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· I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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Can anyone explain how to use French sockets without getting in a tizz? We use a couple of adapters and they get stuck in some sockets. The last time I pushed one in i needed help to get the g**d**m adapter out again.
My limited understand of this peculiarity is (and this might not be the issue, but is certainly 'an' issue) ...

There are two pin diameters for what are apparently the same Schuko standard.

The CEE 7/5 plug has a 4.8mm pin diameter which is what your adapter probably is.

Rewireable French plugs are CEE 7/16 "Euro plug" and are 4mm diameter.

You'll have likely have left a trail of sockets behind with stretched receptacles when you jammed your 4.8mm pins into sockets only ever used for 4mm pins. But don't worry about that.

In theory, there is only one type of socket, the 4.8mm Shucko, and by design, and CEE specification, it is meant to accept both 4mm and 4.8mm (the text above says there is also a 4.5mm type too, I've never noticed that), so in fact what you might have done is simply been the first ever 4.8mm pin into that socket, thus was a tight fit and as if new. In theory, no damage should have been done, the socket being flexible to accommodate the sizes, but just as we have cheap sockets here that don't do so well when abused, you might have added some extra wear and tear in places.
 

· I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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40,231 Posts
Oh My ! :eek: Could it really be that Andy had a fifties socket he put his adapter in? Good point Donald!

Why did I not think of this? Because they have become illegal. And have been for a long time. But in France, anything is possible.... they like "tradition" over there.
AFAIK they are legal where CEE 7 is a standard, and there are 3 sizes of allowable pin.

The sockets are meant to be the same, for all pin size, and CEE says receptacles are to be designed flexible enough to accommodate them all.

As you should not be using high currents with the 4mm pins, in theory even if receptacles have 'relaxed' due to being used with 4.8mm pins, the 4mm pins should not be demanding high currents through the possibly-reduced contact patch/pressure.
 

· I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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40,231 Posts
Again, thank you for agreeing with me :).

Indeed the CEE 7 is legal. The flexible receptacles are required. The fixed receptacles, i.e. a 4.x mm hole honed out of a solid piece of copper or brass, no longer are. They are a fifties design. Or even earlier. Andy might have met one. Yes, they have existed. I remember when I was 16 years old (1977) I replaced such a block at my grandparent's place, in the cellar, and replaced it with a flexible receptacle one with earth pin. Because my grandparents had purchased a new vacuum cleaner and the plug wouldn't go in the socket any more. But that is 45 years ago !!
Ah! Now I have got your meaning. Right, so you're saying 4mm sockets are now illegal, and there it is, that's the reason, because a 4.8mm pin will jam in a solid 4mm hole!

(y)

If they are solid blocks then they might have damaged the plug pins.

I figured this out a long time ago, and in fact forgot it for a while. I was in Kuwait for a bit and there they use the UK 3 pin standard ... sort of ... in reality everything is a hodge podge of electrical connectors from around the world, and the 4mm euro-plug adapters are the best for wedging into a 3 pin socket ... :unsure:

Then I re-remembered when I could not use larger pins in German hotel sockets, so made sure I had adapters with the narrower pins for 'more universal' fitment.

I guess the answer is to have a selection of adapters of different pin diameters.
 

· I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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40,231 Posts
The granny came with the car.

There's a story about grannies in france I learned about whilst at uni by a lecturer researching silly/mythical stories...

A family of 4 went camping on holiday to France with grandma. Sadly at the campsite grandma died. The kids were too young to leave behind so they decamped, packed the car up. Couldn't sit a dead grandma in the back with the kids. So wrapped her up in the tent and put her and the tent on the roof rack. They drove into the village and went into the gendarmerie. Reported the death and came out with the officer.

Only to find the car, with grandma wrapped up on the roof, all stolen.
Did they save on funeral costs? Usually more than the value of an average car these days.

.. hey, just asking!! Ricky Gervais would have the same question, I am sure.
 
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