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Picture of a UK 3 pin plug Wiring a UK 3 pin plug
If you come across an appliance with any of the following types of wiring, it may be prudent to seek advice from a qualified electrician before fitting a plug:-
  • You can't be sure what colours you are looking at. (Can indicate very old wiring)
  • The wires to an appliance include red and black strands. This can indicate an old appliance
  • The wires to an appliance appear to have white and black strands. This can be a warning that the device is designed for a 110V supply (See later comment about USA)
  • There is a "stiff spot," blackened patch, exposed strand "peeping" out of the outer insulation, cut or damage to the wire - these can all be warnings of old/failing wiring.
  • The item may have come from outside the EU. Some countries, including the USA use a lower voltage (but still deadly) electricty and their appliances can be overloaded by our 240V supply. (It is equally dangerous to use our appliances on their electricity because they can overload 110V mains wiring.)
Final comment - Modern fuses will last a lifetime under normal conditions. They don't "blow" without a reason. If there is no logical reason (e.g. power surge, misuse, fuse loose in its mounting, repaired fault) why a fuse has blown then get appliance checked before replacing the fuse. Always replace with correct fuse for appliance.
  • Brown = Live = "L"
  • Blue = Neutral = "N"
  • Green (or green/yellow) = Earth = "E"
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