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#143333 - 07/15/05 11:57 AM Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
glaive-uk  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3
Maidstone, Kent, England
Hi all,

Have browsed this and other websites looking for relevant info, (but had little success).

So have "wandered" into this forum, hoping some of you "die-hards" might be able to shed some light on this for me.

Can anyone provide me with any legal reason why a trailing distribution block, fitted with Schuko sockets would NOT be legal in UK, as long as it met with the appropriate CE regs (and was already on sale and in legal use in other EEA countries).

Have asked various bodies (Trading standards, BSI, IEE) but to no avail.

Is there an over-riding UK regulation that prohibits such CE-approved items?

(links to relevant websites/documents most acceptable).

thanx in advance,

Tim


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#143334 - 07/15/05 04:14 PM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
gideonr  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 161
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
In a private home you can use what you like, for a business it's a different matter (HSE, public liability, etc). You should really be asking your insurers if they are happy for you to use non uk approved electrical equipment, though personally I wouldn't bother, just make sure it's safe.


#143335 - 07/16/05 02:05 AM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,211
SI,New Zealand
Hi Tim and welcome to the group! [Linked Image]
It's always good to have new folk here.
I would have to agree with Gideon in his post.
However, we are after all talking about one form of a connector here, sure I realise that the Schuko can be inserted either way around, but should that preclude it's use?.
The issue I'd be more worried about is over-voltage from as I believe that the Schuko is designed for 220VAC appliances, however most appliances these days have a multi-voltage capability.
I'd be interested in what the other guys have to say about this.


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#143336 - 07/16/05 08:12 AM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,392
Vienna, Austria
Schuko is rated 250V, 10A DC, 16A AC, so voltage shouldn't be an issue at all.


#143337 - 07/16/05 08:17 AM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,211
SI,New Zealand
Thanks for that Ragnar,
I was just wondering about the voltage compatibility. [Linked Image]


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#143338 - 07/16/05 08:21 AM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Hi Tim, welcome to the forum.

As Gideon said, as far as using equipment in your own home is concerned there are no laws at all and you can use any connectors you like (I have a fair amount of 120V equipment running on American plugs, for example).

There is a law relating to the supply of portable appliances:

The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

All this really specifies though is that appliances offered for sale in the U.K. must now be fitted with a BS1363 plug (with a few exceptions). There's nothing to say you can't fit any plug you like to that device once you've bought it.

For commercial settings, I'm not sure what the Health & Safety at Work Acts have to say on the matter. As most things these days say that any approved standard of another EU country has to be considered as an acceptable alternative to a British Standard though, I wouldn't have thought it would be a problem.

Maybe one of our members from the commercial side could comment more on this.


#143339 - 07/16/05 08:23 AM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Quote
I was just wondering about the voltage compatibility.


Don't forget that "officially" we're all 230V nominal now anyway. [Linked Image]


#143340 - 07/16/05 10:14 AM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
glaive-uk  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3
Maidstone, Kent, England
Hi Guys,

Thanks to the well-wishers and for the replies received so far.

FYI, the reason for my OP is as follows:

We distribute a range of hi-fi, home cinema and power cables from a Swedish company called "Jenving" - the cables themeselves are branded "Supra" and over the last 25+ years they have built up a strong reputation.

(Please no arguments about whether cables make a difference !!)

However, they have designed a 6 way mains distribution block (aka "trailing sockets") fitted with Schuko sockets.

Unfortunately, it's too expensive to re-tool in order to produce a UK-socketed version (esp. as the UK market is relatively small, compared to EC market for Schuko version).

So, it was really a question of the legal side as to whether selling a mains block fitted with Schuko sockets in a country that normally uses UK 13A shuttered sockets - obviously we'd also need to be able to supply the Schuko-terminated cables (that go between the mains block and the equipment itself) as well as a UK-to-IEC cable to power up the block from the wall socket.

Fortunately, the manufacturer is changing the Schuko sockets to shuttered types, so as to increase the safety of the item (and preventing children with knitting needles from electrocuting themselves !!), but other than that, I was looking for any other concerns or issues that might prevent me from making these available.

Any further info/opinions would be very useful.

regards,

Tim


#143341 - 07/16/05 06:36 PM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
djk  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,237
Ireland
I don't think it's a problem. You can use all sorts of non-standard connectors ... look at the various connectors that are available... e.g. masterplug or micromark do a little unit that has tiny 3 pin plugs that don't conform to any particular standard.

If it's CE approved and it's a component I'd assume it's OK.

It's just as safe, if not safer, than using IEC connectors.

As long as the plug on the end of the cabinate that goes into the wall is a BS1363 it should be OK.

BS1363 plugs or a schuko/europlug with a converter that can only be removed with a tool is required in Ireland on any device that's sold. There's no mention of any ban on using Schuko sockets as a coupler / connector.

Also, I've seen schuko plugs and cable couplers used on garden equipment and other such devices here.

i.e. a short cable with a moulded Contour (non-grounded schuko-type plug) on the lawnmower and a schuko trailing socket as the connector.

It's just as effective and a lot more robust than the BS equivilant coupler.


#143342 - 07/17/05 05:42 PM Re: Schuko trailing sockets legal in UK?  
gideonr  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 161
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
RS Components sell Schuko distribution blocks made by tyco Bowthorpe EMP:
http://rswww.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/subRangeAction.do?catoid=-1600761947&cacheID=ukie

They have a Schuko plug though, anyone found one with a BS1363 plug?


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