Talk:Mains electricity by country

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Lack of references[edit]

The point above that much of the material is uncited is correct and valid. Wikipedia requires citations for "all material likeley to be challenged". The length of the above discussion suggests that much has been challenged and thus the article should be copy edited to remove all the unreferenced material. It can, of course, be restored as reliable supporting references are found. I was tempted to take FF-UK up on his challenge but on the law of averages, some of the unreferenced material could be true. It would be much better if citations were found for that which is true and citeable, and that which is unciteable be removed. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 18:11, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I have just reverted a mass 'tag bombing' of the article. Tagging every unreferenced point when the entire article is tagged as requiring further referencing is completely counterproductive. I did also consider removing the extra {{cn}} tags added by 86.171.44.21 on the same grounds, but I decided that as these are in a controversial part of the article that is the subject of a very lengthy discussion going on above, it was more appropriate to leave them. I B Wright (talk) 13:48, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I B Wright`s action in reverting Deucharman`s detailed tagging is totally unacceptable. The tag for the entire article has been in place for at least 34 months, it has clearly had no effect. It is 11 weeks since FF-UK suggested that they were thinking of removing all entries for territories which are not supported by citations from official sources. Nothing has changed. I commend Deucharman for taking the trouble to correctly identify all the unsourced material. Of the 227 territories listed only 6 are properly sourced!!! 6 have partial sourcing, 2 have sources which is potentially unreliable, and 213 are unsourced. This is completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue. If detailed tagging does not result in a significant improvement in the next couple of months then this article should be consigned to the trash can. Mautby (talk) 01:10, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
My thanks to Deucharman for all those tags. I hope we will now see a flurry of proper references. FF-UK (talk) 13:05, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I suggest that inclusion of a plug/socket in the relevant country pages of IEC Technical Report 60083 (mentioned in the Wall sockets section of the article) is a sufficient source for that country's usage. Would others agree to citing that in the relevant entries? SSHamilton (talk) 18:10, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable to me. FF-UK (talk) 22:49, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I had a Q on a similar issue awhile back, concerning Parallel ATA. A standard is considered a primary source and WP generally prefers secondary sources. However, I was told that where there is no conclusion being drawn or interpretation being made, i.e. WP is stating exactly what the primary source says, the primary source is ok, and also sufficient. Jeh (talk) 00:32, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks to SSHamilton for revamping this article and drawing attention to the frailties of the various sources. The result is a vast improvement and provides the user with sufficient information to know that this is not completely reliable information, but there would appear to be no truly reliable sources for most territories. Reporting on what the internationally responsible body publishes seems to me to be as good as you can reasonably get, especially when other reliable sources are cited in the few cases where they exist. A reasonable argument could be made that this article be completely removed from WP because of the sourcing problems, but that would not seem to be the best solution. I note that anonymous user 31.52.11.70 is engaging in edit warring by repeatedly blanking most entries on the basis that they believe that IEC does not list voltages and frequencies! This is blatant nonsense and it has to be presumed that there is something seriously deficient in their browser! Deucharman (talk) 16:36, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

In view of the lack of citations, I took the step of exercising every editor's inalienable right and deleting the inadequately sourced material. SSHamilton reverted it claiming that the IEC website as the 'primary' source of the information. The IEC is not a primary source, but very much a secondary source. SSHamilton freely admitted by the information that he added, that the IEC website is inaccurate and thus cannot qualify as the required reliable source. In any event, the voltage and frequency information (which is what the subject of the table is) is completely missing as a trip to [1] will show. The map on the website is similarly useless, as there are considerable inconsistencies - not to mention difficulty in identifying smaller countries. For example: according to the IEC, half of Japan is totally without electricity and the other half is simultaneously supplied with both 50 Hz and 60 Hz, which is a nonsense. If anyone wishes to restore any of the deleted territories than the burden is on that editor to provide the required reliable and verifiable sources. 31.52.11.70 (talk) 16:23, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I just had a look at [2] as suggested, so I can confirm that the voltage and frequency information is completely unpopulated with data as suggested above. I even checked it on another platform just to check that it was not a browser problem. The raw HTML from that site has no data in it, so the assertion would be correct. As noted above, I stopped short of deleting the unsourced material, because I believed it to be substantially correct. I generally only delete unsourced material if it is obviously wrong. Unfortunately, the piece inserted in the article does clearly state that the IEC source is unreliable, so better sourcing is clearly required. I B Wright (talk) 16:44, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── A quick guide on how to use the IEC website! The page which has been linked by the above two editors is an interactive table. There is an expansion arrow immediately to the left of each location (beside the flag icons), clicking on this will give the full data for that country. At the top of the table, on the blue banner line entitled "World plugs by Location" is a button labelled "Expand All" (in one of their edits, 31.52.11.70 specifically denies the existence of this button, but it is there!) Deucharman (talk) 16:57, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Further to my comments above, I have checked that the IEC site functions correctly in IE 11, Firefox 26 and Chrome 31. I can also confirm that (using IE) I can clearly see the voltage and frequency data in the HTML source. Deucharman (talk) 17:05, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but although there is a rightward pointing arrow next to each territory, clicking it produces a blank white panel underneath the country in question. In the blue banner line above the table there is (left to right); text:"World Plugs by Location"; Text:"Table search:"; A blank box (presumably where one enters a search key - doing so collapses the table to a single country); an excel icon; a printer icon. None of these looks remotely like an 'expand all' button?
Of course it is always possible that the web site has been badly authored such that it only works properly with a limited number of browsers, not unreasonable given that I have tried two different browsers on two different PCs with the same result (and 31.52.11.70 seems to have the same trouble, and I have no reason to disbelieve him/her). I did think about posting screen shots here, but thought better of it due to copyright issues. But this still leaves us with the problem that the article itself declares the reference as unreliable. As I have said, I am not unhappy with the information remaining as it does appear to be substantially correct, but good references do need to be found. Surely someone should have access to a list of the relevant national standards. I B Wright (talk) 17:20, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Found a browser on which the table works - a humble iPad! There are definitely some inconsistencies. The table shows Thailand using type A and type B at 220 volts. However, the extended discussion above suggests that this is not the case. Also in the Netherlands, the most frequently encounterd socket is type C (despite the article alleging that such does not exist - in fact almost every light switch has one built in). As such, most of the Netherlands accepts plugs of Type C, F and E. Only in the newest buildings will sockets of Type F be found. I B Wright (talk) 18:24, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
SSHamilton has done a good job of rationalizing this article, she is quite right to make it clear that that the IEC World Plugs page is of doubtful quality, but the fact that IEC is the world body responsible for international standards in the subject means that they cannot be ignored! For at least three years this article has been tagged as needing additional citations, but as of the end of 2013 only the UK and US had valid references for plug type, voltage and frequency.
Please bear in mind that this whole lettering system is not actually the subject of any agreed standardization, it is just a shorthand system with a doubtful pedigree that has been taken up by the IEC without official definition. With regard to the ongoing "Type C socket" controversy, it has to be realized that "World Plugs" is about just that, PLUGS! While in most cases plugs and sockets are defined by the same, or paired, official standards, "World Plugs" clearly describes Type C as being the Europlug, and that is defined by CENELEC Standard EN 50075 which specifies only the plug, no sockets. Whilst the the Europlug has been designed to fit a number of different European socket standards, there is no such thing as a Type C socket! The sockets which Europlug mates with are include CEE 7/4 (Type F) and CEE 7/5 (Type E) as well as various older socket types which have been used around Europe but have no specific letter designation. The Netherlands socket which I B Wright refers to is one of those, like Type E and Type F it is compatible with the Type C plug, but it is NOT a type C socket!
A type C plug can be a Europlug, but not necessarily. Any socket which has a socket contact arrangement that matches the type C plug is, by definition, a type C socket. The IEC's illustration of the type C socket clearly shows plugs and sockets of this type. Since the IEC strictly only address plugs, you could equally argue that there are no type A, B, G, sockets etc. etc. either. To try and claim that there is no such thing as a type C socket is a nonsense as any Dutch electrical shop will be only too pleased to sell you one (for replacement of a socket in an older installation). Whatever you might like to believe, the type C socket exists - a socket that accepts two pins of size and spacing of a Type C plug and has no earth (ground) contact whatsoever. Furthermore, I feel very confident in stating that the socket design is undoubtedly covered in a Netherlands technical standard somewhere. As an aside, here is a link[3] to a supplier of a 4 way extension socket for the Dutch market populated entirely with type C sockets and fitted with a type C plug (though designed to mate with a Type C, E and F socket - but not with the earth contact). The type C sockets will accept type E and F plugs though are not fully compatible as there is no earth connection. I B Wright (talk) 14:24, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I B Wright, you keep referring to Type C sockets, but if you check the IEC site you will see that there is no such reference (although it does refer to Type E and Type F sockets). I am not suggesting for one moment that there are not two-pin sockets with no grounding, some of which are designed to accept 4 mm pins while others accept 4.8 mm pins, but as they are not described as Type C sockets on the IEC site they cannot be referred to as type C sockets here. This is just one of the ambiguities of the IEC site which makes it a lot less than satisfactory, but it is still as good as it gets on this subject! Mautby (talk) 16:43, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you should take a closer look at the IEC website before you make erroneous claims of things that are not there. If you click on the 'C' tab for the plug type, you will observe four illustrations. The large illustration is of of a Europlug underneath which there are three smaller illustrations. The left most illustration is for a dual socket that will only ever accept two europlugs. Nothing else will ever mate due to the shape of the recesses. Since this socket will only ever accept Europlugs and it is illustrated only on the type C tab, it is clear that the IEC have illustrated a type C socket. The rightmost illustration is also of the more usual round socket pattern and its presence on the type C tab establishes that the IEC regard it as a type C socket. It is thus also clear that the website establishes that the europlug shaped plug is a subset of the type C plug as that last illustration is not of a europlug.
Yes indeed, the IEC site has many inconsistencies, errors and omissions. The type C tab describes the type C plug as 'generally limited' for use at 2.5 amps or less. That is a rather vague statement. The europlug is limited to 2.5 Amps but the round version of the type C plug is rated at 16 Amps, and used to be found pre-attached to 3 kW fan heaters (as well as other high current appliances) offered for sale in the Netherlands (the CEE 7/7 plug is now the standard fitment as they fit both the old and new sockets). But when all is said and done, a poor reference is better than no reference - not a lot better, but better. I B Wright (talk) 14:38, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Starting with I B Wright's point that "the type C plug as that last illustration is not of a europlug" On this we can agree as it is clearly not any sort of plug, just a sketch of a pin or hole configuration - impossible to tell which! With regard to the socket illustrated on the left hand side, agreed that it would accept two Europlugs, but is not a socket made to any known national standard and there is no basis for your claim that the IEC considers this a Type C socket. Many old European sockets of various types will accept Type C plugs, but they are not classified under the IEC letter system, so could only be referred to by the applicable national standard, if there is one. Please concentrate on the text of the Type C description provided by the IEC, there is no suggestion whatever that there is a type C socket, only a plug which "fits into any socket that accepts 4.0 – 4.8 mm round contacts on 19 mm centres". You are inferring something which is simply not there, and that is something you cannot do on WP. With regard to your comment that "the round version of the type C plug is rated at 16 Amps", as that plug has 4.8 mm pins, then it could not fit into a socket accepting only 4 mm pins, the 16 A plug is NOT a Type C by the IEC definition! Please do not make these unfounded claims. Mautby (talk) 16:13, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is clear that it is you that are attempting to interpret the material presented by the IEC to suit your own argument. For Wikipedia reference purposes, you cannot interpret what is given by the reference - that is synthesis which is not allowed. You can only use what it actually says. I am not aware of a national standard that covers the dual europlug socket, but so what? We are discussing what the IEC website actually says. It has an illustration of a socket under the tab for type C plugs and sockets. Therefore the reference says they exist - they have illustrated it. Your assertion that there is no national standard is an interpretation, and one for which you have failed to provide any evidence. It is quite irrelevant that they fail to mention it in the accompanying text. Standards often rely on illustrations for many features over text. The illustration is there under type C and thus the direct interpretation is that the IEC consider it a type C socket. Your stand that because it is not mentioned in the text and therefore does not exist is purely your interpretation and is synthesis precisely because it does not explicitly state this.

Similarly you claim that the right hand illustration is of a pin configuration and not a socket, but there is nothing that directly states that this illustration is of a plug and not a socket. Since every other plug and socket type refers to both a plug and a socket arrangement (though not all specifically say so), the interpretation that the type C also does so, is a perfectly reasonable conclusion (especially given that they actually do exist - see later) - anything else is interpretation. Your assertion that there is no type C socket is, once again, purely your interpretation, precisely because the IEC reference does not specifically state that there are no type C sockets. And if they did make this claim, they would be wrong because the Netherlands, as has regularly been pointed out, is almost exclusively wired with them. There clearly cannot be such a reference because the existence of the Netherlands' type C sockets would be proof alone that it would be wrong (and I would be very confident in claiming that they undoubtedly conform to some Dutch national electrical standard).

If you wish to claim that there are no type C sockets, then you must provide a reference that specifically makes this claim as the IEC have not. The IEC specifically state that the Netherlands use type C and type F sockets (the later only in new installations). The older Dutch type C sockets and plugs have 4.8 mm pins and are rated at 16 amps (and look exactly like that right hand illustration). As has already been pointed out, the Europlug is a compromise design designed to fit more than one type of socket, and the IEC is just plain wrong to claim that the type C is limited to the Europlug. It has been established and agreed by several users, that the IEC guide is inaccurate in many areas. Let's face it - that is really all that it is - a guide. It is not a standard for plugs and sockets by any stretch of the imagination. Meanwhile, the Dutch continue to plug their 16 amp type C plugs into their 16 amp type C sockets unaware that the IEC has failed to specifically include them on the type C page in their increasingly inaccurate guide. I B Wright (talk) 13:37, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

In fact this website has a photograph of a socket that 'clearly' conforms to that right hand illustration on the IEC guide's type C page. And here is a web site with a photograph of a dual socket (you have to scroll down the page quite a bit). Granted it has a Europlug plugged into the top socket, but the lower socket clearly conforms to that right hand illustration in the IEC guide's type C page. The illustration is even large enough that you can scale the pin size from it and it is certainly larger than 4 mm. I also feel the need to repeat that the article itself contains an illustration of a type C plug that is not a Europlug and the elusive (to Mautby) type C socket. I B Wright (talk) 13:55, 6 January 2014 (UTC)


I have been following this discussion with great interest and suggest that I B Wright needs to stand back, examine their contributions, and realise that it is they who are misinterpreting, inferring, and synthesizing what is said on the IEC World Plugs pages. As far as I know, World Plugs is the source of the current letter system which, while being generally accepted as a useful shorthand, is not the subject of any actual standard. If we want to be strictly correct then, in the absence of a definition of plug letter types which is defined in a standard, we must discontinue their use on WP. However, if it is agreed that the letter types are useful then WP editors must restrict their use to the descriptions provided by the IEC. (References to the outdated and grossly inaccurate American web page are unhelpful, and in any case it should be apparent that any list of other countries plug usage produced by a department of the US Government is completely trumped by one that is produced by the international standards body responsible for coordinating world electrical standards.) It is quite clear that World Plugs does not describe or define a "Type C Socket", despite I B Wright's imaginings. I would draw attention to the following fundamental errors made by I B Wright:
"The IEC specifically state that the Netherlands use type C and type F sockets (the later only in new installations)." Where is this stated? The list of Plugs by country is only of plugs, not sockets, and has no mention of "new installations".
"The older Dutch type C sockets and plugs have 4.8 mm pins and are rated at 16 amps" As has been previously pointed out, a Type C plug will fit into a socket which accepts 4 mm pins, so a plug which has 4.8 mm pins is NOT Type C!
"... the IEC is just plain wrong to claim that the type C is limited to the Europlug." It is an IEC system, they can define a Type C however they want!
"... the interpretation that the type C also does so, is a perfectly reasonable conclusion (especially given that they actually do exist - see later) - anything else is interpretation." A very interesting comment this - it appears to imply that I B Wright's interpretations are good, but let no one else interpret anything!
With regard to the repeated references to "the existence of the Netherlands' type C sockets", I see no evidence of anyone suggesting that the Netherlands does not use unearthed two-pole sockets which will accept Europlugs as well as various unearthed 4.8 mm pin plugs, only that they are not Type C sockets. The Digital Museum of Plugs and Sockets illustrates a Dutch two-pin socket (no 12 on the linked page) so I asked the curator, Ouf Oud, if he could tell me what standard applied, but he said as far as he knew there was not one. He also told me that they are only on the CEE 7/16 page because they do not fit anywhere else in his structure. FF-UK (talk) 15:36, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
But this is all down to interpretation. The IEC guide (it is not a standard) describes textually, that a type C is what is known as a Europlug (which by itself is meaningless), and we know that the guide is incomplete and not necessarily accurate. They presumably mean (see: we are interpreting again) a plug conforming to CEE 7/16 though they don't actually say so. CEE 7/16 defines a specific type and shape of plug and I understand that the standard itself does not use the term 'Europlug' to describe it. But the specified shape does not match the plug or socket shape illustrated at the type C page in the IEC guide (lower right illustration). The guide does not explicitly state that there is no corresponding socket and even your linked museum exhibits type C plugs and sockets that are not CEE 7/16 compliant but do conform to the shape illustration on the type C page of the IEC guide. In this case there is no intepretation, the plugs, sockets and illustation in the guide are all explicitly present. Thus a reasonable interpretation (there's that 'i' word again because this time it is not explicitly stated) is that the IEC consider the CEE 7/16 plug to conform to type C, and that it is but one specific example of the larger set of type C plugs. As for your curator: he seems to believe that type C covers the larger round plug (see exhibit 4 at [4]). That he is unaware of a standard covering type C sockets does not mean that there is not one. I am unaware of what the standard is, but I would never accept that as evidence that there isn't one. What did the manufacturers use to determine the dimensions of the sockets that they did produce? Guesswork? In the absence of a standard, it would be nothing short of a miracle that the many manufacturers just happened to produce sockets that were all of even roughly the same dimensions.
The curator of your museum handsomely demonstrates that he doesn't understand what he is talking about (and I suspect that the site is really a fan site) when he describes that 3 gang Europlug socket (sic) at photo 5 as being rated at 7.5 Amps total. I am not aware of any electrical code or standard that requires multiple sockets to be rated as a simple sum of the individual sockets. For example: here in the UK, if that socket were allowed, it would be rated at just 5 Amps and if it were the only socket on a spur, it could certainly be wired with 5 cable and protected by a 5 amp fuse or breaker (other jurisdictions undoubtedly vary). I B Wright (talk) 17:48, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
It would be very helpful if contributors to this discussion bothered to check their facts! It does not help when so many of I B Wright's statements are simply wrong and completely unverifiable. For goodness sake, when you do not actually know something, and cannot verify it from your own physical references or on the web (from genuine reliable sources), get yourself along to a library and check before contributing! Please stop making guesses, you are wasting the time of those who do know, and misleading the rest. Here are, verbatim, the opening lines of the introduction to the standard EN 50075:1990:
This document has been prepared by CENELEC TC23X “Europlugs and socket-outlets”, when at its meeting on 18th and 19th November 1986 decided to prepare an EN for the flat, non-rewirable plug 2.5A 250V for the connection of Class II equipment, to Standard Sheet XVI (Alternative II) of CEE Publication 7 (second edition, 1963, and Modifications 1, 2, 3 and 4) or Standard C 5 (Alternative II) of IEC 83.
This plug, also known as the “Europlug”, has already been standardized in most European countries (except United Kingdom); the relevant national standards are either endorsements of CEE Publication 7 or based on this specification.
These words clearly show that I B Wright is quite wrong in their interpretation of what a Europlug is or is not!
Here is another example of I B Wright's "interpretation": I am not aware of any electrical code or standard that requires multiple sockets to be rated as a simple sum of the individual sockets. For example: here in the UK, if that socket were allowed, it would be rated at just 5 Amps and if it were the only socket on a spur, it could certainly be wired with 5 cable and protected by a 5 amp fuse or breaker Has this person never heard of BS 1363 where the most common socket is a double socket? I suggest that reference is made to the MK Technical Data section, this covers their Logic Plus devices and you will find on the first page (actually numbered 423) that their common double sockets are rated at 13A per socket outlet - a total of 26A! (The MK triple socket is fused and therefore rated at only 13A total). Also worth referring to is BS 1362-2, clause 16.1.2 (temperature rise) where you will find that a double socket is required to be tested at 20A total load, and an unfused triple socket at 28A total load. Of course, the actual total rating of the multiple socket is up to the manufacturer, providing that each socket is capable of 13A and in total it is capable of meeting the requirements of BS 1363-2. Deucharman (talk) 19:43, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Not only do you read material into guides and standards to suit your own argument, but you read material into other people's posts as well. Where in my post did I try to infer that a Europlug was anything different from what everyone else believes it to be?I B Wright (talk) 18:19, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I am happy to answer that, I B Wright wrote ... "Europlug (which by itself is meaningless)" - the European Standard EN 50075: Flat non-wirable two-pole plugs, 2,5 A 250 V, with cord, for the connection of class II-equipment for household and similar purposes. identifies that it relates to the Europlug (as shown in the extract from the introduction above). Clearly, the term Europlug is NOT "meaningless" Deucharman (talk) 11:53, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
As for your piece on MK sockets: you have read material into MK's literature that simply is not there. The MK double socket that you linked to above makes no claim that the socket pair is rated at 26 Amps. It does not state this. It simply and explicitly states that it is rated at '13 A per socket outlet' (which is perhaps ambiguous the way it is worded) - anything else is synthesis. The 13 amp per socket rating means that each socket is rated at being capable of delivering 13 A continuously - when used individually. You then went on to provide your own clue when you pointed out that the dual socket is only required to be tested at 20 Amps. Applying the calculation that I applied to the 3 gang eurosocket to the MK two gang 13 Amp socket gives a total rating of (guess what?) 20 amps, which is only what the protection and cable needs to be rated at if the 2 gang socket were the sole socket assembly on a spur. Why MK have chosen to limit (and fuse) their 3 gang socket to a maximum of 13 Amps is a minor mystery. I am not aware of any specific requirement that this is so (but that doesn't mean there isn't one), though I am aware that 3 way adaptors must be so rated and fused. If there is no specific requirement, the rating of the 3 gang socket would have been 28 Amps and that would also be its test current (which you seem to have confirmed). I doubt that it is up to the manufacturer. In the UK at least, there are specific rules for determining the rating of multiple loads (including multiple loads in a single structure) in any circuit installations (and for determining the cable size and circuit protection). A ring circuit is taken care of by requirements specific to that type of circuit, so the normal rules don't apply. I B Wright (talk) 18:19, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Wrong! The MK spec I alluded to states: Current rating: 13A per socket outlet (except 3 gang which is 13 amp in total) The only possible reading of that is that the single gang is rated at 13 A total, and the 2 gang at 26 A total. A fuse in a BS 1363 socket must conform to BS 1362, and BS 1362 has a maximum fuse rating of 13 A, therefore any fused socket is limited to 13 A maximum. It is all quite straightforward if you take the trouble to read the words. Deucharman (talk) 11:53, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── From the aforegoing and the edit warring at the article, it is clear that both Mautby and Deucharman either have not read or have not fully understood the policy at WP:SYNTHESIS. Basically put, you cannot use a reference to support any claim that is not specifically made in the reference quoted. Putting aside whether the IEC World Plugs web guide is a proper reliable reference (WP:RS) or just guidance notes (I believe the latter), it needs to be considered what it actually says. My starting point here is that I do not really know whether type C plugs and sockets (other than the plug known as the europlug) exist. Consulting the above guide, it refers to a type C plug as a europlug. The first thing that leaps out is that the guide does not state that a socket specifically designed for the type C plug does not exist (but in fact, as I B Wright has frequently pointed out) there is an illustration that clearly shows a socket designed to accept europlugs. Thus Deucharman is quite wrong to attempt to use the guide to support the claim in the article on the non existence of type C sockets and Mautby is equally wrong to claim it above. In both cases the conclusion has been synthesised from what the guide actually does and does not state.

As for whether type C plugs is limited to the europlug design? The textual part of the entry does describe the plug known as the europlug. Although it does not specifically state that there are other members of the type C familly, it does include an illustration of the plug (or socket?) design that does not meet the shape requirements of the europlug, thus introducing ambiguity. The presence of that illustration means that the IEC guide does not specifically exclude other plug types, therefore to conclude that the type C is limited to the europlug is, once again, synthesis and users are quite wrong to make the claim without other supporting evidence.

There is a big problem here that the scheme used to identify the various plug types was not originated by the IEC themselves. They used the identification scheme that was originally used by the International Trade Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) which published a guide in 1998, Electric Curent Abroad. Although that document is, today, regarded as obsolete, it was nevertheless the source of the plug letter identification scheme and thus needs to be considered a valid source in that context (the IEC did extend the scheme by two letters to cover plug and socket designs, presumably, not around in 1998). That document specifically illustrates the type C plug as a round plug and does not even mention or illustrate a europlug. The replacement guide, Electric Current Worldwide (I assume it is a replacement as I can't find a date) has recycled the same illustrations showing round type C plugs but included a photo of a europlug, along with a photo of a socket that accepts round unearthed plugs (and must thus be considered a type C socket).

From the available evidence, the conclusion would be that the type C designation is not limited to the europlug, though the europlug is an example of a type C plug. Also, that type C sockets exist in a version that accepts both the round plugs and europlugs and a version that accepts europlugs only. There remains the minor inconvenience that the original type C plug and the europlug variant of the type C have different pin sizes, but as the latter will correctly mate with full size type C socket, the issue is moot as the type designations are more about mateability rather than design specifics. --85.255.234.198 (talk) 15:13, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

I fully support the concept that "you cannot use a reference to support any claim that is not specifically made in the reference quoted" but deplore those who trumpet this and then go on to make unsubstantiated claims. IP 85.255.234.198 states that the system in use was not originated by the IEC but by the US government, that may or may not be true, but I am not aware of any proof either way (indeed, it may have been originated by some other entity for all we know). We do know that the 1967 edition of the US guide listed only three letter types, A, B and C (flat, round and square (sic) pins) - the reference is in the article. However, in the absence of an actual standard, a guide produced by the IEC obviously trumps one produced by the US government (as FF-UK says above), especially given the gross errors documented for the US guide.
We must base all discussion on what the IEC actually says (not un-captioned illustrations) and that clearly only describes a plug (the web version of the US guide also refers only to plugs, and while sockets are illustrated they are not mentioned in the text). Here is the full text for Type C:
Used in: Europe, with the exception of the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta (see complete list of countries on the right)
The Type C electrical plug (or Europlug) is a two-wire plug that has two round pins. It fits into any socket that accepts 4.0 – 4.8 mm round contacts on 19 mm centres. They are being replaced by E, F, J, K or N sockets which work perfectly with Type C plugs.
Type C plugs are generally limited for use in appliances that require 2.5 amps or less.
In an earlier version of the IEC page there is a reference to Type C sockets, but that was removed shortly afterwards! the middle paragraph used to read:
The Type C electrical plug (or Europlug) is an ungrounded, two-wire plug that has two round pins. It fits into any socket that accepts 4.0 – 4.8 mm round contacts on 19 mm centres. Type C sockets are ungrounded and are becoming obsolete as most countries require that grounded sockets be installed in new buildings. They are being replaced by E, F, J, K or N sockets which work perfectly with Type C plugs.
Clearly we may not speculate on the reasons, but it does suggest that the lack of reference to a "Type C socket" is deliberate. The point is, nowhere in either guide is there a current reference to a "Type C socket" so we cannot synthesize one!!!!! The Type C description in the article has been improved to remove ambiguity.
Anyone who has actually read the comments here knows that there has been no dispute that round shaped two-pin plugs with the same pin configuration as a Europlug do exist, as do a range of sockets having a round shape and which accept pins of various sizes between 4.0 – 4.8 mm. It should be noted, however, that a round shaped plug having 4 mm pins could not fit into the recess of a socket designed only to accept Europlugs (which are flat) and therefore they do not meet the description of a Type C plug. The original CEE 7 specification included a number of two-pin unearthed plugs and sockets of both round and flat shape, and these do still appear in the national standards of some countries, but they have not been assigned a type letter by the IEC. It is worth noting that there are may other plugs in current use which do not have a type letter, eg BS 546 2 A rating, BS 4573, NEMA 5-20, NEMA 14-30, NEMA 14-50 and so on. All of those are commonly found in domestic situations. Mautby (talk) 17:25, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
If you wish to pursue your argument to its logical conclusion and if you wish to restrict all references to the IEC guide, then we must remove all references to type B sockets from all articles on Wikipedia. The guide never mentions them, so according to your logic, they cannot be considered to exist. We also need to expunge all references to Type D (there is reference to sockets accepting type D plugs, but because they accept type M as well, they are not specifically type D sockets - the same argument as being applied to type C), Type K, Type L (reference to a duo socket but not the individual types) and Type M because the IEC does not mention them. Quote:'Clearly we may not speculate on the reasons, but it does suggest that the lack of reference to "Type B/C/K/L/M sockets" is deliberate' (your quote with added letters). You might think that this is getting silly, but that is exatly the stance that you are taking.
What makes you think that because an illustration appears in a document, that the fact that it is uncaptioned means that it isn't really there? We can only speculate as to why the author took included it, but a fair bet is that it is to illustrate some worthy point. If it wasn't then he wouldn't have gone to the trouble. I B Wright (talk) 18:38, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I B Wright Please, please, please cease these continued idiotic insinuations that others claim certain sockets do not exist, no one is doing that. The point is that you cannot synthesize the existence of a socket called Type C when there is no reference to it, please understand once and for all, the letter system applies to PLUGS and NOT SOCKETS!!!!! If there were any logic to your argument then you could just as easily claim that all sockets which accept a Type C plug are Type C sockets, but that is clearly not the case. Mautby (talk) 21:52, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not the one being idiotic and perhaps it is you that should stop trying to conveniently ignore the evidence to support your illogical and incorrect conclusions and editing. If you trying to insist that the letter system applies only to plugs, then why does the IEC guide refer to sockets by their type letter, as it does for all types other than B, C, K, L, and M? For example, it refers to 'type A sockets', 'type E sockets', 'type F sockets' etc. etc. Your argument that it only applies to plugs is the clear nonsense that you have been spouting since this started. The logic to my argument is that if the IEC describe sockets that are designed to accept (for example) type H plugs as type H sockets (as indeed they do - see the type H tab), even though they may be modified to accept something else, then the socket designed to accept a type C plug (and nothing else) must be a type C socket. You have so far failed to provide any viable evidence of the non existence of a type C socket. But as I am sick and tired of having to repeat, the Netherlands are full of them and there is no shortage of photographs on the internet. What evidence can you produce that these are not type C sockets? If you wish to maintain your position, then you need to produce a reference that specifically states that, "there is no such thing as a type C socket" (or words that say, but not imply, the same thing). You cannot use its non mention in the IEC guide (or any reference) as supporting evidence, because that is synthesis, because such an omission does not specifically make the claim that they do not exist.
"You can always tell when someone is pursuing some kind of fringe theory because they are incapable of producing any tangible evidence to support it." - an administrator. I B Wright (talk) 12:25, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Yet again, let me make it clear that I am not denying the existence of a socket of any particular pin dimensions, recess dimensions, or any other physical characteristics. What I am stating, emphatically, is that the Europlug specification defines a plug, not a socket, and that neither of the guides to world plugs refer to a "Type C Socket", therefore, without a proper source, no WP editor may claim that there is something called a "Type C socket"! I do not need a reference to the non-existence of a Type C socket to point out that those who attempt to introduce the expression into the article are not citing any references to support its inclusion. This is not about fringe theories, or indeed any theories, it is about sticking to WP policy. Mautby (talk) 19:33, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
In lieu of the term "type C socket", would you tolerate "socket that accepts a Type C plug"? And would anyone else involved in this particular dispute have a problem with that? Jeh (talk) 07:54, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
The term "socket that accepts a Type C plug" is perfectly reasonable, there are, many of them - including those designed to accept E, F, J, K, L, N, and the round pin version of Type H plugs. Also, the CEE 7/1 socket and other obsolete European sockets designed to accept 4.0 – 4.8 mm round pins on 19 mm centres. (Some might claim sockets designed to accept Type D, but that plug has 19.1 mm centres and 5 mm pins.) Mautby (talk) 15:07, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In view of the length of this discussion and that the controversy over sockets is not confined to just this area. I suggest that SSHamilton and LiveRail's proposal of eliminating the the troubled sockets from the article entirely be adopted. This should have support as nearly everyone is claiming that the IEC World Plugs guide focusses on plugs rather than sockets. I B Wright (talk) 17:46, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

I thought that this was resolved, but User:ZH8000 has started a new heading below, see Switzerland, Type J (and Europlug) Deucharman (talk) 20:21, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Maps of world usage of plugs, voltage and frequency[edit]

I have restored thes maps to the article. Despite the assertion that they were unsourced this is not the case. The maps were copied from AC power plugs and sockets where the origin of the data was clearly stated as the US government publication "Electric current abroad". Although this publication is regarded as an unreliable source because the data is known to be not completely accurate, the IEC guide (from which the table is compiled) is also regarded as an unreliable source, again because it is known to be not completely accurate. It is thus hardly surprising that the table does not agree with the maps. Since the article is lacking any available evidence as to which is more reliable, there is no justification for deleting one over the other. It would be equally valid to delete the table and retain the maps. Indeed, if the logic were to be pursued to its obvious conclusion, the whole article should be deleted, but that is just defeating the ultimate goal. This just underlines the importance of finding those all important reliable references to support the data in the article. I B Wright (talk) 12:55, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

1. Please identify exactly where you believe it states that these maps are based on "Electric current abroad". There is no indication of source in the map files other than the statement; "Own work (based on File:BlankMap-World6.svg)" .Mautby (talk) 14:38, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
2. Please note that "Electric current abroad" is an obsolete document, it has been replaced by a web version: Electric Current Worldwide which still does not include the full list of plug types, it does not describe Type M or type N. There are sketches and photographs of each type, but no textual description or references to actual standards. Examples of errors in this website include the failure to mention that Brazil uses Type N, although that has been the national standard in that country since 1998; stating that the UK uses type C, which is not permitted there; and claiming that China uses Type H (the Israeli plug) when the main Chinese plug is actually type I. Mautby (talk) 14:38, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
3. Here are some examples of significant errors in the maps: Brazil is shown as using plugs to IEC 60906-1 whereas the Brazilian National Standard is NBR 14136 which does NOT conform to the IEC standard (Neither the obsolete "Electric current abroad" or its replacement web version mention Brazil as using anything but types A, B and C - so that is clearly not the source). The main plug in China is Type I, but that is not indicated on the map. 14:38, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
4 The voltage map has insufficient differentiation between colours and insufficient resolution to be of practical use. Where countries have more than one voltage according to region they are shown as having multiple voltages across their entire geography. The maps have no practical value and do not add any useful information to the articles. Mautby (talk) 14:38, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Regarding 4: I do see a practical value in these maps, because they give a much better overview than the table about which socket/voltage is used around the world. I don't have problems with the colours. After clicking on the map, the resolution is also fine. Certainly for countries using multiple sockets, it would be even better to see the regions using different sets of sockets with different colours – but we need to use external sources, and if it's not obvious to draw the regions based on those sources, then the best is to have country-based maps. If users want more information about these countries (like China), they can go back to the table and view the comments. Hcs42 (talk) 08:55, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Notwithstanding the above comment, neither map has any external sources, and both include errors. The general quality of the maps, with no textual indication of country names, and their finicky insistence on indicating small voltage differences (rather than just differentiating between nominal 230 V areas and nominal 115 V areas) adds nothing useful to the article. There have been a number of attempts to reinsert these maps with no justification provided, most recently by an anonymous user who claims removal was vandalism! Would all editors please desist from inserting rubbish back into this article as this simply detracts from the transformation achieved by SSHamilton's improvements! Mautby (talk) 16:53, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I completely agree, I was very embarrassed when I realized that I should have removed these maps when restructuring the article. The map author claims the source is WP (which of course is not permitted, WP cannot cite WP) but more importantly, to cite an article which itself had no proper references is completely inexcusable. SSHamilton (talk) 18:47, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion[edit]

As an unregistered user, I cannot complete the full deletion process, but the procedure requires me to post my reasons here.

I removed much of the table some short while ago because it was largely unreferenced. The table was subsequently restored with an embeded reference in the article to the IEC website on world plugs. I note that there is sume discussion and agreement that this IEC website is incomplete and inaccurate and has been tagged as an 'unreliable source', not without any disagreement. I note that SSHamilton stated above that this article, "...does not meet the the normal standards of WP and it would be a reasonable proposal to call for its deletion." I also note that there was and still is much bickering over the interpretation of the IEC website, which has been noted above as a guide rather than any reliable reference.

I thus now propose that the article be deleted on the grounds that its content is not referenced to the standard expected of Wikipedia and the continued disgreement over the actual content is evidence that the material is controversial and doe not even have consencus for remaining. 31.52.11.70 (talk) 15:00, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

  • On the fence: Although I cannot fault the logic, the article is in the main largely correct (in my opinion which I accept does not have any credence in the reliable reference stakes). It is just a matter of finding the right references which would be a better result. It has been tagged for some time as requiring references and these have been slowly appearing. However, there is a very long way to go. If this article must be deleted, it would be preferable if it could be moved to a temporary location so that the references can be added as required. I feel that there must be someone who has access to the necessary standards to populate this article and maybe even correct the inaccuracies and omissions. I am aware that generally, elsewhere than the US, organisations charge ridiculously large sums of money to access both national and European wide standards on anything. I B Wright (talk) 15:18, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: There is too much work here to simply throw it away. Would it be an acceptable solution to go ahead and use the questionable sources, but document the problems with them? Jeh (talk) 00:02, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This article has been vastly improved in the past week, mostly due to the efforts of SSHamilton (whose quote the anonymous proposer takes completely out of context as it dates back to November, several weeks before the improvements were started). Where the sources are imperfect that has been highlighted and the reasons given. Deucharman (talk) 13:17, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This article still needs a lot of work, but it has been improving recently, thanks to the help of several editors (even when they don't completely agree with one another all the time). The topic is inherently difficult to reference to the highest Wikipedia standards because of restricted access to official standards documents, but the editors are making a valiant effort and the topic is worthwhile. Reify-tech (talk) 15:25, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I hope that it is obvious that I am doing my best to improve this article, despite the childish antics of some editors. Many thanks to those who are supporting the effort, I have not yet finished, but it would help if more editors would contribute good references. SSHamilton (talk) 22:29, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Observation: Your efforts to improve the referencing in this article are commendable. The observation that I have, is that even though I did not really support 31.52.11.70's AfD, I am now rather glad that I took a neutral stance. Even though it is clear that the AfD is almost certain to be defeated, it has had the effect of galvanising improvement to the article's referencing, so the AfD has had a positive effect. I don't know whether the refencing will ever become perfect. I have my own views of the standards of referencing in articles such as this and some other types where proper referencing is all but impossible, but unfortunately they do not square with the standards required by policy and enforced by the admins. Now all we need to do is get the childish editor to stop trying to incorporate fringe theories about what he thinks doesn't exist (and can't positively prove that it doesn't).
According to this diff the above unsigned observation was added by I B Wright
  • Comment: It would have shown appropriate courtesy to other editors if Wtshymanski had bothered to place a notification on this page that he had completed the AfD. Deucharman (talk) 20:02, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Too much work to be undone. People can work on finding references. This page can still serve as a guide to some people. Sean S. Jeremiah (talk) 00:54, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Shortcomings of existing letter designations[edit]

It is quite clear that some editors are determined to synthesize meanings to the established plug letter designations that cannot be supported by references (eg, the ongoing claims of one editor that there is a socket designated Type C). As we have been discussing for sometime, there appears to be no definitive standard for the letter codes, the one used by the US Government appears to be a subset of the one used by the IEC, but neither is complete. There seems to be little dispute over the voltage and frequency information, so with regard to connectors a question worth asking is: should this article be about plugs (the traveler probably wants to know what plugs they can use rather than what socket they will go into) or plugs and sockets?

There are many lists of plugs and voltages available to travelers, The IEC World Plugs pages are probably as close to official as they get, but do not have the status of a standard. Many suppliers of power cords and adaptors provide their own lists, some may be original, others copies. There are many blog pages providing the same sort of information, probably as a means of generating advertising revenue. An example of the latter would be this site which has even designated an additional letter type ('O').

One possibility for WP would be to eliminate the letter codes from the article (a less dramatic option than eliminating the article), however that might be seen as unhelpful. Another possibility could be that, where letter codes have not been allocated by the IEC, WP could use its own table of additional abbreviated codes, possible W1, W2 etc so that the plug types currently not covered could be accommodated? SSHamilton (talk) 14:37, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I have been watching the developments on this article and talk page for a couple of weeks. Although I am an electrical engineer, my field is railway traction and not domestic installations. Permit me, therefore, to (attemp to) provide a neutral, and I hope balanced view and a suggestion for a way forward. As I understand it, the sole source of material for most of the article comes from single IEC guide, "World Plugs", though some of the individual country entries are supported by national standards. If I have this right: it is the material derived from "World Plugs" that is the main source of controversy. I would not regard a guide of this type as a reliable source, but this has been acknowledged in the article, and AIUI, there is nothing better, so I guess we have to stick with it and that being so, we have to go by what it says. Blog pages can never acceptable as references.
First, it is fair to say that all the contributors to both the article and this talk page are not completely correct. It is also fair to say that they are not completely wrong either. Reality lies somewhere in between the various interpretations of the IEC guide (don't ask me where).
  • (In no particular order of importance), there is SSHamilton who reverts back into the article a claim that the Europlug is a plug without a dedicated socket. AFAICT, the IEC guide does not state that there is no corresponding or dedicated socket. Indeed, an illustration was added as a reference by I B Wright which from its very design accepts a Europlug and nothing else, so that sells the dedicated socket idea to me.
  • I B Wright has continued to insist that the Europlug is a subset of a wider type C design covering (AIUI) ungrounded two pin plugs in general. The IEC guide does not say so, but what it does say is quite specific that the type only covers the Europlug. Without any other evidence, that has to be the accepted position.
  • Mautby has continued to insist that because the IEC guide does not mention type C sockets, that there are no type C sockets. I have no idea whether there are or are not (but as already said, the photo of the Euro socket mentioned above is a powerful persuader). Whether there are or are not is beside the point, the IEC guide does not say that there are no such sockets (it just doesn't mention them). We cannot even speculate as to why they are not mentioned, so we cannot make the assertion as to why in the article.
Each editor has clearly applied their own interpretation to what the IEC guide says (and does not say) and is doggedly going to stick to it. On past performance, this will continue to go nowhere.
I had typed this off-line before logging in to add it. I had written a paragraph that stated that the best way of resolving this was to remove any and all contentious material from the article and confine it to what the IEC guide really covers - PLUGS. However, SSHamilton beat me to the punch. He has suggested above (among other approaches) that the article does just that and confine itself to plugs. This is an excellent idea for no better reason than I thought of it as well! And after all, it is probably what someone visiting the page is actually interested in and at the same time removing the area that seems to be contentious - SOCKETS. As for letter codes: the shortcomings only appear to be in the socket department. Apart from a few omissions, the plug types are fairly extensively covered. I suggest that we stick with the IEC guide codes for no better reason than they seem to be well established (the last thing that we need is another plug identification code). Plug types not allocated a letter code can be addressed in the way that has already been demonstrated at the entry for Thailand, the column is amply wide enough. That's my analysis for what it is worth. -–LiveRail Talk > 18:14, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
The IEC World Plugs guide does state at the top that it describes 'plugs and sockets'. However, its coverage of actual sockets is fairly minimal and there is as much omission as actual material (and most mentions are largely in passing). I agree, that as the socket side of the business has minimal coverage, that the article be confined to voltage, frequency and plugs, for which the IEC coverage is reasonably comprehensive. I B Wright (talk) 17:51, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Whilst it is clearly not practical or desirable to eliminate all mention of sockets in this article, I have reworded several passages and changed some headings to concentrate on plugs and avoid specific socket references. SSHamilton (talk) 15:25, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Status of references[edit]

This article uses as the main reference source the IEC World Plugs web microsite, as clearly stated in the text. Where specific official references to national voltage or plug usage have been identified then it is reasonable to assume that these should take precedence over the information provided by the IEC, and such sources are indicated in the normal manner.

There is a continuing tendency for editors to change information without providing any source, and often with no explanation. This is clearly unacceptable and changes which are not in accordance with the main reference should always have properly cited sources. I would suggest that travel guidebooks do not constitute a source which should take precedence over the IEC reference!

It must be remembered that there is a process of voltage harmonization in Europe, so that the nominal voltage in most European countries is 230 V. There is a tendency for many other countries to adopt the same 230 V nominal voltage. The actual measured voltage in a particular location at a particular time may be higher or lower than the nominal voltage, and this may be consistently the case over a prolonged period, but it is usual that such voltages comply with the tolerance on the nominal voltage as indicated in the relevant national standard, it is that nominal voltage which should always be stated in this article. SSHamilton (talk) 13:28, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

I think this (possibly slightly modified) should be put in a box at the top of the talk page. Jeh (talk) 14:15, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Jeh, I would be grateful if you would do that in the form that you think best. Thank you, Sarah. SSHamilton (talk) 14:20, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Switzerland, Type J (and Europlug)[edit]

In order to make it clear for once and ever and to stop unreferenced and wrong assumptions.

The situation in Switzerland is very clear and defined (see references in the table of the article):

In the following I speak only about the single-phased (240V) and with maximal 10A versions!

  1. The standard is SN SEV 1011:2009/A1:2012, brief: SEV1011. Period. Internationally known as Type J.
  2. Swiss sockets: There are non-recessed sockets (SEV1011 Typ 12, will not be valid after 31.12.2016!) and recessed sockets (SEV1011 Typ 13) of Type J.
  3. Swiss plugs: There are non-grounded, 2-pins plugs (SEV1011 Typ 11) and grounded, 3-pins plugs (SEV1011 Typ 12).
  4. Type C is not an (official) standard in Switzerland!
  5. But, since the non-grounded, 2-pins Europlug also incorporated the Swiss SEV1011 standard, it is therefore also compatible with Swiss sockets, whether recessed or not!!!
  6. However, a Type C socket is defined by standard to accept pins with a diameter between 4mm and 5mm (and a distance of 19mm between them). E.g. the Schuko (CEE 7/4, Type F plug) with two 4.8mm pins.
  7. The Europlug (CEE 7/16) is defined to have pins with a diameter of 4.0/3.8mm (conductive tip/insulated shaft), only!
  8. The diameter of Type J socket holes is only 4mm. Therefore the Europlug can connect to any Swiss socket, even the outdated only 2-pins one!
  9. And therefore, it is not obvious that any kind of Type C derivate will work with Typ J sockets!

Got it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZH8000 (talkcontribs) 20:07, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

ZH8000, the main reference for this article is clearly stated as the IEC "World Plugs" which describes Type C as being the Europlug, and that is defined by CENELEC Standard EN 50075 which specifies only the plug, no sockets. There can be no question that a type C plug will operate in any socket designed to accept Type J plugs. (I think that you will find that EN50075 is approved for use in Switzerland.) Contrary to your assertion, a Type C socket is NOT defined by ANY standard. please refer to the "Lack of References" section above and you will see that a consensus was reached that this article IS NOT about sockets. Please desist from edit warring. Deucharman (talk) 20:45, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, to be honest, I am a bit surprised, to say the least. Of course, I can of course accept that an article only states the situation of plugs around the world. But then I have to raise some questions:
  1. Why does then this article have the title "Mains electricity by country"? This is misleading, since I would expect that such an article states anything about mains electricity. To my knowledge mains electricity does not only consist of power plugs, but also of sockets and domestic-specific electrical requirements. Especially, as a traveller or as an expat moving somewhere I am mainly interested whether my appliances will be attachable, both, physically and electrically at my new place. Alternatively, at least this article should be renamed to Power plugs by country!!! But then I still need to know what will work and what not.
  2. Which offical document defines that Type C is, a. only the Europlug, and b. that these kind of types only define power plugs but not also their "alter ego", the sockets, which are the specific doors to the domestic power supply system? E.g. the SEV1011 aka Type J standard clearly defines both, plugs and sockets of course!
  3. That plugs and sockets is not separable from each other is inherently obvious for everybody in charge of electrical standards in any country. I would say, that's actually the main purpose of any standardization: how things can be attached to each other in order to prevent accidents. Then you consequently have to define both interfaces, plugs and sockets. And which ones are compatible with each other. But, if you leave out the sockets, then how should everybody know how to connect? Well, the standard I know more thoroughly, the Swiss SEV1011, does clearly this. Just have look at this picture: [5]. ... In other words, where in this WP article can I find the answer to the question in country X, how can I attach my appliances - do I need an adapter, a converter, transformer, or just nothing? - IMHO this was the original purpose of this article, besides the overview. But in some very quirky way it still tries to explain this question (e.g. by mentioning Plug Types, Voltage, and Frequency), but at the same time this article claims not to speak about sockets!???
For example there is a good reason why the Schoko is not compatible with the Swiss sockets, but the Europlug is nevertheless! And of course not in order that somebody can produce and sell more of its own plugs, but to achieve the best security aka compliance with the domestic power supply system.
ZH8000 (talk) 22:29, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
By the way: The physical shapes of plugs and sockets (shape of the isolation head/socket shape, shapes of the pins/socket holes, arrangement of the pins/holes) is nothing else than the (eventually insufficent) codification of the domestic abstract electrical requirements (Voltage, Frequency, Earthing, Phasing, Tolerances, etc.)!
ZH8000 (talk) 22:38, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Just for the completness: "A type C plug fits perfectly into a type J socket." [6] — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZH8000 (talkcontribs) 01:03, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

And why socket types DO matter, and why the Europlug is/was not the only Type C plug

And I may cite this: "Whereas type C plugs are very commonly used, this is not the case for type C sockets. This kind of socket is the older and ungrounded variant of socket types E, F, J, K and N. Nowadays most countries demand grounded sockets to be installed in new buildings. Since type C sockets are ungrounded, they have become illegal almost everywhere and they are being replaced by type E, F, J, K or N (depending on the country). So as to leave no doubt: only the sockets have become illegal, the plugs remain in use of course. A type C plug fits perfectly into a type E, F, J, K or N socket." [7]

Type E, F (e.g. in Germany and Fance) and Type K (e.g. in Danmark) sockets have holes with a diameter of 4.8-5mm. In Denmark "A type C plug fits perfectly into a type K socket." [8] In Brazil (current: Type N) "had been using as many as 10 (!) different types of plugs and sockets, including the frequently used type C. ... The original IEC 60906-1 standard only has one single pin diameter of 4.5 mm and a maximum current of 16 A". [9]

BTW: "There are 15 types of electrical outlet plugs in use today, each of which has been assigned a letter by the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA), starting with A and moving through the alphabet. These letters are completely arbitrary: they don’t actually mandate anything." [10]


A few Examples where Type C sockets are still in use: Angola, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, North Korea, Mauritania, Paraguay, Somalia, Somaliland, Togo.

And at least in Angola, the holes of the Type C sockets have a diameter of 4.8-5mm, since they accept both, the Schuko (4.8mm) and the Europlug (4mm)!!!

  1. Type C sockets have (and used to have in some parts of the world, such as Europe) two holes of 4.8-5mm and are 19mm apart, and are never recessed.
  2. In older days before Schuko-times and especially before the Europlug there were other two-pin (Type C) plugs with pins of 4.8-5mm diameter and a distance of 17.5-19mm (also in Switzerland! ... I remember to have seen them in very old houses)
  3. The Europlug was intentionally designed to fit several of the intermediately newly (after Type C socket period) developed national standards in several countries of Europe. Therefore, the Europlug has two 4 mm (according SEV1011) round pins, measuring 19 mm in length on centres spaced 18.6 mm apart at the base and 17.5 mm apart at the tip (clamping effect) in order not to fall off from sockets with larger holes (4.8-5mm)!

-- qed -- ZH8000 (talk) 00:55, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

ZH8000 does not seem to understand that there is no standardized definition for the informal system of letter designations used for plugs. In this article it is clearly stated that the main source for the article is the IEC microsite "World Plugs", and, as has been discussed previously, this defines Type C as the Europlug, which is the subject of European Standard EN 50075, a standard which, contrary to the false claims made by ZH8000, is for a plug only. There is no corresponding socket standard, rather the plug defined by EN 50075 is intended to fit into a wide range of sockets defined by other standards, all of which sockets have a corresponding specific plug - and none of those specific plugs is identical to the EN 50075 plug. As has been made clear in previous discussion on this page, there are many plugs having pin centres spaced 19 mm apart with various diameters. Some of these plugs have letter designations, others do not. Some of those plugs are the subject of standards, some are purely proprietary. Some of those plugs are in current use, some are obsolescent, and others are obsolete. None of that changes the fact that the designation of Type C as defined by the IEC is the Europlug, not any of those other plugs which ZH8000 claims to be Type C.
ZH8000's claim that There are 15 types of electrical outlet plugs in use today is simply nonsense, there are 45 non-locking types of mains plug in use in the USA alone, and that excludes the locking types. Only two of those American plugs have letter designations, A and B - the other 43 non-locking and all of the locking types have no letter designation. Other examples would be the the BS 4573 (UK shaver plug) and 2 Amp size of the BS 546 plug (used in dedicated domestic lighting circuits) - both of these are in current use and neither have letter designations. Similarly there are a number of two-pin European plugs which do not meet either the Europlug definition, or one of the current national standards, most have no letter designation and they are not to be confused with type C plugs.
It is to be noted that the only source that ZH8000 cites in support of these wild claims is a very dubious and error filled website which appears to be a combination of vanity site and ad server. It is certainly not a WP Reliable Source! Mautby (talk) 02:44, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I would like to endorse Mautby's comments, and SSHamilton's original action in deleting the superfluous comment added to the Swiss entry.
It seems to me that ZH8000 neither understands the subject in question, nor how to edit WP (eg, repeatedly failing to sign comments, and adding no fewer than three new headings instead of adding comments to the original section dealing with the type C issue, thanks to Mautby for condensing the three new sections into one). I also see that ZH8000 started out by claiming that not all Type Cs will fit into a Swiss socket, then later changes to stating the opposite and quoting a spurious reference to back this up. As for a traveller needing knowledge of sockets rather than what plugs are used, that is way off beam. An example: imagine a Japanese traveler (uses type A plugs) wanting to know what is used in the US, a listing of sockets would say Type B (Type A sockets being obsolete in the US and found only in old buildings), but as plugs are listed he finds both Type A and type B (because all Type B sockets accept Type A plugs) - and that is exactly what he needs to know! FF-UK (talk) 12:01, 22 March 2014 (UTC)