Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


American & European Electrical Symbols

American & European Electrical Symbols

American & European Electrical Symbols

Has any one seen a chart, download, or website that shows a comparison of American and European Electrical Symbols? (I have looked almost everywhere) I have also searched the AutoCAD site, but it does not have what I'm looking for.

I have taken on a very large control design project and the American customer wants all drawings in a European style, but in English. It would be great if I could find a template to use proportional for this type of numbering scheme and maybe some symbols to download.

Any help greatly appreciated


RE: American & European Electrical Symbols


See ANSI/IEEE 315 ( http://standards.ieee.org ).  This standard contains American graphic symbols and a fair number of IEC equivalents side-by-side.  Unfortunately, you will have to redraw each symbol in your graphics program as this is a printed standard.

As far as usage of the IEC-style nomenclature and numbering, there is probably an IEC ( www.iec.ch ) standard that applies, but I don't know what it is.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

Okay, turns out I'm not that busy this afternoon.  A quick search of the IEC website turns up IEC 60027-1 to -4, letter symbols for electrical technology, and IEC 60617-1 to -13, graphical symbols for diagrams.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

I survived the prototype phase of the project. The drawings at this point are about 600 pages of 11x17. I ended up creating my own AutoCAD block based on the IEEE and IEC standards, but I still had to create some unique ones.

dpc's statement is also very true "My only advice is to make sure you really understand what the customer wants"

This seems to be true, because the customer is unsure of exactly what they what until a proposal is made. This customer is a very large world wide company that I'm sure everyone would know. The control system we are designing will be install in their plants worldwide. They had wanted to have the drawings, that every language could understand and the wording could be converted very easily. (nearly if not impossible)

This was the first project that I have ever managed that required the drawings to be in a European format. I have seen it before but never really gave it much thought except maybe "these drawings are crazy" At this stage it has to be the only way to organize large electrical drawings. Wire numbering is great once you understand it.I'm sure I'll use the style in future projects.

Thanks for everyone's input

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

Wattman, have you considered getting an electrical package to work with AutoCAD?  I'm currently running AutoCAD2002 with a software called Electrical Designer, ( http://electrical-designer.com )it has ANSI, & IEC symbols libraries as standard, as well as a translator, so you could even deal with the translating yourself.  It  also allows you to apply any automatic numbering systems you want to wires, elements, etc so conforming to standard numbering norms isn't a problem either.  

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

European diagrams are great.  It's very easy to follow circuts in a large document.  Conductor tags are easy for tech's if they represent the position in the document.

IE: O:202-5 lands @ 62-A13
Just turn to page 62 column A row 13

Just the guy who has to build and get it to run.  Your friendly neighborhood industrial construction electrician.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

Hi Wattman,
I am new a comer for this valuable site from a few days ago.So I can reply only now. Reference is IEC 60617 We are using both IEC and IEEE symbols for various elctrical projects. The drafting software is Auto CAD 2002 and Microstation. I had prepared a page of IEC symbols on Auto CAD which we attach with each single line diagram. If you really need I can e-mail the page so that you can copy them. For each symbol I have given the IEC ref. no.too which will be helpful. Pl. reply.


RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

We are also doing some drawing coversions.
Ours are from European to U.S. conventions.
We are using ACAD and Microstation.

Can someone send me the Symbol library they built.
It would save a LOT of effort.

Ps:  How can I email you directly?  I didn't find an email link.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

  Siemens published a book some years ago that has the conversion from European-British-American symbols as well as how to read European electrical diagrams. You may ask your Siemens rep. for a copy.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols


Would it be possible to get a copy of the page you created with IEC symbols? I am in the states and must work on converting some of my drawings to the IEC standard.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

Has any one have a chart with electrotechnical symbols according to IEC 60617 and/or IEC 61346-2.

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

Contact your nearest Moeller outlet & ask for a wiring manual, they're free & have IEC - ANSI symbol equivilents, as well as numbering conventions & element symbols designations for those standards...Hope it helps

RE: American & European Electrical Symbols

I am also a new comer to this handfull tool.

I am interested in the Autocad file that you mention.
Can you send it to me?
How can I reply to just one member of the forum and not the entire community?

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close