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Replacing UK 13amp Plugs With Euro Plugs

Postby Alannpan » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:55 am

We are moving to Spain is it possible just to take 13amp plugs off and refit euro plugs?
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Postby ericmark » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:24 pm

In 99.9% of cases yes. CEE 7/3 and CEE 7/4 (German "Schuko"; Type F) has in the main replaced the original Spanish polarised because the Schuko is unpolarised it not permitted in the UK.

So there are two things which a different one being unpolarised and two all cable must be able to take 16A as there are no fuses in the plug.

But for many years manufacturers have needed to make appliances which can be sold in any Europe nation so all new appliances will be OK. There could be some very old items with single pole switching and very thin cables but in the main there will be no problem.

The Schuko plug and socket has a number of problems. It is unpolarised as already stated but also the sockets without earths will take plugs which require earths the sockets are arranged as radials and it is up to the user to ensure plugs and sockets match and circuits are not overloaded although if they are normally it's just a trip that goes and it is easy reset.

In other words it is not the nanny state you are use to so you have to look out for your own safety rather than the state doing it for you.
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Postby collectors » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:29 am

It can be done, but one downside with "i think all" Euro plugs don't have fuses & you end up plugging in items like TV, Radio, Table lights etcetera that should have 3 & 5 amp fuses into an outlet that is quite often backed up with a 15-20 fuse. I am not quite sure why the EU has never standardised this.
You can get euro adaptors that are fused so you can put in the correct fuse.
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Postby ericmark » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:46 pm

Sorry tried to reply and it vanished in the middle of writing. The rules now say all portable appliances must be designed with Europe in mind and if it requires a fuse then it must be in the appliance. This does not apply to fixed appliances so a hob manufacturer can stipulate in their installation instructions the size of fuse required. It also is not retrospective so some old stuff could have a problem.

When on holiday I use a 4 outlet socket bar with a Schuko plug and retain the British plugs but when in Rome etc. So really if living there you need to adapt to their methods.

I have questioned many times the use of 0.75 mm sq cable rated 6A on a table lamp plugged into a 16A supply really it should have all 1.5 mm sq cable to take 16A. However in real terms we know short out a 0.75 mm cable and the 16A fuse will blow. If you used 30 meters of cable on the table lamp may be it could be shorted out without tripping but putting it simple we don't use 30 meters of cable on a table lamp.

I do think we have the best system but that does not mean the Spanish one is dangerous it does require more care but you don't see a huge rise in electrical accidents with their system. Maybe the Spanish are more careful but unless you do something daft really nothing to worry about.
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Postby KarlBristol » Sun May 31, 2015 10:25 am

Yes it is, I speak from experience, either replace the plugs or buy the adaptors when you arrive (1 euro each) It should be noted however that all Spanish plugs are not standard, and many that are not fused will be thinner than those that are. Depending on where you live and the age of your property you may sadly still find a single phase installation with old fashioned pug sockets that will only take thin plugs. The best thing to do here is to change the plug sockets, as the adaptors stick out of the wall and on top of a euro adaptor you may end up with a various dangerous installation.
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