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What is UL 498-2020?

UL 498-2020 is a technical standard that specifies the safety requirements and test methods for plugs, cord connectors, and receptacles used in North America. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is an independent organization that provides certification and testing services to ensure the safety of various consumer products.

History and Scope of UL 498

The UL 498 standard has been in existence for many years and has undergone revisions to keep up with the changing technology and safety needs. The latest version, UL 498-2020, was published in September 2020 and supersedes the previous versions. It covers both polarized and non-polarized plugs, grounding and non-grounding types, as well as cord connectors and receptacles.

Key Requirements of UL 498-2020

UL 498-2020 sets out several important requirements to ensure the safety and reliability of plugs, cord connectors, and receptacles. These include:

Construction and materials: The standard specifies the acceptable materials and construction methods for plugs, cord connectors, and receptacles. This ensures their durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Current-carrying capacity: UL 498-2020 defines the maximum electrical current that plugs and receptacles should be able to handle without overheating. This helps prevent electrical fires and equipment damage due to overloading.

Temperature rise limits: The standard sets limits on the temperature rise of plugs, cord connectors, and receptacles during normal operation. This prevents excessive heat buildup, which can be a safety hazard.

Testing and Certification Process

In order to achieve UL certification, manufacturers need to have their plugs, cord connectors, and receptacles tested by a recognized UL testing laboratory. The tests will assess whether the products meet all the requirements of UL 498-2020. Once compliant, the products can display the UL mark, indicating their safety and quality.

UL 498-2020 is an essential standard that ensures the safety of plugs, cord connectors, and receptacles used in North America. It provides guidelines for construction, current-carrying capacity, and temperature rise limits, among others. Manufacturers who comply with this standard can obtain UL certification for their products, giving consumers peace of mind while using electrical devices.


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