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#137920 - 08/03/03 11:48 AM If BS1363 has to go !
Plugman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 15
Loc: England
If, in the near future, the powers that be in the EU say 'Sorry guys, we want you to harmonise with rest of the EU, so the square pin plug has to go!'.
Though whatever round pin system you picked to replace it had to take the 2.5 amp europlug as a minimum, What CEE 7 based or related earthed/3 pin system would you pick?
Personally I would go for the French UTE plug/socket style, at least it is polarised when the grounded plug is used.
(P.S. it's a given that circuits would have to be radial).

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#137921 - 08/03/03 11:59 AM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Welcome to ECN Plugman!

 Quote:

If, in the near future, the powers that be in the EU say 'Sorry guys, we want you to harmonise with rest of the EU, so the square pin plug has to go!'.


Possible, but not very likely.

 Quote:

Though whatever round pin system you picked to replace it had to take the 2.5 amp europlug as a minimum, What CEE 7 based or related earthed/3 pin system would you pick?


The 2.5A Europlug has the problem of fitting BS1363 sockets with a little help. The low load means that there is virtually no risk of overload. But any plug with a higher rating will need to be incompatible with BS1363.

 Quote:

Personally I would go for the French UTE plug/socket style, at least it is polarised when the grounded plug is used.


Yup, but the French don't care.

The EU would never, ever, force Britain to change to another plug that is already in use. If you do change, it will be the BSI who have made this decision. (But they will of course blame the EU) The EU might force everybody to change, but that again seems unlikely at this point of time.

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#137922 - 08/03/03 12:34 PM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
Plugman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 15
Loc: England
To C-H, thanx for the welcome, and for your comments.

One thing is for sure, and that is 'Schuko' is becoming the de-facto standard for Europe.
I think that by it's shear dominance, it will be the one system that won't be replaced,if ever, due to the shear number of users.

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#137923 - 08/03/03 05:53 PM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Schuko is a defacto standard for a number of simple reasons.

1) It has been the official standard in most of Europe for a long time
2) All of Europe (other than the UK & Ireland) uses plugs based around the original AEG/Siemens system. 2 round pins spaced in exactly the same position since the turn of the 1900s
3) Schuko simply will not become the defacto standard in France. It just so happens that there was a simple bridging system possible with CEE 7/7 by adding a french grounding pin receptical to a schuko plug.
4) Italy and Denmark & some swiss outlets have a safety issue with not using schuko as their outlets accept schuko(or French) plugs but do not connect the grounding strips. So it may be in the interest of safety to phase those systems out. French (non CEE 7/7) plugs won't generally fit schuko outlets because of the grooves on the side. (designed specifically to prevent this!)


BS 1363 is used by something like 60 million people in Europe. It's probably the most modern plug system in use in the EU, having being designed in the late 1940s. It has numerous advantages and is the only type of plug you'll find in the countries in which it is used.

The sockets are not at all compatable with Schuko plugs (the pins are too fat to fit into the receptical)
Europlug (2.5amp) can be "hacked" in though although because of the compulsary shuttering it's very inconvenient at best so in 99% of instances the plug is replaced.

The more modern shutters are specifically designed to prevent Europlugs being inserted. Equal pressure has to be applied to both L + N at the same time, but not at the points where a Europlug would make contact so it will fail to open the outlet.

Add to that the fact that the UK & Ireland allow the use of ring circuits which rely on individually fused (BS1363/IS401) plugs.

Other issues:

UK & Ireland require grounding at all outlets and have done for many many years. The ground pin also is involved in opening the shutters on the socket outlets, so all appliences have 3 pin plugs wheather they need them or not. They may see a 2-pin option as undesirable if it meant a slip back to the old days of people wiring appliences that need grounding to non-grounded plugs!

Lots of appliences, particularly lamps, with very thin cords are still around. These require 3 amp fuse protection.

The system is also fully polarised.. which is not at all the case with schuko or europlug (2pin)


Asthetically speaking the socket outlets are much neater looking, being 100% flush with the wall, than schuko or French outlets.

Oh and finally, unlike most of the 2 pin systems around europe. BS1363 does a very good job of holding plug-in transformers in place. The 3 sturdy pins do an excellent job of holding up even the heaviest transformers, plug-in battery chargers etc.
I've had heavy transformer plugs fall out of outlets in Spain with a loud bang in the middle of the night.

Also, unlike some schuko/French outlets it holds the plugs in well without being ridiculously tight.


BS1363 is an excellent system overall. I have no problems with it and wouldn't like to see it replaced by schuko. Schuko plugs are quite a rarity in this part of the world too. Unlike Italy or Denmark you simply won't see appliences shipped here without BS1363 moulded plugs fitted. There is a full legal requirment to fit them to all appliences sold in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

So I really don't think the BS1363 / IS 401 plug is going to disappear anytime soon! Unless someone comes up with something a lot better than it or schuko!

From a safety perspective, i know it's highly unlikely. I'd like to see BS1363 adopted in the rest of europe. Without the ring circuits ! ... just the plug & socket system.

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 08-03-2003).]

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#137924 - 08/03/03 08:38 PM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Here, here!

Well said that man.

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#137925 - 08/04/03 02:06 AM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Hi there Plugman, and welcome to ECN. Which part of the country are you in?

Dave makes an excellent argument in favor of retaining BS1363. I'd say that the main downside to most people is that our 13A plugs are rather bulky, and seem especially so when fitted on the end of a thin 2-core lamp flex. I have a problem with some of the cheap and nasty imported plugs (you know, the ones with very thin fuse clips so that they get hot under heavy loads), but that's a design flaw in the particular make of plug, not a fault of the overall BS1363 design.

I remember a proposal back in the mid-1970s to introduce a common European plug. The prototype unit had three flat-blade pins mounted in-line with the blades parallel, except the center ground pin was slightly offset to one side (imagine the Switss design with flat blades in place of round pins). It was rated 16A maximum, and a duplex outlet had two such sockets mounted vertically side by side. Nothing ever came of it, and I've never seen another reference to it since.

C-H,
 Quote:
The EU would never, ever, force Britain to change to another plug that is already in use.

Oh come on now.... You know I can't let that go by without commenting!

The EU frequently introduces directives which force people to change things whether they want to or not, in the name of "harmonization." Are you saying that the EU did not force upon us the CE marking scheme, the EMC directive, and the Low Voltage Safety directive, to name but three?

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#137926 - 08/04/03 04:09 AM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
 Quote:

The EU frequently introduces directives which force people to change things whether they want to or not, in the name of "harmonization." Are you saying that the EU did not force upon us the CE marking scheme, the EMC directive, and the Low Voltage Safety directive, to name but three?


All of which were new to all member countries.

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#137927 - 08/04/03 04:41 AM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
David UK Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Inverness, Scotland
DJK,
Excellent posting in defence of BS1363/IS401.
I'd vote for you to represent our (UK & Ireland) interests in CENELEC!
I agree the only way we should change is if a new better system is developed and adopted in all 220/240V countries, not just the EU.

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#137928 - 08/04/03 11:52 AM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
The fuse carrier and ground pin do bulk it up quite a bit in comparison to Europlug (2pin) but when moulded on BS1363 is actually quite neat and comparable to schuko or NEMA plugs.

The rewireable variety can be a tad bulky! Although not that bad. At least you can get a grip on the things! Try removing Europlug or NEMA (2pin) if your fingers arn't too mobile! I know a few elderly french people who had to have all of their plugs (including the 2 pin ones) refitted with rewirable grounded plugs with handles on the back.

With the way access for the disabled legislation is going I seriously doubt that any move towards a "fiddly" plug would be accepted.

(Under building regs light switches here must be mounted between 900mm and 1200 mm from the ground, must be reachable from a wheelchair.. sockets generally go in at about 900mm for the same reason)

Also, unlike any other system I know of they're impossible to remove by tugging the flex/cable.

Schuko / French recessed plugs often semi-disappear into the recepticle when inserted (particularly the rewirable variety) and it's often a lot easier simply to yank the cable to pull the plug out than to actually grip the plug properly.

I've seen a lot of French cleaners yank the vacuum cleaner cable out of the socket rather than bend down too.

Try that with BS1363 and you'll get no where. The cable always emerges from the bottom of the plug so if you pull it'll just kinda half disengage with the outlet.

Anyway They're just a good solid system! ...

Don't think I need to provide any futher argument to defend them :P


[This message has been edited by djk (edited 08-04-2003).]

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#137929 - 08/04/03 01:01 PM Re: If BS1363 has to go !
Plugman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 15
Loc: England
So - no takers for the round pin systems then !

The one consistent comment that does keep cropping up re BS1363 is it's size: as a '2 pin' plug (with inert or plastic earth pin) it is a bit large, but then it's very size does make it easy to get hold of, when removing it from the socket.

Just as an aside, I have seen some pictures of 'BS1363' moulded plugs, on several manufacturers sites, which are NOT fused. I wonder what countries they are for ?

P.S. In reply to pauluk's query, I hail from the sunny, balmy and HOT (today, anyway) Midlands.

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