Why do french plugs not have fuses?


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

Or inversely why are UK plugs fused? Is this the reason why I can’t have nice metal socket/switch covers & have to choose coloured plastic if I want an alternative to white? I’ll stick with white - have you seen the price of the coloured ‘fancy’ ones at Casto? Not like going to B&Q for your shiny chrome looking fittings!



Why are there 3 pins on a UK plug & 2 for most of the rest of the world?



Why does a shaver point - seen in large hotels in France as well as widely used around the world ‘n’exist pas’ in France?



Can you wire in lamp circuits in France or do they n’exist pas too?


(Andrew Hearne) #2

in fact no need to ruin a hairdryer - odd bit of cable with a plug on it would do the trick! but in all seriousness I don’t think you should try it, I’m mad enough to do it just to prove a point but I don’t want anyone else doing it because I suggested it… leave it up to the electrician and ask him to prove the circuit trips out at the slightest tiniest problem - and while you’re at it why not ask him to fit a more sensitive disjoncteur?


(Andrew Hearne) #3

Put the light swith and socket on the wall just outside the bathroom - less risk of soaking wet hands on the light swith too - if the flex is long enough on the razor! After all the comments I think the safest sticking with the French system (and my French other half still can’t really understand what the problem is - but there again she’s never had a bathroom until now - always just a shower) and make sure that anything we use has a lead that’s too short for it to fall into the bath/shower/basin. secondly make sure you’ve got trip switches not fuses on anything that’s more than a few years old - they’re so much more sensitive. ultimately, and this really is a last resort if you’re desperate to know if the system is ultra safe - test by dropping an old hairdryer into the sink/bath DROPPING NOT PLACING - NO CONTACT to make sure the trip switch cuts out immediately. Everyone’s going to go bananas at this last ULTIMATE test - go on, say what you like, I think we’re all grown up enough to realise the danger in doing it - get your electrician to do it for you! no seriously, talking to an electrician here, there was a similar case with an old bloke who electricuted himself and the electrician (who was replacing the old fuses in my rented flat for new trip switches was certain that if the system had been fitted with trip switches - the bloke would still have been alive: they trip at the slightest anomolie whereas old fuses take a lot to blow (too late for some).

As for the gas central heating… I think that tops the lot!!!


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #4

hmm not going down the UK rewire route, my uncle bought a house which had been DIY wired using old German kit, not so practical and needs completely redoing.



Or what about the village house in my village that was installed for UK Style Gas Central heating when our village has no gas…useless (no outside space for a tank either).



Nope, we’ll go for French registered Electrician installing French wiring but I’m still not sure what to do in the bathrooms :frowning:


(Andrew Hearne) #5

Why not ! I heard about someone in the Dordogne who had brought everything over from the UK including their electrician to wire the house – they loved it but it didn’t meet french regulations and I don’t think it does much for the re-sale ! when in Rome… once the house is yours – do what you want, in one house I wanted to change what I had planning for, went to see the local planning chap at the mairie, he just said « we’re not going to do all the paperwork again, if we can’t see it we don’t want to know, just do it ! » an dit was in an area where the architecte de France had to okay the planning. As for the puit perdu in another house we had… and it’s still there and the new owners, french, aren’t going to put in a septic tank unless someone makes them… Just one thought – I can’t try it as I haven’t got a UK shaver socket but as my electric razor and all my two pin appliances plug into a standard french socket… won’t they all plug into a UK shaver socket ! are UK shaver sockets fused or otherwise put in a really sensitive disjoncteur/trip switch on the bathroom spur to prevent electricuting someone – I must admit I’m so used to it that it doesn’t shoke me anymore but when you think about the possible consequences of kids playing with hair dryers… I think I’ll rethink my sockets (and I’d added one above the sink for more electrical goodies too !)


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #6

our electrician put the socket right next to the sink & near the bath. Whilst it would be tricky to splash water at it & cause a problem, it would be easy to use a variety of equipment like Hair Straightners, Hair Dryer, IPOD Stations etc and pop them on the edge of the bath (it’s sunken so has nice tiling around it creating a handy shelf). Obviously I’m not so stupid, but teenagers do daft things. On my next project - I think I’ll avoid the plug sockets in bathrooms & force them to use the bedroom for the increasing variety of girlie appliances that my 2 are likely to have as they get older. It sounds like the UK regs are stricter for good reason. So can I have a ‘safe’ shaver socket in France? Is there any reason why I can’t have a shaver socket (bought in UK) wired into a French Bathroom?


(Andrew Hearne) #7

Oh là, hadn’t heard about that one - could bare that happening to mine but we have electric sockets in both bathrooms. never really sorted out what happened to claude françois either - suicide or accidental electricution? yes it happens but any idea how many in france compared to the UK ie is french legislation any more dangerous?


(Alan Dargie) #8

There was a really sad case six or seven years ago, can’t remember where exactly, but it was in Provence or Cote d’Azur. Three little kids (two siblings and a friend or cousin or something) were having bath together unsupervised and electrocuted themselves with a hair dryer they were playing with which dropped into the bath. Such a sad case and it can happen so easily.


(Andrew Hearne) #9

Yes it’s more dangerous but there are strick limits from the sink/shower etc. And being realistic a lot of people in the UK end up running an extension lead into the bathroom for a hair dryer which is far more dangerous! ever heard of someone electricuting themselves with a hair dryer in france…?!


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #10

but isn’t it dangerous in case water gets in the socket? Or if you dropped your hairdryer in the bath or something? Isn’t that why we have shaver points rather than normal sockets in the UK or am I confused.com?


(Andrew Hearne) #11

Nearly all have just two pins - they double-insulate so much now. No need for a shaver point - sockets are allowed in bathrooms - shavers fit straight into a normal french socket.


(Stuart Wilson) #12

Hi Steve
Sorry to disagree but quite a lot of appliances only have two pins in France, especially those of low power.
Stu

PS I agree with the quality of the MK though :slight_smile:


(Steve YATES 2) #13

Most French plugs do in fact have 3 connections, 2 male pins and a female connection for the earth. I can’t remember whether it is Holland or Germany that have similar shaped plugs but the earth connection is on the side.

I think another reason for the fuse in the UK plug is the capacity of the ring main which typically has 30A fuse protection, far higher than French spur type system that has a 16A fuse.

Personally I think an MK 13A plug is an engineering masterpiece compared to even a Legrand 16A plug, far more reassuring.

Steve
PS I grew up in a house where the fuse in the plug was actually one of the pins !


(Stuart Wilson) #14

Hi Suzanne

There is a double protection at the main board, therefore, no fuses required.

UK plugs are all earthed therefore three pins, whether you wire an earthed or unearthed appliance to it. Not required on double insulated appliances.

I have a shaver point above my sink, it’s a normal socket, but you have to respect a certain distance from the water point?

If you want lamps to work from the wall switch, the solution the French use is to wire a socket to the switch.

A+
Stu