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  1. #11

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    Couldn't find a straight forward answer, apparently in Europe they have all sorts of different plugs and standards (I've only used Euro power outlets in The Netherlands), but in the UK they seem to be 2.5A, 5A or 15A

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by N467RX View Post
    but in the UK they seem to be 2.5A, 5A or 15A
    In the UK the standard power outlet is 13 amps and has been for many years. The sockets are wired to a circuit with a much greater capacity but the plugs fitted to the appliance are fused at 3A, 5A, 10A and 13A depending on their power requirements.

    In the olden days we used to have three different sizes of round pin plug rated at 3A (could have been 2A) 5A and 15A. These plugs were not fused but were protected by fuses at the distribution point (fuse box)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BS_1363


    Steve.

  3. #13

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    So are the sockets standardized to that shape now?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by N467RX View Post
    So are the sockets standardized to that shape now?
    Yes.

    There are some current uses of the older round pin plugs. The 15A plugs are used for theatre lighting and the small 2A plug is often used to connect central heating pumps. I have also fitted these smaller sockets to a room to allow table lamps to be connected but switched on by a wall mounted switch.

    But apart from old houses which have not been modernised, you will always find the BS 1363 13A sockets in the U.K.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BS_546


    Steve.

  5. #15

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    So, at 13amps, your circuits are delivering almost twice the watts as here in the US (where you'll generally find 15amp or 20amp circuits).
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    So, at 13amps, your circuits are delivering almost twice the watts as here in the US (where you'll generally find 15amp or 20amp circuits).
    Only if the appliance draws sufficient power. A device rated at 230 volts drawing 13 Amps would be using 2990 watts. We don't have many devices rated that high. Even a two bar electric fire would only be around 2kW.

    Normal appliances plugged into a 13 amp socket such as TVs, DVD players, computers, etc. will only draw one, perhaps two amps. A washing machine's heater element might take it close to the limit.

    I believe that in the US you have a different circuit connected across two phases to give a higher voltage for high power devices such as electric cookers. In the UK an electric cooker is wired in permanently via its own 30 or 40 amp circuit, as is an electric shower. These things are not plugged in.


    Steve.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Only if the appliance draws sufficient power. A device rated at 230 volts drawing 13 Amps would be using 2990 watts. We don't have many devices rated that high. Even a two bar electric fire would only be around 2kW.

    Normal appliances plugged into a 13 amp socket such as TVs, DVD players, computers, etc. will only draw one, perhaps two amps. A washing machine's heater element might take it close to the limit.

    I believe that in the US you have a different circuit connected across two phases to give a higher voltage for high power devices such as electric cookers. In the UK an electric cooker is wired in permanently via its own 30 or 40 amp circuit, as is an electric shower. These things are not plugged in.


    Steve.

    My question was in the context of potential risk when working with a circuit. 15a at 110v isn't too risky - assuming you're not well grounded (not that I'm suggesting you try it out of intellectual curiosity). At 230v and 13amps, you're twice the wattage.

    We also have 220 circuits (across 2 phases as you mentioned) for some permanently wired appliances such as air conditioners, ovens, dryers, etc. They typically run at 20 to 40 amps.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    My question was in the context of potential risk when working with a circuit. 15a at 110v isn't too risky - assuming you're not well grounded (not that I'm suggesting you try it out of intellectual curiosity). At 230v and 13amps, you're twice the wattage.
    Only the voltage is relevant when considering risk (assuming you mean risk of electrocution) as the high resistance of the human body is not capable of drawing much current. Just because a circuit is rated at 13 amps doesn't mean that is the current which will flow if you touch it. In reality it will be a few milli-amps.


    Steve.

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