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"Plug ugly" - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-09-23 13:01
Subject: "Plug ugly"
Security: Public
Tags:travel
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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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-09-23 13:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
'instead'? What's with this 'instead'?

(And as yet another level of defence, these days house wiring must only be done by a qualified electrician.)
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Barry: 00 Bikkits
User: hobnobs
Date: 2010-09-23 14:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:00 Bikkits
Not strictly true. Like-for-like replacement is still able to be done, so I was able to replace the light fittings and do some socket work in my place without having to go through the rigamarole of Building Notifications and the like, and mains wiring can be done by unqualified electricians if they are Part P certified as a competent person. (So DIY/home improvement people can still work on their homes as long as they pay someone who is able to give them a certificate to say they are competent...)

Where more than one utility is in the same room such as kitchens/bathrooms/boiler room/etc is where it starts to get complicated. At this point a new set of rules kick in, and certification/qualification is mandatory. (And probably inspection and testing too.)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-09-23 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
OK, 'certified' rather than 'qualified', and with loopholes. But it's certainly tighter than it used to be only a few years back. I believe bellinghwoman has in the past worked on a mains distribution board, which is almost certainly forbidden her these days. And I've done work on lighting circuits with no actual clue what I was doing when I started (Electrical Engineering being the least liked part of my degree course).
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Barry
User: hobnobs
Date: 2010-09-23 14:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*nod* Certified is certainly a better word. :)

Hmmm, it occurs to me that I'm not sure how MDB work fits in with Part P for things like just changing a dead MCB. (or a fuse, if it's really old school.)
As much as I can't stand the work, I was "lucky" enough (Part P wise) to do an Electrician Apprenticeship when I left school so Part P certification doesn't apply to me for the most part. I know enough to understand exactly what it is I'm doing, more than enough to know I can't stand doing it, and so avoid it if I can possibly help it. :)
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