I have a 120VAC, 0.01 amp motorized ball valve that I need to plug into a control box. A pcb inside the box turns the valve on and off. The valve is shipped with an attached 2-wire cable that ends in bare leads. The system is designed to handle multiple 120VAC components inside the box, so I can't switch to a lower voltage DC valve.

I'm looking for a safe, panel-mount connector to attach to the valve's bare leads.

I've previously used barrel power connectors I had available, but these are only rated to around 30V. I've looked at IEC 320-C7 type plugs, which have a great panel mount female connector, but I can only find IEC 320-C7 cables that are pre-assembled. I'd prefer to solder the valve's leads onto a plug end, like with a barrel or audio connector, instead of attaching it to another set of leads.

I think it would be dangerous to run 120vac through the barrel power connectors (only rated to 30V), correct?

Is there a better type of connector to do this? Or do I need to solder or crimp the valve's bare leads to an IEC 320-C7 plug?

Edit: After researching IEC 320-C7 cables more, I think they're only available with factory terminated cable. Here's a link to a DIY site for making your own, but I need something that isn't hacked. I think I'll use Anderson Power Pole Connectors (as recommended below) or JST SM connectors.


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  • \$\begingroup\$ There are plenty of stand alone plugs to find in your local hardware store \$\endgroup\$ – ratchet freak Feb 14 '18 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is for a product that will be for sale, so I need something that will look more professional. I'd also prefer something that's not a wall plug. \$\endgroup\$ – Topher Feb 14 '18 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not gland it in then hardwire internally? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Feb 14 '18 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might consider Jones plugs. \$\endgroup\$ – Charles Cowie Feb 14 '18 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestions. The valve needs to be able to be unplugged, so it can't be hardwired. \$\endgroup\$ – Topher Feb 14 '18 at 18:06

Take a look at Anderson Power Pole connectors. They are commonly used in radio applications. They look professional, have a variety of configuration options (including a variety of panel mount options), so they're easy to work with when you don't already have a solution in mind. The "finger proof" style are recommended for high voltage AC use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestion! Those sort of look like JST connectors, which I'm already using inside the box. I just looked for panel mount JST, which I didn't realize exists, and found JST SM connectors, which seem promising, too. \$\endgroup\$ – Topher Feb 14 '18 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ For 120Vac, you might want to use this variant for the neutral connection: alliedelec.com/m/d/7e52554afa0b4177c46e58f66663b22f.pdf \$\endgroup\$ – Marshall Eubanks Feb 14 '18 at 18:22

When dealing with mains voltage, use mains voltage rated equipment.

NEMA dominates North American mains connectors, and they have connectors for a wide variety of voltages and currents. I'm scouring the Internet looking for one with 120V and neutral pins. Scouring! Might take me awhile...

... A-ha. Found one.

enter image description here src:ebay

betcha thought I was going to post something else.

This honey is a NEMA L1-15R. L means locking. 1 means NEMA 1: 120+neutral (no safety earthing). 15 means 15A max (the smallest size). R means receptacle, P means plug. It's an oddball connector that appears beefy and industrial. It lacks earthing but earthing is unnecessary if the pump and supply are part of the same metal chassis. Truth be told, it's simply the "L" version of NEMA 1-15:

enter image description here src:SE

Except the neutral blade is supposed to be wider, 8mm.

Now, I know you don't want to use a straight NEMA 1-15, but there would be a good reason to do so: Testing. You could field-test the valve by plugging it into any extension cord and see if it runs. You could tell if the machine is energizing the socket by using:

enter image description here src: etsy

Sophisticated NEMA 1-15 test equipment.

Conversely, though, this might invite abuse, a clever customer might use jury-rigged tricks to bypass the intent of the machine.

If you want even more obscure, consider NEMA 18, L18 or L21. These connectors have a neutral and three 120V hot terminals -- the expectation is that the three 120V legs are in 3-phase "wye" configuration giving 208V, but that is not required. You could use this connector to control 1, 2 or 3 valves. Nothing will explode if these were cross-plugged with actual 208.

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NEMA 18-20R, NEMA L18-20R, and earthed NEMA L21-20R. It kinda looks to me like an L21-20R might accept an L18-20 plug.

You could do the same trick with NEMA 10 or 14, which have two 120V hot terminals. However NEMA L14 is probably the most common twist-lock connector out there. If you have more than 3 valves to control, and want to key the connectors so they can't be cross-plugged, use a variety.

All of these NEMA connectors are specifically made for what you are doing.


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