Need to learn about rewiring a 2 pin plug


Postby Moon_day » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:36 am

Hi there. I'm needing to learn how to wire 2 pin plugs. I have one that I've been practising on...but it doesn't have an obvious place for me to put the earth wire - whereas the one in the tutorial video most definitely did!! I'm a newby to 2 pin plugs so pls have a look at the pics and all advice welcome...Thanks.
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Postby ericmark » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:35 pm

The German "Schuko"; Type F plug is permitted in the UK, but only using an adaptor the German "Schuko"; Type F socket is not permitted as it does not have polarity it can be plugged in either way up.

We do have two pin plugs in the UK but these are only used with shavers or as a connector in line as with some lawn mowers.

The German Schuko (Type F, CEE 7/4 plug, CEE 7/7 plug) and the French (Type E, CEE 7/6 plug, CEE 7/7 plug) are very similar and there are specials which incorporate both earthing systems. It has both a hole for the earth pin (French) and the side contacts (German) but the German system can't be used with out British ring final system of wiring.

The the UK the 13A plug has a fuse in the line supply, for that to work line and neutral must always be on the correct side. With the German system there is a host of 16A MCB's similar to the old 15A British pre-war system. It needs more cable to wire it, it needs two pole switching on the appliance, it needs a far bigger consumer unit, and also the use of light cable for items which have a low power usage is not possible.

The 13A shuttered socket does not require any bits of plastic to stop children gaining access to live parts and they are all in all far safer then the German system.

That is not to say the UK system is perfect there is a possibility of overload where multiple items are plugged into one end of the ring. And the fuse built into the 13A plug has problems dissipating the heat when used for an extended time. But it is still far better than the German system.

However it does seem the German system is used in most European countries to some extent, only the UK has outlawed the German sockets.

So we have:
TABLE 55.1
Plugs and socket-outlets for low voltage circuits
Type of plug and socket-outlet Rating (amperes) Applicable British Standard
Fused plugs and shuttered socket-outlets.
2-pole and earth, for a.c. 13 BS 1363 (fuses to BS 1362)
Plugs, fused or non-fused, and socket-outlets.
2-pole and earth 2. 5, 15. 30 BS 546 (fuses, if any, to BS 646)
Plugs, fused or non-fused, and socket-outlets,
protected-type, 2-pole with earthing contact 5, 15, 30 BS 196
Plugs and socket-outlets (industrial type) 16, 32. 63, 125 BS EN 60309-2

I have copied and pasted so may seem a little disjointed. I found when wiring the plugs while working in Algeria for a Dutch company that the plugs varied a lot, The CEE 7/1 socket will often accept the CEE 7/7 plug but there is no earth connection, in the UK we are not permitted sockets without an earth connection, as a result although all sockets since 2008 which are fitted today have RCD protection, those installed before 2008 only required RCD protection if likely to be used for items used outside, not sure when that came in but think it was 2001, It may have been 1992 when the wiring regulations became a British standard (BS7671) but it was far latter than the rest of Europe. Our sockets being that much safer to start with we did not need the protection but with the free trade between Europe and ourselves we had to protect to a higher standard so today not only the sockets are protected by RCD but also any hidden cables in walls and floors and ceilings.

So big question is why you want to fit German plugs.
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Postby Moon_day » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:39 pm

Thanks for that. I am moving abroad hence needing to changefrom 3 pin to 2 pin plugs on appliances.
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Postby ericmark » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:39 am

Because we have a fuse in the plug, we can use lighter cable than rest of Europe with small items.
0.5mm = 3A
0.75mm = 6A
1mm = 10A
1.25mm = 13A
1.5mm = 16A
As you can see only the latter is suitable for a 16A plug without a fuse. So it may be necessary to replace whole lead rather than just the plug. Since I only have British regulations to hand I can't tell you what is allowed in other countries. I would find a forum in the country your going to in order to ask the questions.
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