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Old 24.10.2011, 16:47
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Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

OK, it may be a little irrational but I dislike using travel adapters. I want to replace my UK plugs with swiss 3-pin plugs.

I believe the swiss plugs are called SEV 1011.

Anyone know of an online supplier or a shop in Geneva where I can buy them?

Thanks

Declan
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Old 24.10.2011, 16:52
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

You can get them at Migros and Coop, or any DIY place.
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Old 24.10.2011, 16:55
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

Got a pile at Migro, about a frank or 2 each.
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Old 24.10.2011, 17:07
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

Thanks

Hopefully some of the stores are open late as getting out of the office before 6:30pm when in Geneva is often a problem.

Any online supplier so I could do some of the plug switching before I leave London?

Declan
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Old 24.10.2011, 17:29
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

Also Manor have them down stairs. Surely they let you out for lunch sometimes?
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Old 24.10.2011, 17:55
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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OK, it may be a little irrational but I dislike using travel adapters. I want to replace my UK plugs with Swiss 3-pin plugs.
Be aware that a very high proportion of UK 3-pin plugs actually don't have an earth connection. Appliances like TVs and stereos never have, nor do most kitchen gadgets, lamps, clocks... the list could go on. So for many things there's no need to shell out on the more expensive 3-pin lozenge-shaped Swiss ones. Narrow 2-pin ones, including those from France and Germany, will do just as well at half the price (in CH, even less in t'other countries). There are no plug compatibility issues with these. Remove UK plug to check first, of course
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Old 24.10.2011, 18:00
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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Be aware that a very high proportion of UK 3-pin plugs actually don't have an earth connection. Appliances like TVs and stereos never have, nor do most kitchen gadgets, lamps, clocks... the list could go on. So for many things there's no need to shell out on the more expensive 3-pin lozenge-shaped Swiss ones. Narrow 2-pin ones, including those from France and Germany, will do just as well at half the price (in CH, even less in t'other countries). There are no plug compatibility issues with these. Remove UK plug to check first, of course
My UK TV, hoover and a few other elec items had an earth wire. I just purchased a handful of the 3prong ones to be safe when I did it.

Landi sell's them as well
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Old 24.10.2011, 18:03
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

I changed all our plugs before we moved. It got a little annoying in the last week or so as we were plunged into darkness as all the lamps had been changed over but it was overall a great idea. As ACE1 says, you need a mixture of two and three pin plugs (although I didn't find the 3 pin ones that expensive but perhaps it was a while ago) but I would be careful about the 2 pin French plugs .. we live near the border and so buy quite a lot in France and I usually end up changing the plug to a CH one as they always jam in the socket and once I pulled the plate off the wall pulling my curling tongs out . In CH they are a couple of CHF each.

If you are really desperate then the next time I am in appropriate DIY store (which is often) I can buy you them and post them to the UK. You can pay me back on my UK bank account if that helps. PM me if you need to take me up on this.
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Old 24.10.2011, 18:32
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

I just changed the plug on a UK 6-way extension block and use that for all the things I bring from the UK (which I will take back). Of course, that means they all need to be in the same place, but that's the (only) advantage of living in such a small apartment!
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Old 24.10.2011, 20:23
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

As already mentioned, Migros. The one at the airport has them and they're less than a franc each.
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Old 24.10.2011, 20:34
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

You may not need to change as many plugs as you think. Some appliances are in groups, notably your TV & DVD & VCR (do people still have those?) & sound system. You probably had these all plugged into a large UK-socket plug strip before you moved. So for this example, you only need to change a single plug. The same is true of your desktop computer (do people still have those?)

You can also hold the fascinated attention of people at dinner parties by telling them that the ISO standard power plug is actually the Swiss pattern 3-pin, and that it is also used in Brazil.
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Old 24.10.2011, 20:37
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

Damn, no edit button functionality yet. That last one was meant to start with "As Adrian says...."

Damn newbies!
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Old 24.10.2011, 21:38
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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Thanks

Hopefully some of the stores are open late as getting out of the office before 6:30pm when in Geneva is often a problem.

Any online supplier so I could do some of the plug switching before I leave London?

Declan
As others have suggested, perhaps nip out for lunch breaks ... and, at least in the north, shops are open late at major train stations so I'd guess that in Geneva the shops at the major train stations (or airport) would also stay open late.
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Old 24.10.2011, 22:18
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

As already mentioned by ecb, don't buy French 2 pin plugs, the pins are thicker and get stuck and damage the sockets. 2 pin mains plugs are not approved any more in CH and you cannot buy them any longer.

When you open a Swiss plug, wires are connected similarly to the UK: the live brown wire is on the right, blue is on the left, green/yellow centre. If you don't follow this procedure (And with 2 pin plugs it is reversible) the outside of a lamp holder could become live, making it dangerous to touch around the base of the lamp bulb when the lamp is powered on.

If you live in Tessin you can ignore this simple rule, they haven't had mains lighting very long and seem to delight in giving everyone shocks.
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Old 24.10.2011, 22:26
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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As already mentioned by ecb, don't buy French 2 pin plugs, the pins are thicker and get stuck and damage the sockets.
Sorry, but that's not the case. Clearly you've both come a cropper trying to use French 3-pin (with inverted earth) plugs, which do indeed have a thicker pin, in a flat Swiss socket. Proper, flat, 2-pin plugs always have a thinner pin, the same size as Swiss ones, and will fit into the recessed 3-pin sockets. They're designed that way intentionally, and 2-pin sockets should also be of the thinner type, although being French they just ignore the imposed standards and make some that will take an earthed plug into a non-earthed socket anyway.
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Old 24.10.2011, 22:34
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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Sorry, but that's not the case. Clearly you've both come a cropper trying to use French 3-pin (with inverted earth) plugs, which do indeed have a thicker pin, in a flat Swiss socket. Proper, flat, 2-pin plugs always have a thinner pin, the same size as Swiss ones, and will fit into the recessed 3-pin sockets. They're designed that way intentionally, and 2-pin sockets should also be of the thinner type, although being French they just ignore the imposed standards and make some that will take an earthed plug into a non-earthed socket anyway.
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2 pin mains plugs are not approved any more in CH and you cannot buy them any longer.

When you open a Swiss plug, wires are connected similarly to the UK: the live brown wire is on the right, blue is on the left, green/yellow centre. If you don't follow this procedure (And with 2 pin plugs it is reversible) the outside of a lamp holder could become live, making it dangerous to touch around the base of the lamp bulb when the lamp is powered on.
Please stop trying to electrocute our new members. The 2 pin DIY plugs are not approved here, for the good reason already mentioned.
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Old 24.10.2011, 22:49
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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Sorry, but that's not the case. Clearly you've both come a cropper trying to use French 3-pin (with inverted earth) plugs, which do indeed have a thicker pin, in a flat Swiss socket.
Have to say this is all getting a little technical (well soporific at least) but are you saying I tried to fit a 3 pin French plug into the CH socket? Because I can tell you I am sitting looking the offending curling tongs, and they definitely have only 2 pins sticking out of the French plug. I bought a nifty Swiss adapter and now all is sorted in the curling department but after a bill of nearly 400 Chf to come out to fix the damage, I can certainly tell you I won't be taking up your advice re french plugs.
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:10
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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Have to say this is all getting a little technical (well soporific at least) but are you saying I tried to fit a 3 pin French plug into the CH socket? Because I can tell you I am sitting looking the offending curling tongs, and they definitely have only 2 pins sticking out of the French plug. I bought a nifty Swiss adapter and now all is sorted in the curling department but after a bill of nearly 400 Chf to come out to fix the damage, I can certainly tell you I won't be taking up your advice re french plugs.
The problem is that the normal French 3-pin plugs only have 2 pins. The earth connection is recessed into the plug, and an earthed socket actually has a third pin that sticks into the plug. These do have thicker pins, but are easily spotted by being circular, whereas the _flar_ plugs I refer to always have the same pin size as normal Swiss 2- and 3-pin plugs.
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:12
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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Please stop trying to electrocute our new members. The 2 pin DIY plugs are not approved here, for the good reason already mentioned.
There is no good reason. I have homes in both countries and regularly switch appliances between them. Quite how you think that using 2-pin plugs on non-earthed appliances could electrocute anyone I don't know.
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:17
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Re: Difficulty adapting ( UK to CH power plugs )

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The problem is that the normal French 3-pin plugs only have 2 pins. The earth connection is recessed into the plug, and an earthed socket actually has a third pin that sticks into the plug. These do have thicker pins, but are easily spotted by being circular, whereas the _flar_ plugs I refer to always have the same pin size as normal Swiss 2- and 3-pin plugs.


Errr .. still no. The plug I am looking at has no "holes" that could fit the inverted earth into where the earth would be in connection with the wires inside the plug. For an inverted earth to work doesn't the earth from the wall socket have to come in contact with the earth contained in the appliance plug?

Anyways, its immaterial because we both agree that French plugs have the wrong sized pins to work in CH sockets.
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