When dealing with NEMA configurations (Outlets/Plugs) there are many possible options and some of them are very similar. So similar, it can be hard to tell the difference without a picture. You might reach out to us and say you need a three-prong plug or you have a 20 Amp outlet, for example. There are many options that can confuse a person, for both of these examples. 

NEMA Configuration Locking Chart

As you can see from the visual above there are many three-prong locking NEMA configurations, and multiple of them have the curve facing out or inward and are 15 Amps or 20 Amps. They may also be of different sizes. Some configurations are larger than other when you see them in person and it is hard to convey that from wording or NEMA Configuration images like the above.

If the image above did not confuse you enough here is another image of more NEMA Configuration possibilities. 

Locking NEMA Configurations

As you can see there are multiple configurations with 20 or 30 Amps, the same voltage, or where the number of prongs is the same. To avoid this confusion it is always best to send a picture of your plug and outlet so we can help you get the proper adapter the first time. We also have situations where appliances have plugs that don't look like household plug types and that confuses customers when having to plug them into the regular household outlets they have installed.

Tanning Bed Plug NEMA 5-20 Outlet
Tanning Bed Plug Regular Household outlet for Tanning 20 Amp Bed


A very common misconception is your plug will not match your connector, or outlet, perfectly. This is not the case, causing confusion when looking for an adapter, extension cord, power cable, etc. The male plug and the female connector are flipped when looking directly at them. See this example:

NEMA Comparison

Some people have trouble viewing the configurations as an opposite in their minds. It helps them to see the products in action. When looking directly at the plug think of it like you turn the page of a book.  As the plug turns in that direction it will flip into the outlet. There are many ways to explain this.
We aim to provide you with the best experience and part of that is helping you understand what products you need before you order the wrong product. This speeds the process by avoiding returns, exchanges, or other problems.
Our website contains a chat window in the lower right corner where you can upload images of your plugs/connections if you are unsure. We can help you figure out the correct connections.
We also have the outlet solution pages to help you match plugs and adapters to your home's already installed outlets. 
Here are some more videos on the topic to help you more in-depth:
There are some plugs and connectors that get commonly confused like the 5-20 and 6-20 plugs.  

Another pair of NEMA configurations commonly mistaken are the L5-30 and L6-30. 

Identifying the differences between L14-20 and L14-30 is also commonly confused.