Reply to post: Re: Be much more interested in...

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

JulieM Silver badge

Re: Be much more interested in...

"Universal" mains sockets will never be allowed in the UK because they do not meet BS1363, for at least two reasons:

1: Over-current protection. In the UK, every plug has its own fuse, and a 32A circuit breaker supplies an unlimited number of sockets. Also, there is an extra connection looped back from the last socket back to the breaker, which effectively doubles the cross-sectional area of the cable. In the event of a fault, the appliance flex only has to withstand the excess current for long enough to blow the 3A or 13A fuse in the plug. If a non-UK plug was used without an additional fuse, the appliance flex would be in an endurance race with the 32A breaker.

2: Safety shutters. In the UK, the extra-long Earth pin operates a mechanism to release a spring-loaded safety shutter which normally covers the live and neutral pin apertures to prevent the insertion of foreign objects.

2.5: Earthing. Schuko and French sockets are designed so an earthed plug can be inserted into a non-earthed socket. The French system uses a pin protruding from the socket plate; the Schuko system uses edge bar contacts. The "universal" sockets just leave the earth unconnected with such plugs. Nice if you're using a hand-held, metal-cased appliance .....

2.75: Cable entry angle. In the UK, the flexible cable enters the plug at 90 degrees to the axis of the pins. Pulling the flex will not pull the plug from the socket.

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