Considering Colocation? What You Need To Know About Power Plugs & Receptacles

If you’re considering colocation, you’ll need to be familiar with the different types of power and receptacles that can be delivered to your colocation space. Different voltages and receptacles will require you to use specific types of PDUs (power distribution units) and may require you to use different settings on your equipment.

Connectors can be divided into two types: locking and unlocking. With locking connectors, the plug (the end of the cable) will turn once connected to the receptacle (the outlet) and “lock” in place. If you’ve already purchased a PDU before signing up for colocation services, you’ll want to ensure that your cabinet is delivered with the proper type of receptacle that corresponds to the PDU.

The following is a list of the most common receptacles that are used when running a circuit to a new cabinet. The “L” prefix stands for “locking” and the “R” suffix stands for “receptacle.

NEMA 5-15RNema_5-15r

NEMA 5-20RNema_5-20r Nema_5-20r_t-slot

NEMA L5-20RNema_l5-20r

NEMA L5-20RNema_l5-30r

NEMA L6-20RNema_l6-20r

NEMA L6-30RNema_l6-30r


The “w” stands for “neutral”, “x” or “y” stands for “hot” and “g” stands for “ground”. NEMA 5 connectors are 120V AC and NEMA 6 connectors are 208V AC. The second number in each connector designation is the amperage (15, 20, or 30). QuadraNet will generally provide new colocation clients with either one locking or four non-locking receptacles. QuadraNet also delivers power in either 20-amp or 30-amp circuits.

You’ll want to be sure that the PDU you have in mind matches the type of power receptacle being delivered to your cabinet. Be sure to ask your sales representatives if you have any inquiries or concerns about how types of power will impact your power usage or equipment performance.

Example of an APC PDU with an L5-20P input plug: