My subwoofer has power inlet that seems to be IEC 60320 C18, which looks like this: enter image description here

I should normally use a power cord with IEC 60320 C17, which looks like this: enter image description here

However, the IEC 60320 C17 type power cord seems to be difficult to find where I live. My question is - could I instead use a power cord with IEC 60320 C13 type instead? That looks like this: enter image description here

The only difference seems to be the additional ground connection present in the C13, which will not be connected to anything if used with this subwoofer. I would like to know if this is something that I could safely do, or are there any risks?

For context:

  1. I live in Australia
  2. The power cable supports 10 amps, and this is what the subwoofer manufacturer specify as well

Thank you for your time.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So long as the two connections being used are correct and have adequate ampacity, it's unlikely this will cause a problem. \$\endgroup\$ – K H Mar 5 at 4:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your comment - as to "two connections are being used correct" - the plug can only be inserted in one way, and I assume that ensures this? As with adequate ampacity, the power cable supports 10 amps, which is what the subwoofer recommends. I will add this info to the post now to make it clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – Vada Poché Mar 5 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's unlikely the hot and neutral would be reversed, unlikely that it would matter if they were, and even more unlikely that hot or neutral would be switched with ground in a commercial cable, but not impossible. Both of those cord ends can only be inserted one way so it's likely they're correctly polarized. \$\endgroup\$ – K H Mar 5 at 4:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Most likely subwoofer does not care about mains polarity, if it is also sold in countries that hsve unpolarized plugs that can be connected to outlet in either orientation. The only "danger" you should be aware of is that the amplifier is not a grounded device but floating, so do the other connections when mains cord is unplugged (standard procedure that reads in manuals of almost all ungrounded home A/V equipment). \$\endgroup\$ – Justme Mar 5 at 5:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VadaPoché The only dangers that you should be aware of would be in the user manual. This would be things like don't get it wet, place the cord where it's not a tripping hazard, and put the appliance on a solid surface so it doesn't fall on someone. I believe the "danger" being warned about is that the cord isn't adding any ground protection. Someone might see the grounded cable and believe the appliance is grounded when it is not. Audio devices are ungrounded to avoid ground loops that can add noise, so a "danger" is thinking the subwoofer as a noise source when that's impossible. \$\endgroup\$ – MacGuffin Mar 5 at 11:06

Yes, you can safely use a C13 cord to power a C18 appliance. They were built to allow this kind of connection.


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