IEC 320 C-14 receptacle questions

Thread Starter

Citywide EV

Joined Jan 3, 2019
Hello All,
I design & build electric go karts.
So far, I have built some that run @ 24V, some @ 36V , some @ 48V & now I am starting to get into 60V systems.

For the last year or so, I have been using these little 48V 2.5A battery chargers. (~$15.00) charge the (4) 12V 12AH SLA batteries on my 48V karts,

These chargers have a standard (2) prong 110VAC input plug & come with a IEC 320 C-13 output plug, for connecting to the battery pack.
...but, they don't come with a matching C-14 receptacle. (for mounting on the kart & connecting to the battery pack)

So, I have just been using regular C-14 power cord receptacles, that are readily available (~$5.00)
...without any problems. They never even got warm, I checked several times.

But, they are usually only used for attaching power cords to home appliances
...& as such they have only been tested for & rated for AC voltage. (250VAC 10A)

Now moving up to 60VDC, I would like to try-n-confirm that these C-14 receptacles are up to the task
…& can handle ~60VDC @ 2.5A.

These 60V 2.5A chargers also plug in to a standard wall socket & come with a C-13 DC output plug. (~$17.00)

It looks to me like a C-14 receptacle (rated 250VAC) is basically just a couple of conductors mounted in a plastic housing.

So, I guess my question is, are wires/cables/conductors "voltage specific"?
...for conductors, does it matter if it's AC voltage or DC voltage running thru it?


Joined Mar 30, 2018
The C14 appliance couplers should not have any problem handling 60Vdc at 2.5A, and the wires/cables/conductors can handle ac or dc for their rated voltage/current.

However dc voltages can create an arc for an extended period at a switch or disconnect device, therefore I’d recommend you avoid hot connection/disconnection when passing dc through the appliance couplers.

But a much bigger concern is the use of these IEC 60320 mains couplers on a low voltage circuit – clearly there is the possibility that someone will accidentally connect the battery circuit to the mains, which might very well cause an explosion/fire or electric shock hazard. Product safety standards would not permit the use of these connectors as used in these chargers.

If you must use these appliance couplers, I would strongly advise that you place a prominent warning close to the charging connection socket and control/limit access to the karts (especially children).
If you are selling the karts you are making (or even giving them away), you could shortly find yourself in jail as a result of injury to someone.

Thread Starter

Citywide EV

Joined Jan 3, 2019
Thank you for the reply.
My karts are for personal/family use.

I also thought it seemed like, for them, to be using a C-13 plug as a DCV output plug, on battery chargers was a bad idea.

I could see where it would be possible for someone to simply plug in a 110VAC power cord to the C-14 receptacle.
...which would directly connect 110VAC to the 48VDC battery pack. TOTALLY NOT GOOD!

Then, why would these battery chargers come equipped with a C-13 DC output plug?

What would be more appropriate?
...something like an XLR type connector?

Here is a pic of one of my 48V karts

Thanks, again



Joined Jan 18, 2008
I second power pole connectors. I use them when I need a high current DC connection, as for a winch. One nice thing is that neither the housing nor contacts are gendered, male or female are the same (at least for the ones I use). They have a robust "wiping" connection.

As an inferior alternative, the standard 15A /220V plug and sockets can be used. That is uncommon in the US and it is, according to what I have read, commonly used for 12V by the RV crowd.



Joined Mar 30, 2018
I would recommend you use a connector pair from this series, which are primarily for rc model charging.

You will need to cut the C14 connector from the charger and attach the female XT connector. Make sure you get the polarity of the plug & socket correct.

Call me a spoil-sport, but I would consider guarding the exposed kart drive (motor shaft/gear, chain and rear drive gear); these parts are inviting loose clothing or stray fingers to become tangled/mangled therein.

Thread Starter

Citywide EV

Joined Jan 3, 2019
Thanks for the XT connector suggestion.
I already have some 2-pin Molex connectors.
Their specs are 250V AC/DC ~10A (if used with 18g. wire) requirements are 60VDC ~2.5A.
They don't look as elegant but, should do.

The Torsk kart is still a "work in progress"
...but, a chain guard is definitely on the agenda.