put a euro socket in a uk house

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gazz

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Nov 1, 2008, 4:12:16 PM11/1/08
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would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?

i have a german pinball machine which still has the molded on right angle
shuko plug on it's power lead, inside it also has a german shuko power point
for the engineers lamp to plug into (that one is bakalite and non earthed,
machine was made in 1976, so not that old), But i'd like to keep the
origional lead... just to emphasize more that it's a german machine if that
makes sense :)

Basicaly all i'd do is get a single outlet shuko socket, if possible a
switched one, and mount it next to the double 13 amp uk sockets,

i wouldent usually even give this kind of thing a second thought, i'd put
one in... better than using an adaptor or the easy solution which i know is
to change the power lead to a uk version.

but we are going to have one of those bods from warm front come round and
assess how much insulation we need to have added (stair celing area is
totaly open to the roof and has no insulation at all)
and i can just imagine him noticing the shuko socket and getting arsey about
it and putting on his report that i have illegal sockets in the house or
something like that.

ARWadsworth

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Nov 1, 2008, 4:39:51 PM11/1/08
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"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...

The Warm front "engineers" will not notice nor care about your electrical
installation in this case.

Adam


Andrew Gabriel

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Nov 1, 2008, 5:13:34 PM11/1/08
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In article <6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net>,

"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> writes:
> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
> style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?

Yes - it's not shuttered.

> i have a german pinball machine which still has the molded on right angle
> shuko plug on it's power lead, inside it also has a german shuko power point
> for the engineers lamp to plug into (that one is bakalite and non earthed,
> machine was made in 1976, so not that old), But i'd like to keep the
> origional lead... just to emphasize more that it's a german machine if that
> makes sense :)
>
> Basicaly all i'd do is get a single outlet shuko socket, if possible a
> switched one, and mount it next to the double 13 amp uk sockets,

I haven't seen a switched one, and it would need fusing at
13A or a 16A MCB.

Just buy a travel adaptor.

> i wouldent usually even give this kind of thing a second thought, i'd put
> one in... better than using an adaptor or the easy solution which i know is
> to change the power lead to a uk version.

The adaptor will have a fuse in it.

--
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]

Tim

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Nov 1, 2008, 5:49:53 PM11/1/08
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"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...
> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
> style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?
>

Who would know or even care?

> but we are going to have one of those bods from warm front come round and
> assess how much insulation we need

Wht has that got to do with a socket?

> and i can just imagine him noticing the shuko socket and getting arsey
> about it and putting on his report that i have illegal sockets in the
> house or something like that.

Are you genuinely thick? You certainly come across that way.
Why don't you hand yourself in at the nearest police station!


Peter Parry

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Nov 1, 2008, 6:09:24 PM11/1/08
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On Sat, 1 Nov 2008 20:12:16 -0000, "gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote:

>i have a german pinball machine which still has the molded on right angle
>shuko plug on it's power lead, inside it also has a german shuko power point
>for the engineers lamp to plug into (that one is bakalite and non earthed,
>machine was made in 1976, so not that old), But i'd like to keep the
>origional lead... just to emphasize more that it's a german machine if that
>makes sense :)

http://cpc.farnell.com/PL01350/electrical-lighting-security/product.us0?sku=pro-elec-9680


Bruce

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Nov 1, 2008, 6:25:47 PM11/1/08
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"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote:


I have a 3-way Euro extension lead that I bought in Spain. Obviously,
it came with a lead that had a Euro plug on it. All I did was cut off
the plug and replace it with a UK 13A plug. I can now plug in up to
three appliances with Euro plugs on them - I own several.

I feel sure that you could get these extension leads here in the UK.

gazz

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Nov 1, 2008, 6:29:30 PM11/1/08
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"Tim" <tim.j...@nospam.nomail.net.uk> wrote in message
news:geiiuq$vnj$1...@news.albasani.net...

>
> "gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
> news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...
>> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
>> style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?
>>
>
> Who would know or even care?

official people who like to shit stir,
come to do one job, nose around and report the things they find wrong whilst
in your house to the authorities?


>
>> but we are going to have one of those bods from warm front come round and
>> assess how much insulation we need
>
> Wht has that got to do with a socket?

if it's not allowed to be used in england, then it's like having a gas
cooker connected with a length of rubber hose pushed onto a 1920's gas tap,

>
>> and i can just imagine him noticing the shuko socket and getting arsey
>> about it and putting on his report that i have illegal sockets in the
>> house or something like that.
>
> Are you genuinely thick? You certainly come across that way.
> Why don't you hand yourself in at the nearest police station!

course im thick, or i wouldent be asking questions here would i

we used to be allowed to do pretty much what we likes to our own houses at
one time, nowadays your not even allowed to put a patio down without asking
permision,

if we want to add a new ring main, we have to get it put in by a certified
bod with all the costs involved,

they wont empty your bin if you put the wrong items in it, fill it too full
or put it out before it's supposed to be put out,

i know if i added something to the gas supply that wasnt allowed, and it was
seen or reported to an official, they'd come round and cap the supply off,

i just wanted to check what the situation was with adding a german socket to
a uk house mains system,

easy enough to shutter the shuko socket if needed, a brat proof insert, you
have to twist the plug as you insert it to open the shutters,

David Hansen

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Nov 1, 2008, 6:49:47 PM11/1/08
to
On Sat, 1 Nov 2008 20:12:16 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
<n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-

>would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
>style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?

Yes. Such a socket does not maintain polarity, which means it falls
foul of the UK Wiring Regulations.

However, the Wiring Regulations do allow "non-standard"
equipment/installations on the say-so of a suitably qualified
electrical engineer, provided it provides an equivalent level of
safety. You would need to be prepared to argue this out in court
should something happen and you would be arguing this out with a
wanker who knows bugger all about electrical systems, a lawyer.

Some may well think that you will also fall foul of some Mickey
Mouse UK laws, like "The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations
1994". However you can argue, to the same wanker, that this stuff
should never have been passed by the rogues' gallery at Westminster
as it is in conflict with the Single European Act of 1986 and
subsequent laws. I like the Single European Act as both the current
and previous Tory governments dare not speak against it, as it was
pushed through by the mad Woman of Finchley.

Your choice.

>i have a german pinball machine which still has the molded on right angle
>shuko plug on it's power lead, inside it also has a german shuko power point
>for the engineers lamp to plug into (that one is bakalite and non earthed,
>machine was made in 1976, so not that old), But i'd like to keep the
>origional lead... just to emphasize more that it's a german machine if that
>makes sense :)

Shuko sockets are piss poor compared to the BS 1363 design. However,
in this case I would consider it worth keeping the primitive plug as
an illustration of how poor other electrical wiring systems are. The
concept of RCDs for all socket outlets is ridiculous, but in the
case of a Shuko socket it is a good idea to fit one.

>but we are going to have one of those bods from warm front come round and
>assess how much insulation we need to have added (stair celing area is
>totaly open to the roof and has no insulation at all)
>and i can just imagine him noticing the shuko socket and getting arsey about
>it and putting on his report that i have illegal sockets in the house or
>something like that.

I doubt it. If you are worried then put the offensive socket a
little to the side of the BS 1363 sockets and disguise the Shuko
socket in some way for the visit. Use your initiative to work out
the disguise, don't expect to be spoon fed.

--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54

BigWallop

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Nov 1, 2008, 6:57:42 PM11/1/08
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"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...

ROFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Euro adapter costs about 3 quid at most. Why the hell would you want to
start messing about with the house wiring when the adapter is cheaper to buy
than the actual socket.

Remember this advice well. Put your brain into gear before picking up the
tools. An hour of useful thought is much better than an hour of useless
humiliation.

geoff

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Nov 1, 2008, 7:19:28 PM11/1/08
to
In message <G95Pk.81107$E41....@text.news.virginmedia.com>, BigWallop
<spam....@good-spam-guard.com> writes

>
>"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
>news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...
>> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
>> style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?
>>
... ...

>> i wouldent usually even give this kind of thing a second thought, i'd put
>> one in... better than using an adaptor or the easy solution which i know
>is
>> to change the power lead to a uk version.
>>
>> but we are going to have one of those bods from warm front come round and
>> assess how much insulation we need to have added (stair celing area is
>> totaly open to the roof and has no insulation at all)
>> and i can just imagine him noticing the shuko socket and getting arsey
>about
>> it and putting on his report that i have illegal sockets in the house or
>> something like that.
>>
>
>ROFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>
>A Euro adapter costs about 3 quid at most. Why the hell would you want to
>start messing about with the house wiring when the adapter is cheaper to buy
>than the actual socket.
>
>Remember this advice well. Put your brain into gear before picking up the
>tools. An hour of useful thought is much better than an hour of useless
>humiliation.
>
Unfortunately, it's become common practice here of late

posting before thinking or asking the actual relevant authority has
become the norm

like the eejit who posted a while back asking how to remove a sticker
from his car rear window - much stupid discussion ensued, then he
actually tried removing it and it just peeled off

The ask first, think later culture is well and truly here

--
geoff

Kevin

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Nov 1, 2008, 7:59:41 PM11/1/08
to
but sometimes asking first is better than FUBAR then asking how to put
it back together

--
Kevin R
Reply address works

geoff

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Nov 1, 2008, 8:05:07 PM11/1/08
to
In message <N36Pk.148656$AO4.1...@newsfe16.ams2>, Kevin
<donte...@ntlworld.com> writes
I'm not talking about that

I'm on about posting first, thinking later

--
geoff

BruceB

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Nov 2, 2008, 4:27:20 AM11/2/08
to

"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...
> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
> style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?
>

You may well be breaking some regulations depending on how you achieve it,
but in principle it is perfectly possible to fit Shuko sockets in UK. Some
hotels do. Have a look at the "Use of Guidance" section of the Approved
Document Part P of the Building Regs which says you can use:

.... an alternative national technical specification of any state which is a
contracting party to the European Economic Area which, in use, is
equivalent........

Convincing the Building Control Officer with your equivalent to the MWC in
German is another matter!

As others have said, there are simpler ways though.
BruceB


The Medway Handyman

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Nov 2, 2008, 4:46:19 AM11/2/08
to
David Hansen wrote:

>
> Shuko sockets are piss poor compared to the BS 1363 design. However,
> in this case I would consider it worth keeping the primitive plug as
> an illustration of how poor other electrical wiring systems are. The
> concept of RCDs for all socket outlets is ridiculous, but in the
> case of a Shuko socket it is a good idea to fit one.

Not wishing to start a fight here, but could someone elaborate on why the
Shuko socket/plug is piss poor compared to ours?

I've also heard it said that our overall domestic electrical system is far
better than the European system, which is why we haven't harmonised. Could
someone elaborate on that?


--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk


David Hansen

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Nov 2, 2008, 5:01:41 AM11/2/08
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On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 09:46:19 GMT someone who may be "The Medway
Handyman" <davi...@nospamblueyonder.co.uk> wrote this:-

>Not wishing to start a fight here, but could someone elaborate on why the
>Shuko socket/plug is piss poor compared to ours?

Does not maintain polarity. Unfused. Primitive earth connection.
Versions without an earth connection were (perhaps still are)
available, which leads to equipment needing to be earthed being
plugged into sockets without an earth connection. Shuttering not
standard.

That doesn't mean everyone dies in places with this sort of
equipment, but it is less safe than the UK designs.

>I've also heard it said that our overall domestic electrical system is far
>better than the European system, which is why we haven't harmonised. Could
>someone elaborate on that?

Well the UK is in Europe (both Europe and the EU, which are two
separate things). There is also no one type of electrical socket and
wiring in the rest of Europe. However, two excellent features of the
UK approach are ring final circuits and BC lampholders. The former
allows anything portable to be plugged into any socket without much
concern. It is far more flexible and just works. The latter is
diminishing with new types of lamp and a desire amongst some
manufacturers to reduce their costs, but not the prices they charge,
by using ES lampholders. The main poor features of ES lampholders
are the way the lamp unscrews (due to heat) and the possibility of
wiring the live to the threaded bit (which is bound to happen in a
system with unpolarised plugs and sockets).

Dave Plowman (News)

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Nov 2, 2008, 5:08:48 AM11/2/08
to
In article <6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net>,

gazz <n...@spam.ta> wrote:
> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german
> shuko style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?

Almost certainly.

> i have a german pinball machine which still has the molded on right
> angle shuko plug on it's power lead, inside it also has a german shuko
> power point for the engineers lamp to plug into (that one is bakalite
> and non earthed, machine was made in 1976, so not that old), But i'd
> like to keep the origional lead... just to emphasize more that it's a
> german machine if that makes sense :)

> Basicaly all i'd do is get a single outlet shuko socket, if possible a
> switched one, and mount it next to the double 13 amp uk sockets,

> i wouldent usually even give this kind of thing a second thought, i'd
> put one in... better than using an adaptor or the easy solution which i
> know is to change the power lead to a uk version.

Given the size of a pinball machine would an adaptor lead make that much
difference?

> but we are going to have one of those bods from warm front come round
> and assess how much insulation we need to have added (stair celing area
> is totaly open to the roof and has no insulation at all) and i can just
> imagine him noticing the shuko socket and getting arsey about it and
> putting on his report that i have illegal sockets in the house or
> something like that.

I doubt he'd be qualified in this sort of thing let alone interested.


If I were to do as you want I'd feed it via its own FCU/RCD unit. Like
this:-

http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Wiring_Accessories_Menu_Index/RCD_Protected_Range/RCD_Protected_Range_2/index.html

--
*If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

Dave Plowman da...@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.

Rod

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Nov 2, 2008, 6:07:41 AM11/2/08
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Sorry, is that the BC lampholder which allows two live connections to be
touched? (I accept that ES also suffers this possibility.)

I had been rather hoping that one positive aspect of CFLs (and other
efficient lamp technologies) might have been widespread use of, say, SES
which is much more difficult to stick my fingers into.

--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
onset.
Although common it frequently goes undiagnosed.
<www.thyromind.info> <www.thyroiduk.org> <www.altsupportthyroid.org>

Hugo Nebula

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Nov 2, 2008, 6:35:10 AM11/2/08
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BruceB wrote:
> Have a look at the "Use of Guidance" section of the Approved
> Document Part P of the Building Regs which says you can use:
>
> ..... an alternative national technical specification of any state which is a
> contracting party to the European Economic Area which, in use, is
> equivalent........
>
> Convincing the Building Control Officer with your equivalent to the MWC in
> German is another matter!

Who would counter with the observation that one can't pick-&-mix parts
of an electrical installation with others; you either use the German
standard in its entirety, or stick with the British one.

He may also proffer the opinion that the use of such wording is a
standard preamble to all the Approved Documents, and is merely a sop to
the courts to show that the guidance meets all the relevant
'single-market' regulations.

And then go tell you that the addition of a socket-outlet that is the
extension of an existing ring or radial circuit is not notifiable
(unless it is in a kitchen or special location).
--
Hugo Nebula
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
just how far from the pack have you strayed"?

Kevin

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Nov 2, 2008, 6:42:27 AM11/2/08
to
that's exactly the same is it not????

Dave Liquorice

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Nov 2, 2008, 6:47:51 AM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 10:01:41 +0000, David Hansen wrote:

> Does not maintain polarity.

Doesn't have to there is no such concept as "polarity" in the continental
wiring system. You have two wires with 230v (nominal) between them niether
is connected to earth.

--
Cheers
Dave.

Andrew Gabriel

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Nov 2, 2008, 7:14:37 AM11/2/08
to
In article <6n5g00F...@mid.individual.net>,

Rod <poly...@ntlworld.com> writes:
> Sorry, is that the BC lampholder which allows two live connections to be
> touched? (I accept that ES also suffers this possibility.)
>
> I had been rather hoping that one positive aspect of CFLs (and other
> efficient lamp technologies) might have been widespread use of, say, SES
> which is much more difficult to stick my fingers into.

Whilst ES lampholders do seem to account for a number of
electrocutions, BC lampholders don't seem to have caused
a single one (in both cases, excluding faults).
In practice, I suspect its too difficult to get a good
enough connection between a finger and the pins, combined
with less opportunity to do so in normal use.
With ES lampholders, the main risk is gripping a bulb
to insert/remove it, and being electrocuted by exposed
metal of the lamp base. In most countries where it's
used, it's not possible to guarantee the live connection
is the tip, as live/neutral polarity isn't preserved into
appliances. (In the UK, it is required that the tip is
the live connection of an ES lampholder.)

Andrew Gabriel

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Nov 2, 2008, 7:31:23 AM11/2/08
to
In article <nyyfbegfubjuvyypb...@srv1.howhill.net>,

"Dave Liquorice" <allsortsn...@howhill.com> writes:
> On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 10:01:41 +0000, David Hansen wrote:
>
>> Does not maintain polarity.
>
> Doesn't have to there is no such concept as "polarity" in the continental
> wiring system. You have two wires with 230v (nominal) between them niether
> is connected to earth.

There are a few places like that (some Scandanavian countries derive
230V from 3-phase delta with one grounded leg, so 1 in 3 230V supplies
have no neutral, and some areas of France and probably elsewhere still
use IT earthing systems). However, the vast majority do have a grounded
neutral, and polarity is preserved as far as the back of the socket
outlet. With the socket outlets for the most part having no defined
polarity (French/Belgium) or being reversible (Schuko), that is where
it's lost. But given these sockets are used on supplies with no neutral
(however few), it must be assumed by all appliances that both sides are
phase connections.

David Hansen

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Nov 2, 2008, 8:45:09 AM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 11:07:41 +0000 someone who may be Rod
<poly...@ntlworld.com> wrote this:-

>> The main poor features of ES lampholders
>> are the way the lamp unscrews (due to heat) and the possibility of
>> wiring the live to the threaded bit (which is bound to happen in a
>> system with unpolarised plugs and sockets).
>>
>>
>Sorry, is that the BC lampholder which allows two live connections to be
>touched? (I accept that ES also suffers this possibility.)

The issue is when the lamps are in place. When the lamp is in place
in a BC lampholder it is not possible to touch any energised part.
However, when the lamp is in place in an ES lampholder it may be
possible to touch an energised part, particularly those with small
fingers, or push a metal item such as a knitting needle onto an
energised part.

gazz

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Nov 2, 2008, 9:00:18 AM11/2/08
to

"The Medway Handyman" <davi...@nospamblueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:LFePk.81249$E41....@text.news.virginmedia.com...

> David Hansen wrote:
>
>>
>> Shuko sockets are piss poor compared to the BS 1363 design. However,
>> in this case I would consider it worth keeping the primitive plug as
>> an illustration of how poor other electrical wiring systems are. The
>> concept of RCDs for all socket outlets is ridiculous, but in the
>> case of a Shuko socket it is a good idea to fit one.
>
> Not wishing to start a fight here, but could someone elaborate on why the
> Shuko socket/plug is piss poor compared to ours?

i only lived in Germany when i was younger,

but from what i remember, the shuko socket has full length wiper style
contacts that give a much better connection to the plugs pins than the uk's
end contacts,

the shuko socket can do that as it doesn't need insulating strips like uk
ones do (with the exception of the 2 pin flat plugs on double insulated
appliances)
we need the insulation strips as out socket is a flat plate, the shuko one
is recessed, so it's impossible to tough the pins and you insert a shuko
socket like you can on a uk one.

the shuko socket and plugs are rated for 16 amps, uk 13 amps, to me that
says something about the design of the uk ones... i know why, it's those
little end contacts to stop electrocution if you insert an uninsulated pin
plug whilst touching the pins, don't make contact with the live bit till the
plug is practically all the way in.

i read so many stories of people buying things like welders from Germany,
they work fine over there on the 16 amp supply, but put a 13 amp plug on em
and they pop the fuse each time you strike an arc... meaning the expense of
installing a separate 16 amp supply and bulky blue socket just for the
welder.


yes you can plug the shuko plug in either way round, but in Europe the
appliances are double pole switched, i.e. switch live and neutral, not like
the uk with single pole switching,
there is supposed to be no polarity on AC supplies, so why the need to
insert the plug one way round only?

the earth strips on shuko sockets... whats wrong with them? there's 2 of
them to match the 2 earth strips on the plug, you get a good earth
connection which ever way you plug in.

I've never seen a non earthed shuko socket that could take an earthed plug.

they do have 2 types of plug in Germany, the round 2 pin with earth strip 16
amp plug for appliances needing earth and full power,

then you have the flat 2 pin plug (like a shaver plug) no earth on them as
they are only fitted to 2 core wire connected to double insulated
appliances... TV, videos' and the like.

you can plug one of them into an earthed shuko socket, but you cant plug an
earthed plug into a non earthed socket (only seen extension leads with the
flat non earthed sockets) all shuko sockets have a recess that matches the
plug's type, unlike a uk flat plate socket,

The thing i liked about German extension leads... you could buy some with
pin holes per socket, this is so you can plug in a single earthed plug, or 2
x flat non earthed plugs in a single socket, ideal for the hifi or
tv/video/dvd/sat box extension.

the flat non earthed plugs are for lower current appliances, 8 amps max i'd
guess, but could be lower,


afaik europe uses radial circuits, i certainly remember the breaker box in
our house in Germany being massive (1985 time), had a breaker for almost
every socket and light, tripping one would not plunge the whole house into
darkness or shut everything off like it does over here.
yes no fuses in the plugs, but hence the breakers for the sockets.

i also liked how if you reach the end of the cord.. say hoovering, and
tugged it a bit, you just pull the plug out the socket, over her you bend
the damn thing up a bit, straining the wire like hell,

I've also have a few times where I've gone to unplug a uk plug, and had the
top come away from a failed screw thread, leaving exposed terminals,
that's impossible to do with a shuko plug, the screw goes right through the
plug and is at 90 degrees to the way you pull it out the socket, so will
never come undone to expose live terminals whilst it is in the socket.

so it seems the only thing to complain about with the German system is the
lack of polarity, for which as mentioned the only thing that affects is a
table lamp, if you are stupid enough to unscrew the bulb while it's still
plugged in, whilst touching something earthed with one hand and reaching
right down and touching the screw thread of the bulb whilst unscrewing
it.... the rcd just trips when you do that anyway,

Give me the shuko plugs and sockets anyday,

Tim S

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 9:03:53 AM11/2/08
to
gazz coughed up some electrons that declared:

Personally, if you really want a fixed Shuko (as opposed to the very good
suggestions here of using a travel adaptor or shuko-strip) I would install
it off the end of a switched fused connection unit, fused correctly for the
application.

It'll be safe (as any shuko socket is), neat, switched and easy to
de-install (replace FCU with 13A socket).

Cheers

Tim


BruceB

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 9:13:28 AM11/2/08
to

"Hugo Nebula" <abuse@localhost> wrote in message
news:kvmdnaN6ZNj...@giganews.com...

>
> Who would counter with the observation that one can't pick-&-mix parts of
> an electrical installation with others; you either use the German standard
> in its entirety, or stick with the British one.
>
He might counter with that but he would not be able to cite a regulation
that says so in those terms. There appear to be examples of mixed
installations in UK that have been accepted as discussed in this thread:
http://www.theiet.org/Forums/Forum/messageview.cfm?catid=205&threadid=25916
Regards
BruceB


Kevin

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 9:26:14 AM11/2/08
to
gazz wrote:
>
> "The Medway Handyman" <davi...@nospamblueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
> message news:LFePk.81249$E41....@text.news.virginmedia.com...
>> David Hansen wrote:
>>

>
> yes you can plug the shuko plug in either way round, but in Europe the
> appliances are double pole switched, i.e. switch live and neutral, not
> like the uk with single pole switching,
> there is supposed to be no polarity on AC supplies, so why the need to
> insert the plug one way round only?

where did you get that idea from? AC has a Live cable which kills and a
neutral that does not, so yes it does mater which way round its plugged
in, usually over here only the live is fused so if you plug in a piece
of equipment the wrong way round yes it will work but under a fault
condition the fuse could blow on the neutral and the current still could
flow between Live and Earth

gazz

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 9:56:25 AM11/2/08
to

"Tim S" <t...@dionic.net> wrote in message
news:490db349$0$505$5a6a...@news.aaisp.net.uk...

> Personally, if you really want a fixed Shuko (as opposed to the very good
> suggestions here of using a travel adaptor or shuko-strip) I would install
> it off the end of a switched fused connection unit, fused correctly for
> the
> application.

that's what i'll do, have it on a travel adaptor at the moment, but dont
like it, sticks out a lot, looks ugly, and after a few days the 2 plugs seem
to be hanging from the sockets... prolly me catching the wire slightly.

the sockets in the games room are all at chest of shoulder height, so the
machines can be switched on and off easily and we dont leave one of them on
by mistake as would be the case if we had to crawl under the desks/machines
to get at a floor level socket (im prolly breaking regs having the 13 amp
sockets where i do anyway)

just it would look a hell of a lot neater to have a proper wall mounted
shuko socket or 2 next to the 13 amp sockets, as i plan to get another
pinball machine sometime, and the best ones come from germany,

also just noticed the travel adaptor i have in use dosent earth the shuko
socket, so i may as well have stuck a screwdriver in the earth hole of the
13 amp socket to open the shutters, and jammed the shuko's pins in the power
holes.

Rod

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 10:02:16 AM11/2/08
to

Thanks - I must admit surprise.

I think the nearest to bad outcomes I have had occurred when the glass
bulb separated from the metal base or when the bulb actually broke
leaving spikes of filament support. I doubt there is much difference
between ES and BC in this specific regard - though one may be more
likely than the other to separate like that.

In fact, thinking about it, the best improvement might be to ensure
double-pole switches are used. But I am probably missing something
important... (Yes - I know that would play havoc with multi-way
switching. :-) But would be feasible for table and standard lamps.)

gazz

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 10:22:26 AM11/2/08
to

"David Hansen" <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk> wrote in message
news:qgbrg419ne0cjp1sh...@4ax.com...

> The issue is when the lamps are in place. When the lamp is in place
> in a BC lampholder it is not possible to touch any energised part.
> However, when the lamp is in place in an ES lampholder it may be
> possible to touch an energised part, particularly those with small
> fingers, or push a metal item such as a knitting needle onto an
> energised part.

we all gotta learn not to poke around in things we dont understand sometime
done we, it's all very well making things brat proof, but surely it's better
to teach the brats not to try inserting things into sockets/bulb holders,

i learnt not to put my fingers into a street lamp that had it's cover
missing, wont be doing that again and it taught me to be a bit more
respectfull of electricity....

think that's the word here, too many people fear electricity, give it a bit
of respect and you'll get on fine,

Peter Parry

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 10:53:14 AM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:00:18 -0000, "gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote:

>"The Medway Handyman" <davi...@nospamblueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:LFePk.81249$E41....@text.news.virginmedia.com...
>> David Hansen wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Shuko sockets are piss poor compared to the BS 1363 design. However,
>>> in this case I would consider it worth keeping the primitive plug as
>>> an illustration of how poor other electrical wiring systems are. The
>>> concept of RCDs for all socket outlets is ridiculous, but in the
>>> case of a Shuko socket it is a good idea to fit one.
>>
>> Not wishing to start a fight here, but could someone elaborate on why the
>> Shuko socket/plug is piss poor compared to ours?

>i only lived in Germany when i was younger,
>
>but from what i remember, the shuko socket has full length wiper style
>contacts that give a much better connection to the plugs pins than the uk's
>end contacts,

The "Schuko" comes in many forms both earthed and not earthed. In the
house we had in Germany it was wired with a mixture of both. The same
plug fitted both.

>the shuko socket can do that as it doesn't need insulating strips like uk
>ones do (with the exception of the 2 pin flat plugs on double insulated
>appliances)
>we need the insulation strips as out socket is a flat plate, the shuko one
>is recessed, so it's impossible to tough the pins and you insert a shuko
>socket like you can on a uk one.

Some are recessed but there are also flush mounting non-earthed
variants which allow you to touch both pins when inserting them.

>the shuko socket and plugs are rated for 16 amps, uk 13 amps, to me that
>says something about the design of the uk ones...

It says nothing other than you have forgotten the design voltage. Both
plugs are essentially similar in current handling capacity. The
Schuko is rated at 16A at 220V (3,520W) the BS1363 at 13A at 240V
(3,120W). If anything the 13A plug/socket is more reliable at high
currents. as the contact area is larger. The relatively high rating
of the Schuko means it has to be a tight fit in the socket which makes
it difficult for people with arthritic hands to plug them in properly
or remove them. It is common to find Schuko plugs very loose in the
sockets as they are not fully inserted.

>i read so many stories

You shouldn't believe everything you read.

>yes you can plug the shuko plug in either way round, but in Europe the
>appliances are double pole switched, i.e. switch live and neutral, not like
>the uk with single pole switching,

Appliances are switched identically in the UK and the rest of the EU.

>I've never seen a non earthed shuko socket that could take an earthed plug.

They are very common.

>afaik europe uses radial circuits, i certainly remember the breaker box in
>our house in Germany being massive (1985 time), had a breaker for almost
>every socket and light, tripping one would not plunge the whole house into
>darkness or shut everything off like it does over here.

It usually does plunge everything into darkness as lighting circuits
are rarely wired one to each circuit breaker but as in the UK. Power
sockets are individually fused or done in groups.

>i also liked how if you reach the end of the cord.. say hoovering, and
>tugged it a bit, you just pull the plug out the socket, over her you bend
>the damn thing up a bit, straining the wire like hell,

It also creates far more cases where plugs get broken or damaged by
furniture being pushed against them or people trip over the leads.

>I've also have a few times where I've gone to unplug a uk plug, and had the
>top come away from a failed screw thread, leaving exposed terminals,
>that's impossible to do with a shuko plug,

But it's very easy to use the cable to pull it out (and often
necessary given the shape of some Schuko plugs) and pull one conductor
off in the process leaving you with an exposed live wire.

Frank Erskine

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:06:06 PM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 11:07:41 +0000, Rod <poly...@ntlworld.com>
wrote:


>Sorry, is that the BC lampholder which allows two live connections to be
>touched?

No - there's only one 'live' terminal.

--
Frank Erskine

Tim S

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:13:32 PM11/2/08
to
gazz coughed up some electrons that declared:

>

I'll just add to that, if using a switched fused unit, make sure that it's a
double pole switch, as the shuko is polarity-reversible (as pointed out by
everyone else). That will avoid an edge case of you thinking you've shut it
off, then fiddling inside your pinball machine and getting a nasty
surprise.

eg:

http://www.screwfix.com/prods/93481/Electrical/Switches-Sockets/White-Moulded/Superswitch-Range/Superswitch-13A-DP-Sw-FCU

You'd have unplugged the machine in this case, of course, but, well, you
know...

Cheers

Tim

Rod

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:15:52 PM11/2/08
to
Two potentially live connections...

Tim S

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:20:33 PM11/2/08
to
Tim S coughed up some electrons that declared:

> I'll just add to that, if using a switched fused unit, make sure that it's
> a double pole switch, as the shuko is polarity-reversible (as pointed out
> by everyone else). That will avoid an edge case of you thinking you've
> shut it off, then fiddling inside your pinball machine and getting a nasty
> surprise.

Sorry. Brain spasm. I need to get some coffee.

The way I've written that is stupid. You are in control of the polarity up
until the shuko socket so you can never get an unswitched phase to the
machine even with a single pole switch.


Mind you, technically "neutral" is to be considered "live" (oridinary
people's "live" is actually called "phase" or "line"), and a DP switch will
offer protection against odd supply or wiring faults that involve the
neutral floating up to 240V above earth.

Still reasonable advice to use a DP switch (or none at all), but for
slightly different reasons to the way it appeared in the last post.

Cheers

Tim

David Hansen

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:36:01 PM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 15:22:26 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
<n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-

>i learnt not to put my fingers into a street lamp that had it's cover
>missing, wont be doing that again and it taught me to be a bit more
>respectfull of electricity....

My father learn't the same lesson when he put a metal knitting
needle into a Shuko socket.

David Hansen

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:38:01 PM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:00:18 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
<n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-

>I've never seen a non earthed shuko socket that could take an earthed plug.

I have.

Mike Clarke

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:40:56 PM11/2/08
to
Andrew Gabriel wrote:

> With ES lampholders, the main risk is gripping a bulb
> to insert/remove it, and being electrocuted by exposed
> metal of the lamp base. In most countries where it's
> used, it's not possible to guarantee the live connection
> is the tip, as live/neutral polarity isn't preserved into
> appliances. (In the UK, it is required that the tip is
> the live connection of an ES lampholder.)

But all the recent ES lampholders I've seen are designed so that the
threaded part of the cap doesn't make contact until the lamp is screwed
almost fully home and the skirt extends just beyond the cap making it quite
difficult to touch a live cap. Illustrated fitting instructions (e.g. Ikea)
tend to be a bit vague but often seem to imply that live should be
connected to the outer contact and neutral to the central pin.

With this arrangement the live contact in an empty lampholder is less easy
to touch with your fingers than the contacts of a BC lampholder.

--
Mike Clarke

Chewbacca

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 12:55:21 PM11/2/08
to
David Hansen wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 15:22:26 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
> <n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-
>
>> i learnt not to put my fingers into a street lamp that had it's cover
>> missing, wont be doing that again and it taught me to be a bit more
>> respectfull of electricity....
>
> My father learn't the same lesson when he put a metal knitting
> needle into a Shuko socket.
>
>
>
I trust he was not demonstrating to a child the danger of sticking
knitting needles into sockets

Andrew Gabriel

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 1:02:36 PM11/2/08
to
In article <hbprg49j53gdlavqf...@4ax.com>,

David Hansen <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk> writes:
> On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:00:18 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
> <n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-
>
>>I've never seen a non earthed shuko socket that could take an earthed plug.
>
> I have.

There are parts of Europe where it's been standard; Holland IIRC,
where protection against electric shock by non-conducting location
means no earths are permitted on outlets in such areas.

Rod

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 1:10:09 PM11/2/08
to
David Hansen wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 15:22:26 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
> <n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-
>
>> i learnt not to put my fingers into a street lamp that had it's cover
>> missing, wont be doing that again and it taught me to be a bit more
>> respectfull of electricity....
>
> My father learn't the same lesson when he put a metal knitting
> needle into a Shuko socket.
>
>
>
I preferred magnesium ribbon. Wonderful flash!

Kevin

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 1:41:02 PM11/2/08
to
Rod wrote:
> David Hansen wrote:
>> On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 15:22:26 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
>> <n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-
>>
>>> i learnt not to put my fingers into a street lamp that had it's cover
>>> missing, wont be doing that again and it taught me to be a bit more
>>> respectfull of electricity....
>>
>> My father learn't the same lesson when he put a metal knitting
>> needle into a Shuko socket.
>>
>>
>>
> I preferred magnesium ribbon. Wonderful flash!
>
not as big as a biro spring :-) (been there got the t-shirt)

Mike the unimaginative

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 1:43:36 PM11/2/08
to
Bruce <n...@nospam.net> wrote in
news:jllpg49ma9g8beco0...@4ax.com:

> "gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote:
>

>
> I have a 3-way Euro extension lead that I bought in Spain. Obviously,
> it came with a lead that had a Euro plug on it. All I did was cut off
> the plug and replace it with a UK 13A plug. I can now plug in up to
> three appliances with Euro plugs on them - I own several.
>
> I feel sure that you could get these extension leads here in the UK.
>
They are available from UK suppliers on-line, cheaper is to buy them from a
mainland supplier - eg www.conrad.fr or www.conrad.com who I know will
ship to the UK (but they are not the cheapest). Better still ask someone
who's off the mainland to bring back a couple. Then as the above poster
suggests cut off the plug and put a fused 13A UK plug on (preferably with a
lower than 13A fuse in).
You might consider asking if an electrician will fit (and part P certify) a
genuine Schuko socket onto a switched fused spur, my tentative enquiries on
this were that once they understood that you weren't mad they would - I
never did (cost). Equally a genuine Schuko socket as a single radial back
to the fuse box is apparently OK too with Part P, according to the sparks
I've spoken to.

Mike the unimaginative

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 1:52:00 PM11/2/08
to
"gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in news:6n5q3qF...@mid.individual.net:


>
> Give me the shuko plugs and sockets anyday,
>

I tend to agree with you although I'd say 'Give me a modern 'schuko' style
intallation anyday'
You and I are sailing against the tide of opinion here - I've read the
arguments and remain unconvinced that either side is *technically* better
(ie the mainlanders are not being electrocuted in their thousands!), so it
comes down to blinkered predjudice - and my predjudice is for the non-UK
system.

Peter Parry

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 2:28:16 PM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 12:52:00 -0600, Mike the unimaginative
<Your...@nospam.here> wrote:

>You and I are sailing against the tide of opinion here - I've read the
>arguments and remain unconvinced that either side is *technically* better
>(ie the mainlanders are not being electrocuted in their thousands!),

Not in their thousands, but about 10 times as many people die from
electric shock (proportional to population) in the Schuko countries as
in the BS1363 ones. France adds another order of magnitude but that's
simply the French who don't really understand electricity.

Rod

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 2:33:17 PM11/2/08
to

Are those deaths actually related to Schukos themselves, the related
aspects of the wiring, or other things altogether. For example, I
imagine that some of the countries might not have the best standards of
protection (RCDs, etc.). But this is my imagination and this is
genuinely questioning, not dismissing your post.

Peter Parry

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 3:00:39 PM11/2/08
to
On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 19:33:17 +0000, Rod <poly...@ntlworld.com>
wrote:

>Are those deaths actually related to Schukos themselves, the related
>aspects of the wiring, or other things altogether. For example, I
>imagine that some of the countries might not have the best standards of
>protection (RCDs, etc.). But this is my imagination and this is
>genuinely questioning, not dismissing your post.

It isn't stated (or at least not in the data I had). The Schuko plug
and the radial wiring associated with it are of course linked as a
system in much the same way as the BS1363 plug is inextricably
associated with ring wiring. It is also true to say that in both
cases the number of deaths by electrocution attributable to faults in
fixed wiring is really quite small, a few every year in the UK and
20-30 in the Schuko area for the equivalent population. Fires caused
by electrical faults kill far more.

Older Schuko installations are frequently overloaded (too few sockets
and difficult to add more) and the use of multiple socket extension
leads with high current appliances is commonplace. Leads pulled out
of plugs are also common and kill a few each year. The use of
"earthed" Schuko plugs in non-earthed sockets is a major issue. In
one house we had in Germany the washing machine and tumble drier were
in the (damp and frequently flooding) cellar plugged into an extension
lead plugged into a wall socket. The wall socket was an earthed
socket - those on the extension lead were not. You got quite a
healthy tingle if you touched the washing machine case and water pipes
at the same time. (In true German style the landlord told us this was
all quite legal as the washing machine had an earthed plug and the
wall socket was earthed and the rules said nothing about bits in
between.)

In my experience there is also a much greater range of quality between
the best and worst Schuko plugs and the best and worst BS1363 ones.

One of the great advantages of the BS1363 system is its resilience to
mistreatment. It was a "clean sheet of paper" design done very well
by competent engineers and as a system works well. The Schuko system
isn't anything like as resilient with more single points of failure
and a much greater susceptibility to fires caused by high currents.

As well as deaths by electrocution there are many more fires
attributed to fixed wiring on the continent than there are in the UK
(again excluding the French as their figures simply eclipse everyone
else's put together).

geoff

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 3:42:36 PM11/2/08
to
In message <1mvrg4p6ep902ca74...@4ax.com>, Peter Parry
<pe...@wpp.ltd.uk> writes

Isn't that what Darwinism was invented for ?

--
geoff

Grimly Curmudgeon

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 5:28:16 PM11/2/08
to
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
drugs began to take hold. I remember and...@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew
Gabriel) saying something like:

>(In the UK, it is required that the tip is
>the live connection of an ES lampholder.)

Many people wire them up at random when they're replacing plugs,
possibly in the mistaken notion that, like a BC, it makes no real
difference either way. I've come across many with live outers.

Martin Crossley

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 8:42:19 PM11/2/08
to
David Hansen wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:00:18 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
> <n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-
>
>> I've never seen a non earthed shuko socket that could take an
>> earthed plug.
>
> I have.

Since Schuko is short for Schutzcontact (protective contact), it wasn't
really one, but the predecessor...


gazz

unread,
Nov 2, 2008, 9:29:29 PM11/2/08
to

"Tim S" <t...@dionic.net> wrote in message
news:490de162$0$507$5a6a...@news.aaisp.net.uk...

no probs, would use a DP switch anyway,

the particular shuko plug on the pinball machine is one of those right
hangled ones, so as long as i put the phase wire to the right hand socket
contact, neuteral to the right, it'll be plugged in with the polarity the
same,

can be plugged in reversed of course, but the plug will be upside down and
easy to spot.

the cable goes into the machine then straight upto a double pole isolator
switch which is the main switch for the machine (operated by reaching under
the right hand side of the cabinet) just before the switch is the non
earthed bakelite flat fronted inspection lamp socket,

the idea being you can use the lamp to see what your poking around at in the
cabinet, but the machine is powered off by the front switch,

the transformer is right at the back of the machine anyway, so with the
playfield lifted up on it's prop (like a car bonnet) you'd have to be very
slim and have long arms to reach it's mains connections,

the machine has 28 - 32 volts DC (depends on the flipper strength setting),
28 volts AC and 7 volts AC on it's contacts, bulbs and solenoids, so whilst
they might give you a little tingle, they shouldent hurt you (unlike my
1960's EM one armed bandit that has 48 volts AC on it's contacts, not wise
to operate them by hand i found out :)

chunkyoldcortina

unread,
Nov 3, 2008, 5:58:03 AM11/3/08
to
Andrew Gabriel wrote:
> In article <hbprg49j53gdlavqf...@4ax.com>,
> David Hansen <SENDdavi...@spidacom.co.uk> writes:
>> On Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:00:18 -0000 someone who may be "gazz"
>> <n...@spam.ta> wrote this:-
>>
>>> I've never seen a non earthed shuko socket that could take an earthed plug.
>> I have.
>
> There are parts of Europe where it's been standard; Holland IIRC,
> where protection against electric shock by non-conducting location
> means no earths are permitted on outlets in such areas.
>

The most dangerous thing about the BS1363 plug is physical. If a plug is
left lying on the floor of the US or Schuko design, it's hard for it to
lie pins-up. BS1363 plugs always seem to land pins up and hurt like hell
if you tread on one with bare feet :o)

chunkyoldcortina

unread,
Nov 3, 2008, 6:58:44 AM11/3/08
to
BruceB wrote:
> "gazz" <n...@spam.ta> wrote in message
> news:6n3rh5F...@mid.individual.net...
>> would there be any regulations i'd be breaking if i fitted a german shuko
>> style 2 pin with side earth strip socket in my house?
>>
>
> You may well be breaking some regulations depending on how you achieve it,
> but in principle it is perfectly possible to fit Shuko sockets in UK. Some
> hotels do.

The way hotels tend to do it is to fit the EU & US style sockets to an
item such as a desk (complete with transformer for the US sockets), then
that is connected back via flex to a 13A fused spur with flex outlet. I
guess this technically makes these sockets an "appliance" rather than
part of the installation?

David Hansen

unread,
Nov 3, 2008, 8:34:58 AM11/3/08
to
On Sun, 02 Nov 2008 12:43:36 -0600 someone who may be Mike the
unimaginative <Your...@nospam.here> wrote this:-

>You might consider asking if an electrician will fit (and part P certify) a
>genuine Schuko socket onto a switched fused spur, my tentative enquiries on
>this were that once they understood that you weren't mad they would - I
>never did (cost). Equally a genuine Schuko socket as a single radial back
>to the fuse box is apparently OK too with Part P, according to the sparks
>I've spoken to.

Such a socket doesn't comply with the Wiring Regs. However, the
paperwork the IET/IEE (IEE is a brand name they use for wiring
matters) offer for use provides a space for exceptions to the Regs
(and have done so for at least 20 years). That space is to allow
such exceptions to be noted.

The IET/IEE state that they are in favour of "novel methods",
provided they have been properly thought through. The unimaginative
"it doesn't comply, so can't be done" approach is not what the
IET/IEE encourage, but it is an attitude adopted by many. I'm glad
to see that those you approached had the right attitude.

tim.....

unread,
Nov 8, 2008, 4:36:11 PM11/8/08
to

"Grimly Curmudgeon" <grimly...@REMOVEgmail.com> wrote in message
news:gel9i6$n0d$1...@registered.motzarella.org...

probably something to do with the fact that most people's experiences of
these type of fittings will be from table lamps with a Euro (unearthed) plug
on the end, which they will have realised can be plugged in either way.

Thus, if they do ever have to wire in a fixed one, they will "wire it in
either way"

tim


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