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Topic Title: Two pin plugs ...
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Created On: 11 February 2014 12:21 pm
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 11 February 2014 12:21 pm
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Pollowick

Posts: 26
Joined: 04 February 2014

There is a proliferation of electrical equipment being sold in the UK with 2-pin Euro plugs and even some with the 2-pin plus earth strip. There are also a lot of low power devices which use "wall-warts" - 230v>>>>12v/5v transformers or converters with two pin.

Some are supplied with adapters to allow use with UK sockets and some not.

The problem I find with adapters is that they do not offer a good solid connection and overall the set-up protrudes too far. The other issue is that I see people pulling the pins apart and managing to force them into UK sockets - after overriding the shutters.

Recently my wife purchased a coffee machine with milk frother - coffee machine has standard UK plug, frother is a 2 pin Euro. My daughter has purchased some hair straighteners - again a Euro plug. These are from legitimate UK sources.

I have considered having a single 2-pin socket installed in my daughter's bedroom and maybe one each in my dressing room and kitchen so these devices can be used.

I approached a couple of local electricians who said sorry - but cannot get the sockets so I tried various wholesalers. Again, "sorry, not a stock item, if you want 20 we might be able to source them" type of responses.

MK manufacture a K4155 - two pin without earth and a K4150 1 gang shuttered and earthed socket both in the Logic Plus range.

Why can I not get them? Is there any reason why they cannot be installed in the UK? They apparently meet BS standards.

I was also recently in an up-market 4* hotel - and by the desk they provide standard UK sockets along with a couple of Euro sockets.
 11 February 2014 12:38 pm
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 17795
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I think RS will sell you one-off - e.g. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/...rical-sockets/2676491/ - although I doubt very much whether an applicable *British* Standard even exists to comply with. I'd suspect not an EN harmonized one either, but maybe an international one. You'd have to think about the circuit protection too - they won't be suitable for direct connection to conventional UK 30A or 32A circuits (as the plugs are unfused).

BS 7671 certainly has a strong preference for BS 1363 (or BS 546 or BS EN 60309-2) sockets - see reg 553.1.5.

Personally I'd be tempted to chop off the offending 2-pin plug and connect a BS 1363 one instead.

I thought it was illegal under UK law to supply a domestic appliance without a BS plug attached (or pre-attached converter).

- Andy.
 11 February 2014 12:55 pm
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Pollowick

Posts: 26
Joined: 04 February 2014

AJ

I see your points.

The plugs fitted certainly are not fused and neither are some of the adapters. Have a look around at home and see what you have that has a two pin plug. Shaver - either mains or rechargeable; I use a beard trimmer in my dressing room and that has a two pin plug. Electric toothbrushes - they need charging somewhere and again an un-fused two pin plug. Small battery chargers, electric plane (changed to a BS1363 - and is 2000w), hairdryers, hair straighteners and more.

If it is illegal, why do trading standards not deal with this? The equipment comes from mainstream manufacturers and major retailers. And even with a converter there is still no fuse.

If fusing is the issue then maybe MK could manufacture them with a suitable fuse on the face just as they do with the triple UK sockets.
 11 February 2014 01:21 pm
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AJJewsbury

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Sockets for shaver plugs are a long-standing British Standard (BS 4573 or BS EN 61558-2-5 depending if it's the bathroom transformer type or bedroom style simple socket) - and I'm fairly sure UK shaver plugs aren't intended to be compatible with general purpose Euro sockets.

Lack of a fuse in a converter certainly sounds like a problem to me.

- Andy.
 11 February 2014 01:38 pm
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mawry

Posts: 334
Joined: 26 April 2004

try these,

http://www.powerconnections.co.uk/euroconplug.html

Not my preferred option but her indoors' hair straighteners came with one.
 11 February 2014 02:01 pm
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normcall

Posts: 8550
Joined: 15 January 2005

Those are what should be supplied to comply. The problem is that most low voltage things have a transformer with a two pin plug. Transformers are available with a neat conversion to enable either the UK 3 pin or USE 2 pin sockets (ASUS are very keen on these).
We should take things back or report to trading standards if appliances are supplied with only 2 pins.
It will only take a few returns (OK, a fair number) for the penny to drop (and the price to rise!).

-------------------------
Norman
 11 February 2014 02:42 pm
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Pollowick

Posts: 26
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So, how do hotels get away with two pin sockets installed? They certainly are not locally over current protected.
 11 February 2014 02:46 pm
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AJJewsbury

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So, how do hotels get away with two pin sockets installed? They certainly are not locally over current protected.

Probably on a 16A circuit (many hotel have separate circuits per room - there's little need for a 32A ring for 20m2 with no heating requirement).
- Andy.
 11 February 2014 02:54 pm
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Pollowick

Posts: 26
Joined: 04 February 2014

Originally posted by: AJJewsbury

So, how do hotels get away with two pin sockets installed? They certainly are not locally over current protected.


Probably on a 16A circuit (many hotel have separate circuits per room - there's little need for a 32A ring for 20m2 with no heating requirement).

- Andy.


Looked at that - the CU in the room had a locked, grey perspex cover - the only "power ring" was rated at 32A. The only others were: lights, fridge, and air-con.
 11 February 2014 03:03 pm
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mawry

Posts: 334
Joined: 26 April 2004

last one i did there were fused connection units hidden discretely in the room.
 11 February 2014 10:37 pm
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dickllewellyn

Posts: 1434
Joined: 19 March 2010

You could consider a short length of eubiq or mainline which is like a busbar trunking. Then just use whichever outlets to suit the plugs you have.

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Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 11 February 2014 11:23 pm
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westfield6

Posts: 210
Joined: 12 October 2007

Originally posted by: mawry

try these,



http://www.powerconnections.co...uroconplug.html



Not my preferred option but her indoors' hair straighteners came with one.


Why bother? You have a pair of cutters and a screwdriver I presume. A good quality 13 amp plug is cheaper than any of those contraptions.
 11 February 2014 11:26 pm
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sparkingchip

Posts: 11682
Joined: 18 January 2003

I believe that continental hotel rooms would have a combined lighting and socket radial with a B10 MCB as the protective device as a typical setup.

Personally iId say cut the plug off and fit a 13 amp BS1363 with a suitable fuse in it.
 11 February 2014 11:56 pm
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SKElectrical

Posts: 1146
Joined: 01 February 2009

Originally posted by: Pollowick
Looked at that - the CU in the room had a locked, grey perspex cover - the only "power ring" was rated at 32A. The only others were: lights, fridge, and air-con.


Yes but there is likely to be a (concealed) FCU reducing the size of the OCPD.
 12 February 2014 10:26 am
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Pollowick

Posts: 26
Joined: 04 February 2014

Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Originally posted by: Pollowick

Looked at that - the CU in the room had a locked, grey perspex cover - the only "power ring" was rated at 32A. The only others were: lights, fridge, and air-con.




Yes but there is likely to be a (concealed) FCU reducing the size of the OCPD.



I am back in the same hotel soon - central London, and will dig a little deeper - not interfering with it but seeing what I can find out.
 12 February 2014 10:38 am
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peteTLM

Posts: 3755
Joined: 31 March 2005

Originally posted by: AJJewsbury

Personally I'd be tempted to chop off the offending 2-pin plug and connect a BS 1363 one instead.

I thought it was illegal under UK law to supply a domestic appliance without a BS plug attached (or pre-attached converter).

- Andy.



Chop it off.

I thought it had to come with a UK plug attached as well. Sony, among others just fit the plug adaptor plugs as a quick fix.

-------------------------
----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 12 February 2014 01:28 pm
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ectophile

Posts: 857
Joined: 17 September 2001

Originally posted by: AJJewsbury
I thought it was illegal under UK law to supply a domestic appliance without a BS plug attached (or pre-attached converter).

- Andy.


See The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 for the full details.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD IEng MIET
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