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European standards for plugs and sockets

Work environments with high rated voltages require a set of safety precautions. There are specific rules and standards for installation, handling and maintenance of machines and devices. Every German and European standard has to be approved by a series of institutions, including the "International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)", the European comittee for electrotechnical standards "Comité Européen de Normalisation Électrotechnique (CENELEC)", the "German Institute for Standardisation (DIN)", its sub-department for electrotechnical standards "DIN-Normstelle Elektrotechnik" and the German "Association for Electrotechnology, Electronics and Information Technology (VDE)".

We test all of our CEE plugs and sockets according to the following standards before shipping them:

DIN EN/IEC 60309

The international standard DIN EN/IEC 60309 applies to plugs, sockets, connectors and appliance couplers that are mainly used in industrial sectors (rated voltage up to 1.000 V, 500 Hz and rated current to 125 A). The first part (DIN EN/IEC 60309-1) describes general requirements for every plug connector in industrial use. The second part (DIN EN/IEC 60309-2) relates to a range of plug connectors with round enclosures featuring different numbers and constellations of contact pins for various fields of application.

IEC 61439

In 2014 the European standard IEC 61439 replaced standard 60439. It describes the layout and testing instructions for low voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies.

This standard specifies safety requirements for devices that are used for power distribution in domestic or industrial areas and on construction sites. It guarantees a high safety standard for power distributors (i.e. our combination units), switchgears and distribution boxes.

Every type of low voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies requires two main standards. Therefore IEC 61439 consists of two parts:

  • IEC 61439-1 – the basic standard
  • IEC 61439-2 to IEC 61439-7. Parts 2 through 7 of this standard refer to the specific fields of application. IEC 61439-2 for power switchgear and control assemblies, IEC 61439-3 for distribution boards, IEC 61439-4 for worksite power distributors, IEC 61439-5 for public distribution units, IEC 61439-6 for railway power distributors and IEC 61439-7 for special applications like harbours, campsites, market places and charging stations.

Information and excerpts from IEC 61439

Informations for standard IEC 61439

In 2012, the restructuring and revision of the safety requirements for low-voltage switchgear was finalized with publication of the standard, IEC 61439-1:2012. The preceding standard, IEC 60439-1 will be replaced by IEC 61439-1:2012. The former Standard IEC 60349 is valid until Sept. 2014. After this specified date, the use of IEC 61439 is mandatory (for all new designed switchgear and control gear assemblies) the planning  and documentation must be executed in accordance with IEC 61439-1:2012 and its parts.

The purpose of this standard is the harmonisation of most of the general regulations and requirements for lowvoltage switchgear and control gear assemblies to achieve uniform requirements and verifications for switchgear and control assemblies and to avoid the necessity of verifications in accordance with other standards. All requirements of the different switchgear and control gear assemblies have been combined in this fundamental standard, together with topics of broad interest and application, e.g heating, insulation properties, etc.

Two main standards will be required for each design of a low-voltage switchgear and control gear assembly:

  • The basic standard that is referenced as "Part 1" in the specific standards;
  • The applicable parts 2 to 7 of the switchgear and control gear assembly standard that deals with the particularities of the application.

The IEC 61439 consists of the following parts:

IEC ...

61439-1: General definitions

61439-2: Power switchgear and control gear assemblies

61439-3: Distribution boards

61439-4: Assemblies for construction sites

61439-5: Public cable distribution cabinets

61439-6: Busbar trunking systems

61439-7: Draft – specific installations on public sites, marinas, campsites, market squares, and EV charging stations

Requirements in this standard, which are object of an agreement between manufacturer of the switchgear and control gear assemblies and user, are summarized at the bottom. This listing facilitates provision of information concerning basic conditions and supplemental user definitions.

Design verification

Additionally to the type verification, the producer has to provide an article proof which guarantees a correct set-up acc. to the norm, excludes material failures and the compliance with electrical safety requirements.

Definition – „original manufacturer“ and „manufacturer of the switchgear and control gear assembly“

Original manufacturer

Organisation / enterprise that executed the original design and the associated verifications in accordance with the standard.


Manufacturer of the switchgear and control gear assembly

Organisation that completes a device and assembles it into a functional unit. The manufacturer is responsible for piece verification and thus for the product (Declaration of Conformity).

Significance for MENNEKES products:
For pre-wired devices MENNEKES is simultaneously the original manufacturer and the manufacturer. The responsibility and provision of verifications rest with us. We cannot declare partially wired devices that we manufacture as standard compliant. In this case the „finishing entity“ becomes the manufacturer and must declare conformity. It is required to forward information to this organisation so that the device ultimately can get a „eclaration of Conformity“.


The max. ambient temperature is +40 °C.
The average value of the ambient temperature over a period of 24 hours must not be higher than +35 °C.

The verification of heating can be provided through various methods. Through testing of the switchgear and control gear combination, or through derivation of a known reference, and through an expert assessment, e.g in accordance with applicable design rules. Regardless of the method that is selected to determine the heat and thus the maximum current load of the combination, compliance with the appropriate temperature limit values must be ensured.

The switchgear and control gear assembly and its electrical circuits must be capable of bearing their rated currents under defined conditions and the rated values of the components, their suitability and application must be taken into account, without exceeding limit values specified in IEC 61439-1 Table 6, Part 1. The limit temperatures in table 6 apply for the average ambient temperature of +35 °C.
▶ The limit temperatures of the installed equipment must be taken into account!

Heating – replacement of components

A device/component may only be replaced through a similar, identically constructed device a of a series other than the series used in the verification, if the power loss, and thus the heating of the connections is less than or equal to that of the device that is being replaced.

Load of the largest electric circuit and of all outgoing circuits individually with rated current

The requirement of IEC 61439-X is, that all electric circuits must be individually capable to carry their rated current, without exceeding temperature limit values in the process. If additional power circuits are added, a rated load factor can be set.

Rated values InA, Inc, RDF

Standard definition InA

The rated current of the switchgear and control gear assembly, InA, is the total current that the main busbar can distribute in the respective installation of the assembly, without exceeding the temperature limit values mentioned in IEC 61439-1 section 9.2!

The current, InA, is considered to be the maximum current that the assembly can distribute via its outgoing circuits at 100 % continuous duty (CD).

Standard definition Inc

The rated current of an electric circuit is the value of the current that can be carried by this electric circuit under standard operating conditions when it is operated alone. The assembly must be capable of carrying this current without exceding the max. temperature limits of the individual components specified in IEC 61439-1 section 9.2.

Standard definition – rated diversity factor RDF

The RDF is the specified percentage value of the rated current with which the (individual) outgoing circuits Inc of a switchgear and control gear assembly can be continuously and simultaneously be used with due consideration of the opposing thermal influences. In this process the InA must not be exceeded.

Table 101 from IEC 61439-3 Values for assumed load

Number of main electric circuits

Assumed load factor

2 and 3


4 and 5


6 up to and including 9


10 (and more)



This table provides guide values, if in doubt the manufacturer‘s specification always applies.

Agreements between switchgear combination manufacturers and users

Establishment of agreements between manufacturer and user

The information below represents specified standard values for MENNEKES catalogue assemblies. If there are deviations from this standard or in the case of special project planning, appropriate coordination must take place beforehand between user and manufacturer. These agreements must be arranged between MENNEKES and the user / customer during the quotation phase (prior to production and prior to sale).

The table below is a „blank“ that is applicable for approximately 98 % of the MENNEKES devices. Special project planning is not covered by the specifications, and must be separately disclosed by the user prior to project planning. In these special cases, it is required that additional details be considered with the aid of the standards cited and their product sub-standards.


Standard value

Normative option

MENNEKES standard

System according to type of earth connection

Design in accordance with the local requirements

TT / TN / IT


Rated voltage

In accordance with local installation conditions

max. 1000 V AC bzw. 1500 V DC

400 V AC

Transient overvoltages

determined through the electrical system

Overvoltage category I / II / III / IV

Kat. III / plugs and sockets Kat. II

Occasional overvoltages

min. rated voltage +   1200 V

See Table 8 + 9 or 10 for the values

1890 V (AC)

Rated frequency

in accordance with installation conditions

DC / 50 Hz / 60 Hz

50 Hz

Short circuit resistance

determined through the system

N + PE max 60 % of the outer conductor values

Icc max. ≤ 10 kA

SCPD in the supply

in accordance with installation conditions

yes / no


Coordination between shortcircuit protection devices inside or outside of the switchgear and control gear assembly

in accordance with installation conditions

present / install / integrate


Information of loads that could possibly contribute to short-circuit current

No loads are permitted that could possibly contribute to the shortcircuit current



Type of protection against electric shock – basic insulation

Basic protection

Comply with local requirements

Basic protection

Type of protection against electric shock – earth fault protection

Protection against indirect contact / comply with local requirements

Automatic shutdown / protective disconnect / protective insulation


Installation site

Execution of the manufacturer

Indoors / outdoors


Protection type

Indoors min. IP 2x / outdoors min. IP 23

IP xx (A-D)

IP 44

Protection against mechanical effects


if necessary specification of the IK code (IEC 62208)

Information on request

Resistance to UV radiation


Required for enclosures in outdoor installation

Information on request

Resistance to corrosion

For indoor and outdoor installation

yes / no


Ambient temperature limit values

Indoors: min. -5 °C

Outdoors: min. -25 °C

High limit (both): +40 °C

max. average value (24 h): +35 °C


Standard values! see product for deviations

Maximum relative humidity


Outdoors: 100 % at max. +25 °C

Indoors: 50 % bei +40 °C

Standard values! See product for deviations

Pollution degree

Industrial environment 3

1, 2, 3, 4



≤ 2.000 m

Pay attention to the factors

≤ 2.000 m

EMC environment

A or B

A / B


Special operating conditions (vibration, Ex-area, strong magnetic fields or contamination)

No particular conditions


Not defined!

External structural design

in accordance with manufacturer‘s specifications

Open / closed / standing / in-wall installation & on-wall installation / console


Mobile or stationary

in accordance with manufacturer‘s specifications

yes / no


Dimensions and masses

in accordance with manufacturer‘s specifications



Type of conductors introduced from outside


Cables / busbar trunking systems


Materials of the conductors introduced from the outside


Copper / aluminum


Cross-sections of the outer conductors, PE, N & PEN conductors

As specified in the standard



Special requirements imposed on the marking of connections

in accordance with manufacturer‘s specifications


Manufacturer execution

Requirements imposed on storage & transport (type of transport, deviating ambient conditions, max. dimensions, packaging requirements)

Standard of the manufacturer


Information on request

Operability (access, activation rights, disconnect)

Easy reachability

Authorized persons, ordinary persons, etc.


Requirements imposed on accessibility for operation, inspection, maintenance or extension

Inspection, component replacement, extension, maintenance, etc. only by specialized persons (requirement)


Inspection, replacement, extension, maintenance, etc. only through specialized persons

Separation of the outgoing electric circuits

in accordance with manufacturer‘s specifications

Individually / in groups / all


Type of interior subdivision

in accordance with manufacturer‘s specifications

Form 1, 2, 3, 4


Rated current of the switchgear and control gear assembly

Manufacturers standard; in accordance with the application



Rated current of the electric circuits (InC)

Manufacturers standard; in accordance with the application



Rated diversity factor (RDF)

STANDARD specification

RDF for electric circuits/ RDF for the entire switchgear and control gear assembly


Cross-section ratio between outer conductor and N*

O ≤ 16 mm2 = 100 %

O > 16 mm2 = 50 %

min. 16 mm2)

For currents in N to 50 % of the outer conductors, otherwise a special agreement is necessary!

Outer conductor = neutral conductor cross-section


* MENNEKES designs the size of the Neutral conductor accordingly to the max. allowed current for the phases. For special operating conditions (see IEC 61439, section 7.2 and IEC 61439-1 supplement 1, section 13.5) which relate to the ratio of neutral conductor to outer conductor (alternating current consumption with very low and different cosφ or excessive harmonics in the supply voltage or load current) can lead to a different size relation between neutral conductor to external conductor. This must be announced by the user.

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