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What is a NEMA 5-15 Plug?

In the world of electrical components, understanding different types of plugs and receptacles is crucial, especially in the automotive and EV industries. One such common plug is the NEMA 5-15. But what exactly is it?

A NEMA 5-15 plug is a type of electrical plug used in North America and several other countries. Here are the key details about a NEMA 5-15 plug:

  • Configuration: It has two flat parallel blades and a grounding pin, making it a three-pronged plug.
  • Voltage and Current: It is designed for use with 120-volt circuits and can handle a maximum current of 15 amps.
  • Common Use: It is the standard plug for most household appliances and electronic devices in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Compatibility: It fits into a standard NEMA 5-15 receptacle (outlet) and is backward compatible with older two-prong outlets (without the grounding pin).

The NEMA 5-15 plug is widely used due to its simplicity and reliability for providing power to a wide range of devices, from lamps and computers to kitchen appliances and EV charging.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the specifics and applications of the NEMA 5-15 plug.

What does NEMA 5-15P mean?

NEMA 5-15P is a designation for a plug with two flat parallel blades and a grounding pin. This plug type is commonly used in domestic electrical equipment across North America. The “5” indicates it is a 125V plug, and “15” signifies it can handle up to 15 amps.

How many amps can a NEMA 5-15 handle?

The NEMA 5-15 plug can handle up to 15 amps of current at 125 volts AC. This rating makes it suitable for various household appliances, such as lamps, toasters, and most consumer electronics.

What is a NEMA 5-15 plug rating?

A NEMA 5-15 plug is rated for up to 125 volts and 15 amps. This rating ensures compatibility with standard electrical systems in homes and commercial spaces, providing a reliable connection for various devices.

What is a 5-15 phase plug?

The NEMA 5-15 is a three-wire, two-blade connector with a ground pin. This configuration allows the plug to deliver both AC and DC power, with a maximum power consumption of 15 amps at 125 volts. It is commonly used in devices like air conditioners, computers, and other electrical appliances. Additionally, some EV charging equipment, especially Level 1 chargers, can utilize NEMA 5-15 plugs for basic charging needs. These chargers can be plugged into standard household outlets, making them convenient for home use.

What is a NEMA 5-15 plug used for?

The NEMA 5-15 plug is widely used in household and commercial applications. It is commonly found in devices like televisions, computers, and kitchen appliances. Its versatility and safety features make it a standard choice for many electrical applications. In the context of electric vehicles (EVs), NEMA 5-15 plugs are often used with Level 1 EV chargers. These chargers, while slower than Level 2 chargers, offer a simple and accessible way to charge EVs using standard household outlets. However, Level 2 EV chargers, which require 240 volts, cannot use NEMA 5-15 plugs; they typically use NEMA 6-20 or NEMA 14-50 plugs.

What is a NEMA 5-15 plug wiring diagram?

Understanding the wiring diagram of a NEMA 5-15 plug is essential for proper installation. The plug has three wires: green for grounding, white for neutral, and black for the live wire. This configuration ensures a safe and efficient electrical connection.


In conclusion, the NEMA 5-15 plug is an essential component in many electrical applications, providing a safe and reliable connection. Understanding its specifications and uses can help you make informed decisions in the automotive and EV industries.

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