Talk:BS 1363

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When were the blades insulated?[edit]

Some notes in the talk page archive indicate that the insualtion sleeves were added in a later edition - originally the blades had no sleeves. Can we get a cite and explain when (maybe even why) these were added to the standard? Perhaps our expertise on the materials available in 1947 will apply here. A history of major revisions to the standard, and especially the *reasons* for the revisions, would be very encyclopediac.--Wtshymanski (talk) 18:52, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately "British standards online" (which I have access to through uni) only seems to offer the current version and the 1984 version not any older versions :(. I can confirm that BS1363 plugs without sleeves exist though (indeed I still use a peice of equipment with one) Plugwash (talk) 20:58, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
The line and neutral pins were not required to be insulated in BS 1363:1947, but they were in BS 1363:1984, however the latter does not mention that as one of the changes from the previous version, so it seems likly that the requirement was introduced in BS 1363:1967 (which is not available from BSI on line) although it is possible that it was the subject of an ammendment. The 1967 date would be consistent with my own memory, and I still have several items with unsleeved plugs fitted which would have been new in the 1960s. I have heard a number of theories involving the danger of metal slats from venetian blinds falling between plug and socket, and schoolboys playing pranks with the new decimal coinage which supposedly fitted snugly between the three pins, but the most likely reason is to prevent the possibility of small fingers contacting the live pins during insertion. Sleeved pins and the addition of non-rewireable moulded plugs are the only major changes to the standard for plugs since 1947. Simultaneous line and neutral operation of the shutters (as an alternative to earth pin operation) and the addition of the (optional) switch are the major changes to the socket. Deucharman (talk) 21:06, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Something I ran across in passing and didn't bookmark was a statement that the 1984 edition of BS1363 insulated the sleeves to harmonize with the Europlug standards; probably a requirement to allow UK standard plugs to continue to be sold in a country now part of the EU. It was probably easier to add the sleeves than to get the IEC to drop them. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:38, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Surely the insulation requires making the covered part of the pins slightly smaller which in turn reduces their current carrying capacity ? 89.242.207.184 (talk) 00:53, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Not appreciably. The cross-sectional area in the insulated part is still many times what's needed to safely carry the maximum current of 13 amps. Jeh (talk) 01:27, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
I have now had the opportunity to thoroughly check original prints of BS 1363:1967 together with its amendments and supplements. I can say for sure that insulating sleeves did not appear in the standard until BS 1363:1984 which came into effect on 31st August 1984, however BS 1363:1967 was not withdrawn until 3 years after BS 1363:1984 was published, so there was an overlap. Deucharman (talk) 14:42, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

"Some plug top power supply units are unfused."[edit]

What's a "plug top power supply unit"? A power strip? The WL to the "Power supply" article is unhelpful. Jeh (talk) 18:09, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm have a lot of trouble with the phrase "plug top". If these things are usually installed in walls, and "top" is taken as meaning "Away from the center of the Earth", then the fuse is not on the top of the plug at all. Maybe this means "wall wart", that is, a plug-in power supply? But these would have fuses, almost certainly (anything aproved by CSA or UL would at least have a thermal cutout in the primary, not usually a user-replaceable fuse). Let's take it out. --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:18, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
A 'plug top' is just another name for the plug, i.e. the bit you pull out of the wall. I presume that a 'plug-top psu' refers to the mobile phone type charger that is built into the plug with only a low voltage lead coming out of it as opposed to an 'in-line psu' that has a normal mains lead feeding it. Paypwip (talk) 13:28, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
That's confusing; if "plug top" = "plug", why have two words for the same thing? I take it the original sentence meant that some "wall warts" or AC adapters are unfused; if so, these devices are outside the scope of BS 1363 anyway, and their fused-ness should be discussed in their own article. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:39, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
'Plug-top' is frequently used colloquially in Britain for a plug. This seems to have originated as a regional thing (but I could well be wrong). Folks who call a plug a 'plug-top' sometimes call the socket itself, a 'plug'. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 16:34, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Wondering....[edit]

I wonder why Australia didn't adopt either BS 546 or BS 1363 plugs, instead coming up with their own. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:15, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

The Australian standard C112 (now AS 3112), introduced in 1938, predates BS 1363. Before this, both BS 546 and an old US plug were used. When they standardised, it was decided that the US plug, with its flat blades, were easier to manufacture than the round pin British plugs, so they went with that. The UK and US subsequently came up with new designs, BS 1363 and NEMA 5-15. 101.169.11.154 (talk) 21:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
We don't have an article on the Post war building studies series. This would be very interesting to trace the development of modern building codes. Here was a rare chance to redesign a considerable amount of the old housing stock which had been destroyed, and to try to implement modernization of what must have been a lot of very old buildings. --Wtshymanski (talk) 20:56, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
My understanding is that at least in the UK there were substantial building materials shortages immediately after the war. So the focus was on repairing the war damage and building up the housing stock as economically as possible not on "modernisation". Plugwash (talk) 21:23, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The 1994 legislation says it revokes the 1987 version. OK, good, it sounded as if the UK didn't get around to regulating technical standards for plugs for 50 years. What changed between the 1994 and 1987 version? And did the 1987 version replace a prior act? There must have been some rules earlier than this to dictate the use of standard-compliant sockets. --Wtshymanski (talk) 02:38, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
  • What are the economics of a conversion plug vs. whacking the Europlug off with a pair of side cutters and wiring a regular BS 1363 plug? Does anyone buy conversion plugs aside from those who know they are only in the UK for a short time? --Wtshymanski (talk) 02:46, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
The conversion plug addresses the problems faced by manufacturers rather than consumers. Domestic electrical equipment must be supplied with a BS 1363 plug, this is easy to do for appliances which use separate power cords with a C3, C5 or C13 connector, the manufacturer simply drops the appropriate cord into the box before shipping, but not so easy for appliances with fixed leads. Conversion plugs provide an easy solution for manufacturers, especially small appliances such as radios with no earth connection, the conversion plug can be added to the box prior to shipping avoiding the need to have alternate versions of the actual appliance. Deucharman (talk) 06:38, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
So conversion plugs aren't routinely purchased and added by the consumer, but are more a dodge for manufacturers. Correct? --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:32, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Yep Plugwash (talk) 22:17, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
  • CSA and NEMA standards specify a retention force for contacts. I'd like to say that BS 1363 specifies a retention force in stead of just saying "grips firmly", but I don't have the standard. --Wtshymanski (talk) 03:53, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
227g for each contact. Deucharman (talk) 06:38, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Force? In grams? We have 20,000 bytes of discussion on what "non-fixed" could possibly mean and the standard itself doesn't distinguish between force and mass? Wikipedia must try not to be more Catholic than the Pope. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:32, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Does BS1362 really only give time-current curves for two ratings? Did someone perhaps look at a diagramm and interpret it the way the article reads now? Standards should standarize this sort of thing for each rating of fuse. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:35, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Is BS 546 still current? (still being updated?) --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:43, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
  • If you're importing a carload of,say, electric golf-club polishers from Ireland to the UK, must you cut off all the Irish standard plugs and replace them with (dimensionally interchangeable(?)) BS 1363 or do the Irish, British, Malaysian and Singapore standards all interoperate and recognize each other as acceptable in their respective areas? --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:06, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
    On a strictly pedantic point, there should be no problem between the UK and Ireland because of an EC directive (2006/95/EC) which says "If it's approved in country A, then other EC countries have to treat it as approved too..." - the plugs would presumably have CE marks? As for other countries, isn't multi-approval commonplace nowadays? I just looked the power-supply of my laptop and it has about twenty different approval marks on it... bobrayner (talk) 18:46, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
    Well, that takes care of the Ireland/UK pair. I've never heard of Canadian Customs siezing UL-approved NEMA plugs that don't carry a CSA logo, but I suppose it could happen. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:37, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
    Dunno about Singapore, but my UK adapters work fine in outlets in Malaysia and also in HKG - so they're certainly interoperable. Jeh (talk) 22:16, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
    Just to clarify, EU rules do not enter into this and the suggestion that plugs would bear CE marks is false. The CE mark can only be applied under an EU regulation, and there is no EU regulation which covers BS 1363. In fact the UK government states: "As the devices regulated by Part I (of the Plugs and Sockets Regulations) are outside of the scope of Community Directives and the Regulations are national in origin in support of the General Product Safety Directive, the CE Marking is not to be used. Its use may constitute an offence under section 1 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968." A CE mark on what may appear to be a BS 1363 plug (and there are plenty of them) is a sure sign of a counterfeit plug. 80.229.14.202 (talk) 09:52, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
    But surely there's some harmonization of BS 1363 with EC rules? And if not, that re-opens the Ireland/UK part of the question; though it is probably of no practical significance, since cords are manufactured elsewhere anyway. Are all the standards (technically) the same? Is a plug approved to any of the national standards accepted in the other countries? --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:22, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
    I rarely see plugs sold in Ireland with NSAI marks on them, but if they do they always have BS 1363 marks as well. Since BS 1363 is accepted here in Ireland I think the effort to get Ireland-specifc plug mouldings with NSAI marks produced is not seen as worthwhile for such a small market. --Zilog Jones (talk) 02:46, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
  • There is no harmonisation of BS1363 with any EU standards. This is because BS1363 plugs and sockets are not used elsewhere in Europe and, for the forseable future, unlikely to be used elsewhere in Europe. I believe that the only feature of BS1363 plugs that has come from an EU directive is the part insulated pins. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 15:37, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Is there any evidence for the statement above: "the only feature of BS1363 plugs that has come from an EU directive is the part insulated pins."? If that were the case, would we not expect that all plugs in other EU countries would have sleeved pins? I have noticed that it is common for computer manufacturers to include a lead with a Schuko plug as well as a lead with a BS 1363 plug with PCs and displays, but I have yet to see a Schuko plug with sleeved pins. Mautby (talk) 18:57, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    If you are not European, you may be unfamiliar with the workings of Europe. Some European beureacrat (Yes, I can't spell 'bureaucrat' either!) with nothing better to do compiles a requirement for something to be adopted across Europe (most of which are pointless or just plain stupid). This is (to all intents and purposes) 'rubber stamped' by the European parliament (which has no real power of its own). It thus becomes a 'directive'. Some countries adopt most (but not all) directives into their domestic law. Other countries prefer to ignore those directives that it deems are unnecessary (i.e. nearly all of them). Here in the UK, our newspapers make it a national sport to give large quantities of column-inches to those directives that are just plain bonkers (though several papers are not beneath rewriting sensible directives to make them look stupid). 86.166.70.84 (talk) 14:54, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Socket standard is dependent on the plug standard[edit]

It would help if whoever is reverting the edits of “It therefore follows that the performance of the socket is unpredictable if anything other than a BS 1363 compliant device is inserted into the socket” would identify themselves. However, that does not alter the fact that this is a very important concept, and unless it is properly understood then the subject cannot be understood. We appear to be plagued by editors who have not actually studied the standard, and that cannot make for a good WP article, so unless you actually KNOW and understand something, then please do not tinker with the work of those who do. Mautby (talk) 13:54, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

We appear to be plagued by editors who do not understand the difference between properly sourced material and original research or original synthesis. "It therefore follows that..." reads exactly as if it is a conclusion of the WP editor, rather than something sourced from the standard or other WP:RS. It may very well be sourced from the standard—but if so, the statement here needs to be phrased to say that. If a concept isn't properly sourced, it doesn't matter how important it is, we can't include it in a WP article. btw, experience here tells me that the more important an editor thinks a "concept" is, the more likely the editor (edit - added: not excepting myself) is to stray into original research or synthesis. Jeh (talk) 14:20, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Also: Labelling legitimate disagreement as vandalism is a Bad Thing. Deucharman has been warned before about this. It should stop now. bobrayner (talk) 14:39, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

line vs live[edit]

Note that while the standards use the term "line" the term "live" is still in very common usage and it would not at all surprise me if it is still more common than the term "line". Afaict the articles current implication that live is an americanism is completely wrong (the americans call it "hot") Plugwash (talk) 02:33, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Different connotation. "Line" is the name of the wire, connection, or pin, while "live" is the characteristic of being energized. Note that a "line" wire is not necessarily "live" (if the breaker on the circuit is open, for example). And yes, we use "live" in the U.S. as well. In any case "line" is the technically correct term to use in an article about British wiring practice. Jeh (talk) 03:05, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
To emphasize the importance of not confusing "Live" with "Line" the following definition of "live parts" should be noted (Clause 3.16 of BS 13631:1995): "current carrying parts and those metal parts in contact with them during normal use (NOTE Metal parts of the earthing circuit are not considered to be current carrying parts." in other words, both the Line and Neutral pins are considered to be "live" Mautby (talk) 19:33, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks! In US parlance, neutral is not considered "live". It seems then that the remaining uses of "live" in the article should be changed to some other adjective. Can we say "hot"? Can we use "line" as an adjective? Or will we have to reword so we can use the noun "line" everywhere? Jeh (talk) 20:47, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
This may be because of the manner in which distribution systems are wired and earthed (grounded). I believe that in the US, it is normal for the neutral conductor to be earthed at the incoming feeder to the distribution board in every building as well as at the sub station transformer (and I have even seen it on individual appliances). This is the method used for current installations in Britain, but it is a relatively recent development. Historically, distribution systems were only earthed at the sub station transformer. Thus it was perfectly possible for the neutral conductor to be 'live' (i.e. at a potential greater than earth). This is particularly a problem if there are large triplun currents in the system (third harmonic or multiples thereof - typical of fluorescent lighting). DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 16:46, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
... or not. I searched the article and it appears that all uses of "live" are consistent with the standard's definition (e.g. concerns with touching a "live" contact, meaning either line or neutral). The term should probably be explained, though - maybe in a footnote upon first usage. I'll make an attempt a little later today. Jeh (talk) 21:21, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Archived old discussions[edit]

The navbox at the top will show a link for Archive 2, which contains threads that haven't been active for several months. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:12, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Moved from Talk:AC power plugs and sockets, see there for contributions history[edit]

The following is clearly unsuitable for the article as it appeared, so it was deleted. I moved a copy here, in case any useful information can be gleaned from it.

BS 1363 plugs and sockets started appearing in 1946 and BS 1363 was first published in 1947. The new system was used extensively from 1947 onwards for re-building following war damage - that being the principal reason for its' design - so as to save on the cost of the copper wiring used, by reducing the length of runs by using 'ring circuits' servicing several rooms or a whole floor as opposed to radial circuitry that serviced each wall-socket separately; the gauge of the wiring was maintained at 15-amp (subsequently revised to 16-amp) because each circuit was fed up to 30/32-amps in total - but from both ends. It has never replaced the BS 546 system; both exist side by side in some domestic situations where only later extensions used the new system. Both systems are still legal to install, and 15-amp, 5-amp, and 2-amp plug-tops may still readily be purchased in the larger electrical supplies stores. Although some poorly installed buildings have now been rewired, and the BS 1363 system used as a replacement, in other instances the original radial circuitry has been retained and the original 15-amp sockets merely replaced by the 13-amp variety, and the fuse boxes updated. (One of the other major reasons for the redesign, was because the 15-amp sockets loosened-up with age and usage, and became too hot to touch when used for several hours with a 12-amp current). Adaptors were formerly available, to permit a series of 15-amp plug-top devices to be used in one wall-socket, and such adaptors also permitted the use of 5-amp and 2-amp plug-tops to also be used; building such 'Christmas Trees' as they were jokingly known out of adaptors and plug-tops, was of course somewhat dangerous (they sometimes caught fire!), and probably ceased when more 13-amp face-plates were installed. Many bedrooms originally had no power sockets, so drew power for low wattage appliances via the light fitting, or had just 2-amp wall-sockets - probably replaced or supplemented by 13-amp wall-sockets complete with individually fitted 5-amp fuses (intended for 'radial' spurs) on what were essentially 5-amp 'lighting' circuits (i.e. not intended for 'power' fittings) in such original wiring that may have existed. 'New' 5-amp and 2-amp fittings are frequently found in University Halls of Residence, guest houses, and hotels where the proprietors are attempting to disuade the guests from connecting to power sources. The 10-amp wall-sockets and plug-tops that were also part of the series, fell out of common use before WWII, and most of the two-pin variations on all these systems have generally disappeared from usage, except for the 5-amp fitting that's become a World-wide standard of sorts for electric razors when used with an isolating transformer in a 'wet' room, and the two-amp fitting that's proliferated for 'table' lighting in restaurants, due to its' very small size. All 3-pin wall-sockets in the series have switches on the live pole (not so the two-pin versions); the purpose of these were sadly misunderstood, as they were merely a safety-feature to assist with insertion and removal of plug-tops - since the better pin-shielding technique hadn't been developed then due to the unavailability of suitable plastics (the 'Schuko' attempt at this was nonsense, due to networking issues on the exposed earthing in sockets, and earthing contacts in the plug-tops being exposed when mis-used with an un-earthed socket). This mis-understanding gave rise to the peculiarly British bed-time ritual of switching-off all electrical appliances at the wall-socket (despite the appliances already being switched-off in themselves) - as opposed to the removal of the plug-top from the wall-socket. Prior to WWII, the 'Schuko' fittings were used extensively in both Great Britain and Eire; many in Eire may still be found, but those in Britain were probably replaced with BS 1363 wall-sockets. However, the 'Schuko' system has returned in the form of powered garden tools purchased from Deutchland, that have to be used with an adaptor, and the 'Commando' system is extensively used Domestically for special purposes, such as:- the 'Blue' 240-volt fittings for general garden and exterior use, camping and caravaning, and for sales podia both within & without shopping malls on a World-wide basis; the 'Yellow' 110-volt fittings are used with a transformer for running heavy-duty power tools, on the London Underground Railway Network for powering heavy-duty fans, and in Airport Terminals to disuade travellers from using sockets located in waiting areas; the 'Red' 415-volt variety are used with three-phase power supplies on domestic appliances such as a wine press.

Those with more direct experience than I will have to judge the accuracy and usefulness of the info for improving the article. It may be too detailed for AC power plugs and sockets, but more suitable for the BS 1363 article, possibly in a section on the history of the standard and its predecessors. -- Reify-tech (talk) 22:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Lots of rumors and folklore...if it could be *referenced* it would be great stuff to add to the BS1363 article, not here. If only someone could explain why the BS1363 standard is actually dated earlier than the BS546 standard. --Wtshymanski (talk) 03:08, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
The original version of BS 1363 was dated 1947. The current version of BS 546 is dated 1950 and incorporates 8 ammendments (No. 8 being dated 15th May 1999), it was last confirmed on 1st November 2007. The forward of BS 546:1950 refers to it as a revision of the standard. I can find no pre-1950 publishing history in the current version, but both BS 545 and BS 549 were originally published in 1934, so a reasonable assumption would be that BS 546 also dates to that time. Mautby (talk) 15:59, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Except that just a few lines above someone says the Australian 1938 standard predates the UK standards. This is all very murky, but a pre-1950 date for BS546 would explain a lot. Every NFPA, NEC CSA and IEEE standard I've opened has a short history of previous editions, even if only a list of copyright dates...it is too bad that the British standards don't have space for this history. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:36, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The reference to Australian standard C112 (now AS 3112) actually says it was: "... introduced in 1938, predates BS 1363. Before this, both BS 546 and an old US plug were used.", so nothing inconsistent there. As far as revision histories go, it seems that it was not part of the BS format in 1950, but it certainly is now. I imagine that if BS 546 were ever to be revised (as opposed to ammended) they would include the revision history, just as BS 545:1982 and BS 549:1970 have revision histories. Mautby (talk) 18:18, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The comments above perpetuate the myth that "saving on copper" was the principle reason for the introduction of BS 1363. In fact the existing system of multiple 2 and 3 pin versions of BS 546 was deemed "wholly unsatisfactory" and required replacement. An improvement in safety was also a major factor. Malcolm Mullins' article in the Spring 2006 edition of IEE Wiring Matters provides a much more balanced account of the reasons for the introduction of BS 1363. Mautby (talk) 15:59, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Ring circuit allows less copper to be used?[edit]

I just put a "dubious" tag on this claim. It does not appear to me to be supported by standard wire tables. A current capacity of so many amps is going to need cross-sectional area in the wiring of a corresponding number of square mm. It doesn't matter if that's all in one wire or two (or more) in parallel. The total amount of copper used is the same. Jeh (talk) 17:29, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Please refer to the Malcolm Mullins article, already cited in several places and referred to by Mautby above. You appear to be attempting to add your own rather dubious original research into the article, as well as showing no understanding of the principles of the ring final circuit. You may also find it instructive to read the following:
http://www.theiet.org/publishing/wiring-regulations/ringcir.cfm — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.29.134.251 (talk) 20:02, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
The notion that the ampacity of a conductor is proportional to its cross-section area is not original with me, I assure you! And I'd be happy to read the Mullins article, if only Mautby's link went to the right place. Jeh (talk) 18:14, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I am mortified that there was a typo in my link! Given that I always check links thoroughly before saving I am at a loss to know why the link was to issue 16 whereas the correct issue is 18. Could a gremlin possibly have modified it? It also seems unlikely that 188.29.134.251 would have referred to it if he/she had not tested it? Anyway, it is correct now. I note that the additional link added by 188.29.134.251 also does not work, it appears to be the same link which appears in WP "Ring Circuits": D.W.M. Latimer: History of the 13 amp plug and the ring circuit. Presentation papers from a public meeting to discuss the issue of ring circuits, IET, London, October 2007 which is no longer at the location specified. Mautby (talk) 09:23, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
It's worth bearing in mind that when ring circuits were introduced, domestic houses were not being wired with a large number of sockets per room like they are now. A typical instalation would be 1 single socket in every room except the bath room and the living room. This later was usually blessed with two single sockets. The kitchen got a single socket on the ring circuit, but with the socket on the cooker control box (not on a ring circuit) that made two. There was thus no real scope for much saving in the use of copper. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 16:30, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I am puzzled as to why this discussion is taking place here at all, as the box at the top says "This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject." It is well documented that the Ring Final Circuit was introduced to save copper, the estimate given in Para 79 of Post War Building Studies No 11 (the 1944 document which, amongst other things, gave rise to BS 1363) shows savings of moving to the ring circuit were expected to be approximately 25%. References to the introduction of the ring circuit and the reasons for doing so are relevant to BS 1363 because they had a direct effect on that standard (eg, the fuse) but second guessing whether the engineers who recommended that change almost 70 years ago were correct is completely irrelevant to this article. Mautby (talk) 09:23, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
This is a discussion about how to improve the article. There is what appears to me to be a dubious claim. No doubt the solution is to amplify or reword the claim. Allow me to explain my "dubious" reaction further, and perhaps you will be able to help do that.
The article currently states that a ring circuit needs less copper to supply a given current to sockets fed from a single fuse or breaker than would a typical US-style branch circuit, and I'm just not seeing how this works. I daresay I'm just as familiar with the principles of resistance, current, ampacity of wire, etc. as the engineers of 70 years ago (this is EE 101 stuff; I passed EE101 and 102 (AC circuits) by exam with a score over 95% without ever attending a class or even looking at the textbooks; of course I'd done considerable self-study and experimenting prior to college). In terms of the amount of copper needed, ampacity scales linearly with the cross-sectional area of the copper. (There are other concerns like insulation heating which don't so scale, but we're not talking about that, we're talking about copper savings.) So you need 2x as much copper to safely provide 2I amps as to provide I amps. It doesn't matter if the 2x comes from using a single cable with twice the cross-sectional area in its conductors, or from two 15-amp cables in parallel; the amount of copper is the same.
I noticed that the article you linked in IEE Wiring Matters does not actually say anything about saving copper. It rather refers to lower costs and savings in materials. Now I am quite willing to believe that there is some other factor at work that does result in lower copper use, or lower costs by other means (the physical arrangement of a typical building and the sockets within? Does the cost of the wire not scale linearly with copper content, so that 2x the copper in the form of two runs of thinner wire is cheaper than one run of 2x the copper thickness?), but I hardly think I am the only reader of this article who would like this explained.
That article, by the way, closes with a summary of BS 1363 as "truly unique, innovative, world class system was developed by people of vision. A system that cannot be equalled in terms of safety, performance and convenience." Doesn't seem particularly "balanced" to me.
Speaking of safety, a ring circuit as described would appear to have a safety disadvantage. Suppose one side of the ring develops an open in the line or neutral path. All sockets on the ring would then be fed by wire having a total ampacity of considerably less than the fuse or breaker at the origin of the ring. If this problem is addressed in BS 1363, the problem and its solution should be described here.
Finally... you wrote in this section that "It is well documented that the Ring Final Circuit was introduced to save copper". Yet in the preceding section you wrote "The comments above perpetuate the myth that 'saving on copper' was the principle [sic] reason for the introduction of BS 1363."(emphasis mine.) I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements. Jeh (talk) 01:21, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
This article is about the BS 1363 standard for plugs and sockets and related items, it is not about ring circuits which are the subject of another article. The introduction of the ring final circuit in British practice originates with Post War Building Studies No 11, the same study that recommended the introduction of a new standard plug and socket. The requirements of a ring circuit provided one, but only one, of the design requirements (the fuse) for BS 1363. It is true to say that copper savings influenced the adoption of the ring circuit, but the ring circuit was not the reason for BS 1363, thus my statement regarding "the myth that "saving on copper" was the principle reason for the introduction of BS 1363", it was not. Your difficulties with this subject seem to be as a result of mixing apples and oranges, BS 1363 has nothing to say on the subject of ring circuits!
The confusion in this (BS 1363) article probably stem from the "Origins" section introduced on July 1st 2008 by an anonymous editor, 20.133.0.13. That section introduces the myth regarding a direct link copper saving and BS 1363. Some rewriting is required and I will attend to that as soon as I can.
To try to put the confusion to bed, a radial circuit must have the capacity to carry the maximum current available at the socket. A ring circuit relies on the concept of diversity, so the maximum current required to be delivered to all of the sockets on the ring is not deemed to be the sum of each individual socket's capacity. Rather it is calculated as the realistic total current required in the area served by the ring. The rating of cabling and circuit protection in a ring is based on statistical rather than arithmetic calculations. Mautby (talk) 07:02, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I have now re-written parts of the "Origins" section, expanding on the original design requirements as stated in the Post War Building Studies No 11, and de-emphasizing the relationship to the ring circuit. Mautby (talk) 09:02, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
It is better, but the comparison to radial circuit wiring practice is either not accurate or misleading.
You write "the maximum current required to be delivered to all of the sockets on the ring is not deemed to be the sum of each individual socket's capacity", and your text implies that this is the reason for the copper saving - the wiring is not sized to provide the "sum of each socket's capacity". But that is not true of US practice with radial circuits either. So I don't see where the copper saving vs. radial circuits happens.
Common sockets (NEMA 5-15R, 5-20R) used with radial circuits in the US are rated for 15A or 20A, but the NEC assumes that in everyday use each will provide an average of only 180 VA (1.5A at 120V), and requires that circuits be provisioned to supply that safely. (You can find a good summary here.) In other words we, too, "statistically" assume that it is unlikely that anyone will put more load, on average, than that on every socket on the circuit. And if they do, the circuit's breaker will take care of the issue.
It is of course true that all of the wire on the radial circuit is sized to safely supply the breaker-imposed limit on the circuit's capacity (typically 15A for hardwired lighting circuits, 20A for circuits with receptacles). But I don't see how a ring circuit serves the same total current (that is, the breaker-imposed limit) while using less copper. Again, a given ampacity requires a corresponding cross-sectional area. (This isn't just a matter of wiring codes; it's physics.) Doesn't matter if it's in a single conductor, or spread between two smaller conductors in parallel; the total cross-sectional area is the same. So this "saves copper" claim still requires further explanation.
It is obviously true that this "statistical" practice saves copper vs. having a separate circuit for every outlet. Is that what is meant? But that isn't a comparison of ring circuit to radial circuit. Jeh (talk) 18:14, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Jeh, whether or not you agree with the 1944 report is irrelevant, it is the job of this article to report the decisions which were made and the reasons for those decisions, not to critique them! Mautby (talk) 21:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
If critiques were to be found in reliable sources then it would most certainly be the job of this article to report on them. But I'm not proposing that. I am simply asking for further explanation of a claim that makes little sense to me; I can't see how it can make sense to anyone else who thinks about P=I²R for more than a few seconds. "They must have known what they were doing" is not an explanation. "Go away and don't worry about it" isn't either. Surely you can do better than that?
And by the way, to 188.29.134.251 (talk · contribs), accusations that my request "shows no understanding of the principles of the ring final circuit" aren't responsive either. The principles seem perfectly clear to me, and such dismissal of a simple request for clarification only indicates that you don't know how to explain it. (Or that you are somehow unaware of the relationship between ampacity and conductor cross-section area.) Jeh (talk) 23:00, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
This is not a discussion about BS 1363 but about ring circuits, and as such is not appropriate here. Perhaps it should be moved to Ring circuit? Anyway, the disputed copper saving reference adds nothing to the article, so I have removed it. Deucharman (talk) 07:06, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Works for me. Thanks. I thought of doing that, but since I "show no understanding of the principles of the ring final circuit" I was sure that any such edit would immediately be reverted. Jeh (talk) 08:36, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Under the circumstances I am inclined to think that this is the best solution, so I too am in agreement. Deucharman, it is good to see you back on the scene! Mautby (talk) 12:57, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

FatallyFlawed - Statistics[edit]

As I am German I am reluctant to enter a Britisher disagreement, but WP editors must be honest! Jeh edit "corrected false claim about FF site" is not true. I have had professional responsibilty to monitor FatallyFlawed since three years, the first part of this statement in their FAQs is consistent in that period. "How many injuries or deaths have been caused by the use of socket covers? The UK government does not collect detailed statistics on the causes of death by electric shock in the home, we have been unable to find any reliable UK statistics on the subject. Our position is simply that the possibility of electrocution caused by the use of socket covers in UK sockets is clearly demonstrable, while we have identified no benefit attributable to their use. It is probable that the greatest danger is that of a fire caused by a socket overheating because the contacts have been damaged by the use of oversized pins on a socket cover. No statistics are going to show socket covers as the cause of the fire because, of course, the socket cover will no longer be in use when the fire occurs." The second part about fire is added more recent, in professional opinion that statement is correct.

The wording in the article "Their web site does not, however, cite injury or death statistics related to socket covers." shows a bias for negative view of FatallyFlawed

FatallyFlawed is a serious group with important professional members, they are not a "tiny citizens' group". This is all I have to say. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.64.25.46 (talk) 07:51, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Exact wording can be crucial. FF does not claim that there are "no statistics", only that the UK government does not collect any and that they couldn't find any. Thus "Their web site does not, however, cite injury or death statistics related to socket covers" is a factually correct summary, and ""FatallyFlawed" also note that there are no statistics available regarding socket related injury or death" is not. Their wording admits the possibility that stats exist that they didn't find. (Yours does not.) Maybe they just haven't looked hard enough.
The point about the socket cover not being in use when the fire starts may or may not be conclusive (an investigator might draw conclusions from covers on other outlets, etc.) but that does not address the lack of statistics concerning electrical shock hazards, which form a significant part of FF's complaints.
As for "citizens' group", the fact that they have "professional members" does not lend them any official recognition, nor do they claim any on the site. Hence, yes, they're a "citizens' group", however well educated. We could delete the word "citizens'" and/or use words like "volunteer", "self-funded", "unofficial", etc. I feel that at least some wording to that effect is essential: the group must not be represented or implied to be of any more official standing than it actually is.
True, we must avoid appearance of negative bias but we must also avoid positive bias. Just what, by the way, is your "responsibility" for "monitoring" this group?
You might want to recall a bit of history in this article. In the recent past the mention of FF was omitted entirely (after some discussion), as they have no official standing with respect to BS1363 or other electrical standards in the UK. Recently someone also removed from the article the pictures that had been grabbed from their site, noting that they were WP:OR. But unreferenced claims that were clearly sourced from FF's site remained in the article, hence also appearing to be WP:OR. I would think that you would realize that my adding explicit mention of their group name and using their site as a reference for those claims is an improvement in coverage of FF.
However theirs is quite apparently a minority opinion of which little notice has been taken (UK has taken no action to ban socket covers; no other groups or interested parties such as fire insurance or prevention organizations seem to have verified their claims or argued against the sale or use of socket covers; etc.) so it seemed to me to be appropriate to note that they cite no statistics that would back up their claims of safety hazards... thus, I regard that wording as balanced.
Thinking about it now, perhaps it would be reasonable to add that neither the UK government nor any other interested party has acted upon or taken notice of FF's claims. Please note that the UK government's publication noting that socket covers are unnecessary is nevertheless not recommending against their use. Again, exact wording is crucial.
Please consider the points made in WP:UNDUE. In fact I believe a strict interpretation of WP:UNDUE would have us omitting mention of FF altogether as there seem to be no "prominent adherents" to their concerns outside of the group itself. Thus I do not agree with citing details of their claims. FF can do that on their site. Thus I feel that the most recent version of my edit is completely sufficient.
On the other hand there was longstanding consensus for not mentioning FF at all, as their site is at best a primary source for their own claims of safety hazards, which have not (apparently) been backed up by anyone else's research. So I am sure that if we revert to not mentioning them at all (and omitting the claims that came from them as well), there will again be consensus for that. Jeh (talk) 22:38, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems clear that the German person has a rather better understanding of what is happening in the UK than our transatlatic cousins. The problem with citing research is that while there is a consensus in UK safety bodies and the government that socket covers are unnecessary, there is apparently no research at all on the subject, except for that done by FF. Seen from within the UK it is apparent that interest in the subject is growing rapidly. There is a lot of discussion on electrician forums at present, the majority expressing concern over socket cover use. It was interesting to see that Johnny Ball is giving his support to FF. That probably means nothing to Americans, but Johnny Ball is a very popular presenter of technical subjects in the UK media, and like Adam Hart-Davis (FF Patron) is a recipient of the Public Promotion of Engineering Medal awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. I fully expect that the UK Government will have to introduce regulation in some form. The edit by the German person is a reasonable compromise for the present and should stand. Mautby (talk) 09:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Even more important is Regius Professor of Engineering at Edinburgh University. 88.64.25.46 (talk) 09:36, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
WP policy is the same regardless of the country to which the subject matter applies, and therefore can be interpreted and applied by anyone. If anything, someone from outside the related country may be expected to have a more balanced view.
Regarding the summary of FF's claims, and .46's wording being a "compromise": A compromise is a position somewhere between two extremes, each extreme being unacceptable to the proposer of the other. .46's wording is not that. It is one extreme of two being offered, the other being to go back to no mention of FF at all (for which there was longstanding consensus). My summary of FF's claims is the only actual compromise suggested so far.
Neither of you have addressed the primary source problem. The FF site remains a primary source for their own claims and furthermore is the only source offered for those claims. Per WP policy on sources and WP:OR, we can therefore write "FF claims x" (and reference that to FF's site) but we cannot write "x is true" using only FF's site as a reference, no matter how many prominent people are listed on the site or otherwise express support for that view. Of course no one has yet proposed writing "socket covers are dangerous" rather than "FF claims socket covers are dangerous", but the more of FF's specific claims are cited here, the more weight the article appears to give to those claims. I know both of you would prefer that, of course, but it is not consistent with WP policy. Wikipedia is not to be used as FF's free publicity vehicle.
The fact that there are no other sources is not license to ignore WP policy on sources and say "ok, then one primary source is enough since that's all we have".
Nor have you have addressed the statistics issue. My phrasing is an accurate summary of what the FF site actually says. .46's phrasing is not. The FF site absolutely does not claim that "no statistics are available" as .46's wording claims; in fact a claim of "no statistics are available" is, like most universal negatives, going to be very tough to prove. .46 suggests that we should not write "FF does not cite statistics" as it shows negative bias against FF. Yes well... sometimes facts do cast one or another group in a negative light. That doesn't mean we shouldn't report the facts. It most certainly does not mean that we should distort the facts (as in "no statistics are available") to soften that negativity. Like other facts, FF will have to live with this one. Jeh (talk) 16:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, one other point: .46 says
I have had professional responsibilty to monitor FatallyFlawed since three years
It is not clear what that means, but if .46 is affiliated with the group (even as an unpaid volunteer) then she or he should be very cautious about doing any editing at all regarding FF, due to conflict of interest concerns. Edits that add favorable coverage of FF are of course particularly problematic. Jeh (talk) 19:40, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
As one of the founders of FatallyFlawed I naturally take an interest in the WP article on BS 1363. I realise that it would not be appropriate for me to edit the article, but I hope that I may be permitted to comment here? On the subject of the German contribution, I am able to say categorically that there is no-one involved with FatallyFlawed who is resident outside of the UK. Whoever this person is they are clearly acting for some third party with an interest in our activities. The IP address appears to be located in Munich, a city which is well known for Electrical Engineering and which is home to the German Patent Office and the headquarters of Siemens amongst others.
I would also point out that JEH is being very selective about interpreting what it says on our site, the first part of the statement regarding statistics is: "The UK government does not collect detailed statistics on the causes of death by electric shock in the home". That is a true statement, the fact that we have "been unable to find any reliable UK statistics on the subject." is simply an additional statement intended to indicate that we have looked for alternative sources. FF-UK (talk) 08:29, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Still, you can't claim that "FF does not cite any statistics" is not a true statement... Be that as it may, I have tried a bit of rearranging. By leaving an uncritical mention of FF at the end of the section, it is put in a stronger position (old teaching maxim: We remember best what we were taught first; but we remember second-best what we were taught last). The "statistics" bit I modified slightly to state only that the UK government does not collect stats. More significantly I moved this to the end of the preceding graf (which was already talking about the UK publication stating that covers were unnecessary). Thus readers are less likely to interpret it as a criticism of the FF site or its claims. Finally I have returned to a shortened version of the summary of the FF site, but this version still mentions both types of hazards addressed by FF. As it is the last thing in the entire section, the result should be to give it more weight. How does that look?
btw I think we could use a better description than "A UK group". Jeh (talk) 10:19, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

More statistics[edit]

Socket covers aside, are there any statistics at all concerning the safety of BS 1363 and electrical outlets in general? Are there stats on socket-related deaths per year? Simple "deaths by electrocution" won't cut it as those would include a lot of things other than e.g. kids sticking pins in receptacles. It would be interesting to compare these between countries using different standards. Jeh (talk) 19:04, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

No, that is at the heart of the problem. The Office for National Statistics records death due to exposure to electric current. That is why the FAQ at FatallyFlawed says "The UK government does not collect detailed statistics on the causes of death by electric shock in the home". Your current edit: "The UK government does not collect statistics of injury or accidents related to use of socket covers." really does miss the point! FF-UK (talk) 19:57, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Misses what point? This sentence currently appears at the end of the paragraph in which reference is made to a UK government publication stating that socket covers are unnecessary. If the UK government does not collect ANY statistics on specific causes of injury due to electric shock, then "The UK government does not collect statistics of injury or accidents related to use of socket covers" is most certainly a true statement, and is appropriate phraseology given its position in the article. Jeh (talk) 01:31, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
A statement can be true and still mislead. If you want to mention statistics in this context then the only honest statement is to the effect that "The UK government does not collect detailed statistics on the causes of death by electric shock in the home". In the absence of statistics then statistical judgements cannot be made, but engineering judgements still can, and that is the basis of FatallyFlawed's position. We understand that the UK Government also regards the fact that it requires sockets to be inherently child safe to be sufficient reason to declare socket covers unnecessary. FF-UK (talk) 11:34, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Exactly what is the incorrect conclusion to which the existing phraseology might lead a reader? The subject here is socket covers. No, they don't collect stats on kids burned by bare wires that were exposed by animals chewing on them, but why is that relevant here? Jeh (talk) 18:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
FF-UK's point is completely valid. Jeh, rather than arguing in favour of a misleading statement limited to socket covers it would be better to simply not mention the non-existent statistics, it adds absolutely nothing to the article. Mautby (talk) 18:22, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Still waiting for an explanation of how and in what direction it's misleading. If anything it could be supportive of FF by pointing out that UK government has no statistical evidence to back up their claim that socket covers are unneeded! Jeh (talk) 20:36, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
...and I'm still waiting. Jeh (talk) 22:07, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

MK Endorsement of FatallyFlawed[edit]

MK Electric is the leading UK socket manufacturer, and also holds the original 1927 patents to shuttered sockets. There is no company of greater status involved in manufacturing BS 1363 sockets, anything they say must be treated as being of great significance. For that reason the endorsement of FatallyFlawed by MK is a very significant development in the current UK debate on this controversial subject, and no encyclopaedic item on BS 1363 would be complete without acknowledging the MK position. WTShymanski, please do not indulge in such reversion with no discussion, you have already been warned about such behaviour! Mautby (talk) 14:24, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm with WTShymanski on this. The fatallyflawed insertion (excuse the pun) is excessive, promotional and despite your claims, the MK comments on the website are not an "endorsement", but just that - comments. Good faith, but promotional, and so I'm taking it out. Chaheel Riens (talk) 15:02, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
"Endorse" defintion: "to confirm, to approve"
Lets look at what MK actually says on FatallyFlawed:
We asked MK, one of the foremost manufacturers of BS 1363 sockets, for their views on socket covers. They replied:
MK does not see the need for or support the use of so-called ‘socket-protectors’ in BS 1363-2 socket-outlets due to the fact that protection against access to the live and neutral socket contacts is always provided by the shutters.
At first sight, it ‘seems obvious’ to many that such devices will improve safety but in practice they do the opposite as shown by the numerous examples on the FatallyFlawed website. (my emphasis)
Socket-protectors’ do not comply with any standard and in practice reduce safety via various means e.g. exposing the live and neutral socket contacts (the opposite of their purpose), providing an easy means of opening shutters by allowing operation of the earth operated shutter mechanism, damaging the socket contacts due to oversize pins and/or short pins.
If ‘socket protectors’ are to continue to be allowed on the UK (and other European markets) then, as a minimum, it is essential that they are designed and manufactured so that:-::
The pin dimensions (including length) align with the plug pin dimensions in BS 1363-1.
The materials used are robust and not so soft that they allow the device to be misused by allowing it to operate shutters of an earth operated shutter mechanism.
The device has a surface area which is large enough to completely cover the socket-outlet apertures so that the live socket contacts are not exposed.
MK goes to great lengths to ensure that all its BS 1363 plugs and sockets are safe. Inserting incorrectly dimensioned products into a socket-outlet can both damage the socket and reduce its safety.” (my emphasis)
MK is clearly confirming (therefore endorsing) the claims made by FatallyFlawed, this comes after the recent article on the subject of socket covers (quoted from by FatallyFlawed) published in the The Institution of Engineering and Technology magazine "Wiring Matters", the author of that article is Mark Coles, Technical Regulations Manager of the IET, in other words the person ultimately responsible for the wiring regulations in the UK. A contributor to that same article was Malcolm Mullins of MK (parent company: Honeywell). Mr Mullins is one of the leading contemporary authorities on BS 1363. It is clear to anyone who understands the world of UK plugs and sockets that the issue of the reduction in safety caused by innapropriate socket covers is one which has risen to be on the list of concerns of the leading industry figures. This is not, as some have claimed, a minor concern of just a few people. As such it should be properly represented in WP. Mautby (talk) 17:17, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you to Chaheel Riens. Jeh (talk) 18:40, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Mautby: Re "do not indulge in reversion with no discussion", please see WP:BRD. Re "no encyclopedic item"... you have made it completely clear here that opposition to socket covers is something of a crusade with you. But this is not an article about FatallyFlawed, nor about socket covers. You are trying here to give WP:UNDUE weight to something that from the outside just doesn't seem to matter very much. Ok, FF thinks it does matter. They've made a pitch for their case on their site. Remember that for quite a while, FF was not mentioned here at all. Recently I added the mention back. So there was already far more coverage here of FF than there was under the previous long-standing version. Well, we gave you guys an inch, and you're trying to take, if not a yard, at least the better part of a foot. It is not appropriate to list here every supporting statement garnered by FF nor to summarize everything they say. That's what their site is for. Jeh (talk) 18:40, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


To be truly endorsed, there would need to be a link to the fatallyflawed website on the MK website - and there isn't, or at least none that I can find. Whilst yes, the dictionary definition suggests you are correct, "endorsement" to the common man implies some kind of official support, and a single comment that FF has evidence of dodgy socket covers does not meet that criteria. Neither does MK say that they support the work of FF - they only agree that there are faulty covers available, and that some examples are collected on the FF website. But then again, they would agree to that, just as Blogg's electrical supplies on my high street would as well. I understand the intricacies of UK plugs and sockets well enough thanks, there's no need to be snide in that respect. If it concerns you so much, find reliable third party sources, and create a page around it. Chaheel Riens (talk) 19:39, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Jeh - "BRD is not a valid excuse for reverting good-faith efforts to improve a page simply because you don't like the changes. Don't invoke BRD as your reason for reverting someone else's work or for edit warring: instead, provide a reason that is based on policies, guidelines, or common sense." It is apparent that you are simply ignoring the significance of the factors that Mautby has highlighted, that is not good enough. Deucharman (talk) 21:38, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Deucharman, your response is off-point. W. did not offer BRD as a "reason for reverting." His reason was given in the edit summary: The previous text seemed excessively promotional. Rather, I invoked BRD as a reponse to your claim that reversion without discussion was somehow forbidden. It is not. WP:BRD clearly describes a process in which discussion follows reversion. Jeh (talk) 00:00, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Surely what matters here is to properly present:

What BS 1363 is.

What the history of BS 1363 is, especially the importance of safety (The first stated requirement for the new standard was: “To ensure the safety of young children it is of considerable importance that the contacts of the socket-outlet should be protected by shutters or other like means, or by the inherent design of the socket outlet.” (Paragraph 84 clause i. of ‘Post War Building Study No. 11 – Electrical Installations’)

What the current status of BS 1363 is, and the threats to the safety which lies at the heart of BS 1363.

I have made significant contributions to all of those areas, Mautby has also made some very valuable contributions. It is not at all clear why there are a number of editors who are determined to minimize inclusion of the current threats to the safety of BS 1363 which result from 1. the use of unregulated after-market accessories which damage sockets, and 2. the wide availability of counterfeit plugs which are dangerous in themselves, and also cause damage to sockets. These two threats are a cause of concern to many bodies, FatallyFlawed is only one of those bodies and as Mautby has correctly pointed out, both IET and MK have now publically expressed their concern on the socket cover issue, the points made in MK's statement are clear precis of everything which FatallyFlawed has been concerned about for the four years of which I have been aware of their existence, to suggest that "Neither does MK say that they support the work of FF - they only agree that there are faulty covers available" is very misleading.

Many others bodies, including BSI, BASEC, BEAMA, Intertek/ASTA, and IET are exercised about the safety threats caused by counterfeit plugs. It is perfectly reasonable to reflect those issues in this article, to attempt to dismiss socket covers because they do not conform to BS 1363 is an argument which is unworthy of any serious editor. Deucharman (talk) 21:38, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


Chaheel Riens, what is your authority for your assertion that "To be truly endorsed, there would need to be a link to the fatallyflawed website on the MK website", or did you just make it up? Your attempt to devalue the MK endorsement is risible. As Deucharman has stated, MK's statement covers all the points which FatallyFlawed has been warning of, and there appears to be no disagreement between FF and MK. If you are in any doubt as to the validity of that endorsement then you should write to MK and ask them to confirm its authenticity, only then will you be in a position to suggest that it is anything other than an endorsement (and you might also want to back up your "common man" definition of endorsement with a reliable source). Meanwhile I will continue to accept the MK statement in good faith. Mautby (talk) 07:47, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Deucharman, thanks for your contribution. It seems to me that there are still editors contributing to this article that fail to understand that the essential difference between the socket defined by BS 1363 and all other mains outlets in use around the world is that BS 1363 had the safety of children as a prime requirement from its inception, and part of that safety requirement, defined in Post War Building Study No. 11, was the provision of automatic shutters or equivalent protection. As we know, automatic shutters were confirmed as the method of protection by the design team, and that was enshrined in the standard. There has never been a BS 1363 socket without such shutters, and there has never been a need to add external blocking in the form of a socket cover. That is why the inappropriate use of socket covers, especially as none is available to the correct dimensions, is such an important issue. In the US shuttered sockets have been optionally available for several years, but their use is only mandated in new residential property and in hospitals, and even that is not required in all states. In Germany it is also possible to buy a variant of the Schuko with shuttered sockets, but the majority of sockets are still unshuttered. I believe that shutters are now required in Scandinavian countries, but that older unshuttered sockets are still common. My understanding is that even the 60906-1 socket does not have shutters as an essential requirement. It would be interesting to hear from those with experience in other countries about local regulations. Mautby (talk) 07:47, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
You are incorrect in your assumptions. I understand the concept and definition of sockets and pin shrouds perfectly well - what I have an issue with is the excessive coverage of a single website, one that you have still failed to convice me holds anything other than a blogging or soapboxing viewpoint. I am still not convinced that "endorse" is the correct term either, which I still believe makes the association between the two websites seem official. I would accept a single sentence comment or insertion something along the lines of "Fatally flawed, a website concerned with the use of socket covers, has listed several examples of socket covers which under some circumstances create more safety issues than they claim to solve. <ref>put in the ff website here</ref>" Anything else or extra is undue, unnecessary, and soapboxing. As I said - if it concerns you that much, go ahead and create a separate article on the topic.
I would also - I'm afraid to say - insist upon "some circumstances", because to take the IKEA covers as an example, while you can make contact with a live feed, the circumstances and process needed to get there are not as simple as initially suggested. Tools are needed - paperclip, time to straighten and insert the paperclip, determination to do such a thing, and the observation in the first place that there is such a tiny hole present. Should all the previous fall together - and let's not forget a responsible adult allowing such a set of cirtcumstances to arise in the first place - then yes the cover does fail in its purpose, but it is not just a case of "plug it in, and bam, you're toast." Chaheel Riens (talk) 13:29, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
PS; my definition of the common man is here: Average Joe, and The man on the Clapham omnibus Chaheel Riens (talk) 13:29, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Chaheel Riens, here is the problem. You appear to have no understanding of the subject, and no history of contributing to electrical engineering subjects. Your only previous contribution to BS 1363 was an erroneous change of “Most extension sockets” to “Some extension sockets” with no explanation, it really is most!
You write “I understand the concept and definition of sockets and pin shrouds perfectly well”, well great, but you clearly have no idea what a “pin shroud” is, and it certainly has no relevance in the context of BS 1363! You seem to think that this is about socket covers, but it is actually about the dangers of using socket covers, all of which are incorrectly sized, in BS 1363 sockets (which is always both unnecessary and inappropriate), that is rather a different thing and clearly belongs under the heading of BS 1363, not a separate heading of Socket Covers.
I urge you to read again what MK have said, and also what the Mark Coles (the engineering manager in charge of the UK wiring regulations) says in his article. If you put some effort in you may begin to understand the issue (although I suspect that you have no real interest in doing so, I think you just want to chalk up your impact on another WP subject).
You say that “what I have an issue with is the coverage of a single website”, but you fail to realize that this is not about websites, but the issue of reduction of safety! You further say “which I still believe makes the association between the two websites seem official.” Which is a completely meaningless statement, MK is a company (the leading manufacturer of BS 1363 sockets) not a website! We are discussing issues affecting the real world here, not cyberspace, or the fantasy world (which many of your contributions would appear to indicate is your preferred environment).
Your attempt to summarize the issue in a way which you would like to see it presented, that again indicates that you simply have no grasp of the subject. You refer to a “live feed” which is a broadcasting term, nothing to do with sockets. Despite your love of fantasy you seem very short in imagination, and incapable of understanding that paper clips which are partially bent straight are a common object, not something a baby would have to create for itself! In particular, they are frequently used for operating set or reset buttons on small appliances, such as miniature alarm clocks and broadband routers. A child watching a parent use a bent paper-clip to reset a router would be observing the insertion of said paper-clip into a small hole, with the result that lights flash in an entertaining way. What more natural thing for that child to do than copy the action, but insert the clip previously used by the parent into the small hole created by an IKEA type socket cover, right at the crawling child’s eye level?
I earlier asked you to “to back up your "common man" definition of endorsement with a reliable source”, instead you make a spurious reference to a couple of definitions relating to “common man” but not to his definition of “endorse”, utterly worthless! Mautby (talk) 17:02, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Mautby, thats magic!!! I been keeping an eye on this clown for a while now, he needs to be told a few home truths. I dont pretend to understand your subject, so cannot add anything usefull, but then neither could he. Good luck - anything to make kids safer is OK with me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.174.148.238 (talk) 17:37, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I apologise for the last, I misread your statement to simply require a definition of "common man", not their understanding of "endorsement". Right, now please back off on the personal insults. "Despite your love of fantasy you seem very short in imagination", "If you put some effort in you may begin to understand the issue (although I suspect that you have no real interest in doing so, I think you just want to chalk up your impact on another WP subject", and "We are discussing issues affecting the real world here, not cyberspace, or the fantasy world (which many of your contributions would appear to indicate is your preferred environment" are all provocative and insulting, and I would appreciate redaction of them. You lower opinion of you with them, not opinion of me.
I've changed "some" back to "most" - you're probably right there. Many modern extension sockets will not allow covers to be inserted upside down, but I suppose the sheer number of older trailing style will mean that there is still a majority out there which do. I have no particular attachment to such a small change - unlike the FF one we are discussing.
You seem to have scrutinised my edit history, so you should know from it that I am a reasonable editor, and would not be contributing to something if I felt I did not have something worthwhile to say. I could equally respond in kind about your limited contributions, but that would be childish, so I won't.
I know what you're talking about. I know what I'm talking about. The problem here is that you have focussed on a small part of it, making it more important that it is - within the given article. The subject is BS1363, not using socket covers on an already protected piece of equipment. Shutters form a small - but admittedly important - part of the standard, and only warrant a small paragraph regarding them. The (mis)use of additional socket protectors is worth a passing comment and link, but no more than that.
I'm not saying that all reference to FF should be excised from the article, just that there seems to be an obsession in adding too much detail. If readers are sufficiently interested, they can follow a link, which is why we reference statements and provide links to such places as FF.
Your comments about paperclips are entertaining, but not convincing. Regardless of the specific steps you agree need to be carried out it is still not a simple case of plugging in a socket protector, and being promptly fried. There are set steps that would need to be carried out, and no matter how messy your house is, they are not that common. One step that I missed out on is that the house would need to have those IKEA protectors in the first place, which is not a given either.
As said above, I have nothing against a small sentence addition - especially as there is already comment about the dubious use of socket covers, but anything more is undue, and once again - if you feel it's so important, create an article about it. Chaheel Riens (talk) 18:06, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree with all of Mautby's reasoning, although perhaps not some of his language. In any case, it is clear that Chaheel Riens does not understand the issue, and I have returned the references that he so unreasonably removed. Lets leave it there and play no more games. Deucharman (talk) 18:12, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
By the way - 81.174.148.238 are you sure you're not Mautby logged out? It just seems a bit odd that somebody who claims to have been watching me for a while - and knows nothing about this subject - has only made 4 edits in total, curiously two of which were reversions of data on this very page, and reversions to include information about socket protectors and the FF website. You know what they say - quack, quack. Chaheel Riens (talk) 18:19, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Chaheel Riens, I see you are still messing this article about, and still showing no understanding, not only of the actual content, but the logic of the wording. Whatever you may think, the complete statement from MK is clearly an endorsement of the campaign which Fatallyflawed is running. The reason that I say that is because it addresses all of the concerns that the FatallyFlawed folk have raised. Apart from MK, FatallyFlawed claims endorsements, advice, and support from leading TV science presenters - Adam Hart-Davis and Johnny Ball, prominent engineers and academics, and various doctors and child care specialists. With that sort of expertise backing what they are doing, why do you feel that you have the understanding and experience to say that they are all wrong? Do you not consider that you may be very seriously misguided in your attempts to minimize the problem? What makes it worse is that your attempts at editing are quite illogical. The endorsement from MK is a detailed statement covering a range of issues. When I saw that on their site I chose just a small part of that endorsement, the last statement, to show as an example in this article. Your edit, whether deliberately or not I cannot tell, carries the implication that the extract is the entire statement, that is clearly not the case to anyone who actually reads what is shown on the FF site. I shall now return the wording to something which is coherent, and ask that you cease edit warring and desist from making changes unless you have something serious, and credible, to add. Mautby (talk) 23:18, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Of course, the standard cry from editors trying to advance their own pet positions - "You just don't understand." And nobody is saying that anyone is "all wrong." (Verb. Sap.: When you try to put words in someone else's mouth, you're admitting you have no on-point refutation to offer.) We're not saying that FF or any of their supporters are "all wrong." The validity of FF's position is not at all the point here. (Though it would be nice if they could cite some statistics that supported them...) What we're saying is that WP does not need nearly as much coverage of FF's claims and endorsements as you seem to think. Please stop trying to use WP to promote FatallyFlawed. And please review WP:AGF. Jeh (talk) 23:57, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Look Mautby, I've agreed to compromise from my original position, I suggest you have the good grace to agree as well. Let's not forget that it takes at least two editors to edit war, and in this particular spat, only one editor has refused to consider change, accept or discuss compromise. At the very least you could redact your previous insults, assume good faith, and check the edit, where you'll see that my change in fact brought the quote into exact line with how it's printed on the FF website, and also into line with other quotes on the page. I accept that this is the conventional view not the logical view regarding quotes, but it is also how the quote is presented in their original source.
And once again, I invite comments from the IP editor - or indeed any other interested party - on their previous statement. I'll also add that I've just noticed an interesting coincidence - IP editor made two edits to the BS 1363 page, and then two days later, Mautby registered as a new user and continued similar edits on this page as well. I'll assume good faith and suppose coincidence, but you've got to admit, that looks a bit odd doesn't it? Chaheel Riens (talk) 07:29, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Chaheel Riens, I have to agree with you that it would be helpful if 81.174.148.238 would respond. That person may think that they are offering support to my position, but the nature of their comment, and the admission that they do not understand the subject, renders their intervention entirely pointless. Mautby (talk) 11:26, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
As one of the founders of FatallyFlawed it would be inappropriate for me to modify the section of this article which mentions our organization. However, I invite those taking part in this discussion to consider the following points:
1. Shutters are such an important aspect of BS 1363 sockets that they were referred to in the original title of the standard, that is why anything which compromises them is a vital issue.
2. The complete statement provided to FatallyFlawed by MK could more appropriately be referred to as an endorsement of FatallyFlawed's position on the dangers of using incorrectly sized socket covers (and that includes all UK socket covers currently available) as opposed to being an endorsement of FatallyFlawed itself. That importance of that endorsement, taken with the article by Mark Coles in "Wiring Matters" should not be underestimated.
3. It is very wrong to say, as several editors seem to insist on doing, that "The FatallyFlawed website displays a statement from the socket manufacturer MK" and then display only one aspect of that statement. to remain truthful you should make clear (as Mautby did in the original edit) that it is an extract, not the full statement.
4. You may consider that it would be more appropriate to limit the extract currently used to "Inserting incorrectly dimensioned products into a socket-outlet can both damage the socket and reduce its safety.” thus removing the "commercial" wording.

FF-UK (talk) 18:36, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Safety features[edit]

The article claims that the plug should be designed such that if the cable is pulled out of the plug, the earth wire should disconnect last. An illustration also claimed that the line wire should disconnect first. While it may be that BS1363 imposes such a requirement, it would be next to impossible to design this requirement into a real plug. The channel lengths to the three terminals may well be different in many plug designs, but the the wire lengths will be more or less equal to the respective channel length. Thus pulling out all three wires, it is the operation of chance (and possibly friction) that determines which wire breaks connection first.

I have just examined an MK plug that I have to hand (MK are regarded as the market leading brand as well as being the originator of the plug design). Their plugs are designed such that all three channel lengths are the same and thus the wire lengths are the same. The neutral wire almost doubles back on itself around an obstruction; the line wire has a right angled bend in it around another obstruction and the earth wire has only a slightly curved path suggesting that this wire has the least resistance to pulling out. Indeed removing the cord grip and pulling on the cable, the earth wire indeed gave way first followed by the line (I repeated this a few times and sometimes the line gave way first and sometimes the earth). The neutral was always last, probably because of that 180 degree turn in the wire.

A second design of plug (no idea who made it) reveals that the line wire has the straightest path and that the neutral once again doubles back on itself (this design has differing channel lengths). Once again sometimes the line wire gives way first, sometimes the earth. The neutral was always last, again probably due to that 180 degree bend in it.

The unrepeatability of the first disconnecting wire might well be explained by the terminals being tightened by differing amounts as I do not have a torque driver to hand (and would therefore fairly represent a real world plug fitted by a real world fitter). 86.159.159.194 (talk) 13:45, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Your original research is precluded from being the basis of a contribution to Wikipedia by WP's policy on WP:OR. Perhaps you could publish a paper somewhere. Jeh (talk) 16:21, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Not necessarily. The section removed is also unsourced and unreferenced. Whilst it could be argued that the IP's investigation is (as you point out) original research, it's also an editors inalienable right to remove unsourced information when found - so the removal is justified. As the editor has made no effort to replace the information with their own findings, I don't see a problem or issue with the edits. Chaheel Riens (talk) 16:33, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
The relevant clause in BS1363-1 (which IS referenced) is: "11.8 Rewirable plugs shall be designed so that they can be wired in a manner which prevents strain to the earth connection before the line and/or neutral connection when the cord anchorage is rendered inoperative." It may be debated as to whether the editor who added the wording in question has done the best job possible, but it is certainly unacceptable for 86.159.159.194 to claim that a referenced statement is an urban myth, and equally unacceptable for Chaheel Riens to make the false claim that the information was unsourced, it is yet another example of his/her inability to actually read what the article says before leaping into the fray. Mautby (talk) 11:16, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Fair point that it is sourced elsewhere, but the claim was not sourced in the image heading, which would have been helpful. More importantly, such a claim in the image is unnecessary, because as the image even pointed out itself, the channels were not shown, so there is little point in mentioning such a feature. Chaheel Riens (talk) 13:41, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
What Wikipedia is not Wikipedia is not a manual - perhaps even more importantly WP should not link to pages which provide erroneous advice such as that which an anonymous editor, 79.135.117.34, referenced in connection with how to wire a plug under the heading "Replacement", the advice provided would result in a the plug being not in accordance with BS 1363-1 cl 11.8.[1] The same editor also referenced a page on the same website which provides advice on fuse rating which is not in accordance with BS 1363-1 Table 2.</ref>[2] I have reverted these edits.Deucharman (talk) 15:38, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Shutters - Use of Socket Covers[edit]

I have reverted the following edit under Shutters as it is in conflict with reference provided. An alternative view is that socket covers can prevent children plugging in faulty or dangerous appliances, as in the case of a child electorcuted (sic) when he plugged in a cable with a plug at one end and bare wires at the other. (The reference provides was: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2011FAI17.html) The sheriff in the case concerned rejected the argument made because there was no supporting evidence, as is made clear in the document referenced. See www.shocked.org.uk for further information. SSHamilton (talk) 15:50, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Shutter not compulsory prior to 1989?[edit]

I have seen many sockets in the UK that do not have shutters and dont appear as if they have been altered. Has there been a time when shutters were recommended but not compulsory? Section "Chonology" mentions that the 1947 edition already included shutters but in 1989 it is mentioned that from then "All sockets, including those to other standards, must be shuttered."--89.204.137.51 (talk) 10:04, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I'll try to clarify that. The general position in the UK is that the first shuttered socket appeared in 1893. There were many British patents for various shutter operating mechanisms from 1928 onwards, but the original BS 1363 standard in 1947 was the first to incorporate shutters as a required part of the standard. There is no such thing as a BS 1363 socket which does not have shutters, there may be counterfeit 13 A sockets around without shutters, but I have not seen one. I do not know whether there were any official recommendations as to the use of shutters prior to BS 1363:1947, but many pre-War BS 546 sockets did incorporate shutters. As far as the chronology in this article goes, the entry for 1989 is not a general comment on sockets but refers specifically to the new standard for adaptors, BS 1363-3:1989 "13A plugs socket-outlets and adaptors - Part 3: Specification for adaptors" and the reference to shutters is that all the sockets on an adaptor conforming to the standard were required to be shuttered, including those adaptor outlets which are for non-BS 1363 type plugs (eg, an adaptor with a BS 1363 plug that has a BS 546 socket(s), or non-UK type socket(s), MUST be shuttered. The wiring regulations, BS 7671:2008(2011) - (Regulation 553.1.100) states: “Every socket-outlet for household and similar use shall be of the shuttered type and, for an a.c. installation, shall preferably be of a type complying with BS 1363.” I do not know when that dates from. Deucharman (talk) 11:01, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to create new detailed group articles about AC power plugs and sockets
Request for comments
[edit]

A proposal has been made by Jeh to redefine the present AC power plugs and sockets article, and its related detailed articles, of which this is one. The proposal can be found at Move all detail info to group-specific articles?

In an attempt to move this forward I have prepared a draft of one of the articles suggested in the proposal: "AC power plugs and sockets - British and related types". This combines the British related elements of the AC power plugs and sockets article with the full BS 1363 and BS 546 articles. The draft can be found in my sandbox: User:Deucharman/sandbox. Please do not edit my sandbox, but make all comments and suggestions at Move all detail info to group-specific articles? I have also placed a request for comments on the BS 546 page. Deucharman (talk) 16:47, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ How to wire a plug on "Plug wiring" UK website
  2. ^ Choosing the correct rating on "Plug wiring" UK website