New electrical sockets for SA

It may come as a bit of shock to some but we are getting a new electrical socket in the form of the SANS 164-2 specification. This specification socket was adopted by the SABS in 2013 and takes over from the old 3-round-pin socket ( adopted from the British ) that has been in use since the 1930’s. The three-pin plugs are polarised and un-fused (they don’t have individual fuses) and are not interchangeable between electrical current ratings.

We also use 2 other format plugs currently: The two standards are the SANS 164-5 two-pin, non-rewireable system (2,5A; 250V) for equipment like cellphone chargers and the SANS 164-6 two-pin system (16A; 250V) for equipment like power tools and electric lawnmowers.

All 3 formats currently in use will be superseded by the new format and all new installations as of 2015 will use the new format plug/socket combinations. The new format is the same as is used in Brazil and similar enough to the Swiss standard to be interchangeable. It’s likely to take some time before the new format becomes the norm as manufacturers have to tool up to change to this format for appliances, tools and other electrical items.

The reason for the change is for safety and size – the new format is considerably more compact than the old. And you can forgo the need for Europlug adaptors.

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