From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Wilson)
Subject: Re: American vs foreign electrical parts and installations
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 03:32:10 -0000
Organization: Your Organization
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In article ,
>On Mon, 16 Sep 2002 02:37:10 -0000,
> Bob Wilson wrote
> in Msg.
>| Take a look at the European "Schuko" plugs (their AC plugs) if you want
>| see how a plug and socket should be made. They are solid, well made, and
>| unlike AC plugs here, it is absolutely impossible to touch the prongs
>| they are live.
>...and they have a price tag like the US industrial grade parts (as quoted
>by the previous poster). They are not always as easily mounted as you make
>it sound though.
>"Schuko", by the way, is an abbreviation for "Schutzkontakt" (protection
>contact). There used to be outlets that were just two holes in the wall,
>much like US outlets, without any Earth connection. The Schuko sockets
>have the holes on a recess, the Earth connection being provided by a
>couple of clamp-like prongs inside the recess. I don't know if the term
>"protection contact" means that the prongs are protected against
>accidental touch, or if it designates the added earth contact.
>Like so often, the Swiss system is even better though. Just as safe, also
>compatible with the non-grounded cheapo "Euro plug" (machined brass my
>ass), and a lot more compact.
Also known as "Sicherheitsstecker" (safety plug).
The Protection contact refers to the prongs being protected against contact
when "hot". Even the smaller ungrounded version (2-prong for use with double
insulated appliances) is safe. In this case, the prongs are plastic with
only metal at the tip. The tips disappear into the socket before contact is
Some years ago, our next door neighbor's 1-year-old nearly electrocuted
herself (and got severe burns in the process) as a result of touching the
UL/CSA approved North American style plugs we use here. If we had an
intelligently designed plug like the Schuko, this would never have happened.