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"Plug ugly" - Off in the distance — LiveJournal
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-09-23 13:01
Subject: "Plug ugly"
Security: Public
When it comes to mains plugs, the British Type G is probably the gold standard. Three pin so you can't insert it the wrong way, with socket shutters so kiddies can't poke into the live socket hole, part insulated shafts so you can't get a shock from the pins, fused so a short in the wire can't start a fire, it's been built with a safety-first attitude. It says "Yes, this electricity stuff is powerful and dangerous, and we need tiger bars to keep it contained".

You can also swing one on a cable as an effective anti-burglar weapon.

And that's its problem: it's bloody massive. On our recent trip, we had a bunch of universal plug adaptors with us, and for one item we took the Euro mains lead, because it was lighter than the UK plug lead and we'd be able to use it anyway.

So it was with some interest that we encountered the Australian socket for the first time. For our adaptors, using a .au socket meant bringing out the US two blade section, and gently twisting the blades so they were angled apart. And into the socket and hey - unlike the US case itself, where the weight of the adaptor would pull the whole thing down, these stayed where put.

The downside was that on a double socket, we couldn't get two in - the sockets are set much closer together. Happily, there were enough sockets around we could always make use of three adaptors.

(As for HK - they use the Type G - so we used the adaptors for that Euro lead).
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User: autopope
Date: 2010-09-23 13:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Simples: because 240 volts at up to 13 amps is Not Your Friend -- especially in a damp climate or a room with running water!

The fuse thing is because the current standard for British mains current wiring pre-dates cheaply-available circuit interruptors. But if you look in the household mains distribution board you'll see a bunch of ring mains, each with a separate circuit breaker *as well* as the one-per-plug fuses. Result? We can haz electric kettles that can brew up a pot of tea in less time than has elapsed since the last ice age, without burning the house down.

Edited at 2010-09-23 01:28 pm (UTC)
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User: ramurphy
Date: 2010-09-23 13:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I do think electric kettles are brilliant. The US is sadly lacking in them, though I guess they can be bought at considerable price. And Canada has 'em.
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Tim Illingworth
User: timill
Date: 2010-09-23 13:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They are now common in Walmart (in the last year or so) at around $20 and up.
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Sheep with a guitar
User: sbp
Date: 2010-09-23 15:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can't remember the last time I used a "manual" one. Or indeed the first :-)
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