachment Plugs and Connectors

For hospital-grade molded-on 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, in accordance with ANS/NEMA WD-6. The blades on the plug shall be of solid brass material and the grounding pin cannot be easily bent or removed. (Note: CSA also allows a 1-15P which is an ungrounded plug with no ground pin.) Both the plug and connector need to be a straight or a right-angle type and molded onto flexible cord.

green_dot_marking1Green Dot Requirements

Per UL 817, CSA C22.2 no. 21, and UL 498 the following marking requirements must be followed: Specific markings on a plug and connector need to be designated hospital-grade and marked “Hospital Grade” and with a green dot. The markings need to be located on the face of the device. The green dot has a minimum and maximum diameter and needs to be applied in a manner that makes it to be indelible.

Power Supply Cords

The type of flexible cord that is to be used on hospital-grade power supply cords is SJO, SJT, SJTO, SVO, SVT, SVTO, or other jacketed type cord of equal or harder usage, per UL 817. The conductor size is 18, 16, 14, 12, and 10 AWG.

Note about cord length: Presently there is not a maximum length requirement for a cord set in the UL 817 and CSA C22.2 no. 21 standards. However, it needs to be noted that a cord is derated when it becomes longer than 50 feet.

Hospital-Grade Extension Cords

The type of cord to be used for the hospital-grade extension cords includes SJO, SJT, SJTO or other jacketed type cord of equal or harder usage. The conductor size is 16, 14, 12, and 10 AWG. UL 817 states that, “A hospital-grade extension cord set shall have a maximum length of 15 feet.” (This cord uses a NEMA plug with a NEMA connector.)

Hospital-Grade Cord Sets

Hospital-grade cord sets need to have plugs that meet the above requirements and connectors that meet UL 60320-1 and UL 60320-3 requirements or another non-NEMA approved configuration.

Meeting Hospital-Grade Needs

At Interpower, hospital-grade products include an extensive range of plugs, specialized cable lengths for power cords and cord sets, and individual replacement cords. Value-added services include specialized labeling, packaging, and made-to-order assemblies.

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.

Topics: product design, Hospital-Grade Products, Designing for North America, hospital-grade cords

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