Changing UK plugs to French plugs

We’ve just brought a load of appliances over from the UK and are wondering which French plugs to fit on which appliances?

I’ve just bought a French plug without a fuse and attached it to our Radio CD Player and it’s working fine. But I noticed there isn’t a fuse in the plug? Which plug should I buy for things that draw a bit more power, kettle, toaster, iron etc?

Kind regards.


Oh you should be ok Simon, you seem to put up quite a lot of resistance. An MCB would leave you in the same predicament, the RCD (interrupter differential) is what would save you and antiquated though we may be we have those too in the UK. We used to have double pole breakers as well but under certain conditions interrupting both sides of a circuit can cause connections to arc and fuse together so the circuit could remain live even though you believe it was disconnected at the breaker. So single pole was preferred.

Hi Shirley, it's nice to know it has been of help for you.. The Humax is fine to be connected to the liebox.. it only uses a given postcode for regional programs, but doesn't have any interest in french I.P addresses.. whereas the Skyboxes shouldn't be connected to the phone line over here. But I-player is picky and wil not work here.. others may suggest ways round it. My Humax also has a double feed for recording, this is why i have it live all the time on the second arrestor.. the modem too for phone. You can hang everything from a single arrestor, as i said.. i have the second unit to isolate everything at night to save the standby.. i'm too lazy to press buttons and turn them all off. happy wiring..

we call them "surge arrestors".. not sure on the french word.. and strangely, mine are in english.. you can find them in any brico and many supers in the electrical dept.. prices are from about 11€ upwards.. They are easily identifiable because many are larger than a normal multi socket extension box.. Mine has 2 in and out screw terminals for satellite tv cables[usefuf as i have dual feeds for the Humax box], an in and out for telephone line, and 10 16a round sockets. I think it cost about 18€, but i no longer fear storms taking out all my equipment. Look around, there are so many available.. I actually have 2 arrestors.. one was from Lidl, into which i have 2 remote controlled circuit breakers.. the second arrestor is hooked into one breaker and feeds the tv, surround sound, dvd, and sub-woofer. The second remote breaker has the Humax and modem.. so i can shut down all the equipment at night to save on standby power, leaving the modem and Humax tv recorder live.. with the option to remotely shut them down too if need be.. and yes, there are masses of cables all secured behind the tv cabinet.. the remote power control saves trying to reach behind it to isolate the power.

For the phone line.. maybe he had to run in an extension line for the livebox to be near a power socket? rather than power line extension to the phone socket?.. but it could be done less visibly maybe?

I wouldn't want to put my finger on a live wire and rely on a fuse to help me Robert ....!!!!!

I'm real pedigree Shirley, a few rough edges but well housetrained !

Rum? ;-)

I'll tell you what Mr N. I sobered up pretty damned quick when I realised what an arse I had been . I was 'Running Scared'.

I did something similar with a metal toaster recently, I would have fried without the breaker!

There was a question here as to how quick a Disjonteur disconnects, The post seems to have disappeared but I'll give you my answer anyway :- " Extremely fast I can assure you! We have a pair of wooden tongs to take the hot toast out of the toaster. Not long ago I didn't turn off the toaster & used a metal fork for the same purpose.( don't ask ! It probably had something to do with alcohol :-) ). The disjoncteur did it's job before I even realised I was a still living idiot !" A fuse wouldn't have saved my stupid hide :-)

A fused plug with the correct rated fuse will always offer the appliance and connecting cable the best protection, because it is the closest and should operate first with out tripping the MCB,I do not know of a miniature circuit breaker which is rated at less than 5 amps, so a fuse of 1,2,or 3amps is far better! Old yes , but proven , the quicker it blows the less damage to the appliance. I love this site, it brings all us know-alls together.

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I loved the word " pertinacity ". Great word, thanks for that Rob:-)

I would say that the fuse protects your system from a faulty appliance. The fuse does not protect your appliance.

I do work for quite a few Brits around here and I'm always amazed by their pertinacity where it comes to keeping the UK-plugs on. As if they are ever going to take this 20 quid toaster back to the UK...

I think you can say that a system built to the French norm is a good one. I also think that they take things a bit far, and that they change the rules too often. But then again, rules, regulations and bureaucracy is their game.

The only safe way ...(debatable) to wire up english plugs is to make up a English multiplug block to a french plug but make sure you know where the live is in the socket you are plugging it into else if the fuses blow you may still have current going through the appliance as the live fuse side could be connected to the neutral !!!!!

The Fuse only protects the Wire it is a antiquated system in the UK ..... french sockets are protected by a dual pole (Both live and Neutral) breaker and RCD in the UK only the live wire goes through the breaker. As it doesnt matter which way round a french plug is wired that is why they dont have fuses, in fact if you accidentally wire the fuse into the nuetral you may render the appliance more dangerous that it was .

if you want to be safe take out the fuse and replace with a solid piece of copper or aluminium of the same thickness, that way your protection will be from the breaker and RCD on the fuse board

The whole point is that your french insurance company won't touch you (they won't pay out) if the system doesn't conform to french regs. The 13A system may well be better but we are not in the UK. French insurance companies don't give much away so why make it easier for them ?

Many years ago, must have been in about 1990 an electric blanket, previously bought new in the UK developed a fault and burned our young sons bed. He wasn't hurt thankfully but the insurance man visited the property to confirm the facts etc. The moment he saw the english appliance with a 13A plug with UK/French adaptor he deemed my system didn't conform so I received nowt.

I can change a french surface or flush socket in less than 10 mins to a 13a english one, then I replace a french 4 or 6 way adapter with an english plugtop, The 13a sockets I already have, so WHY not? Not safe you may say, But I beg to differ. My appliances are protected by fuses!

When changing a plug always make sure all the strands of the wire are properly fed into the pin and fasten the litle screws tightly. A loosely fastened screw results in a bad/not perfect contact wich gives high resistance, wich in turn results in heat, especially with fairly heavy users like hair dryers. I've seen breaker boards that had burnt out because of lack of tightening the screws .

My nephew's favourite band. He was very young. Now he's got a Calfornian wife, a New York son and lives in Frisco. Can't alll be bad!

Madness. And I don't mean the band.