Power plug outlet Type G & H

  • Type G
  • mainly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Malaysia & Singapore
  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 13 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type G
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Type G is mainly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. (Click here for a complete list of all countries that use type G)

This 13 amp plug has three rectangular prongs that form an isosceles triangle. The central earth pin is 4 by 8 mm and 22.7 mm long. Line and neutral pins are 4 by 6.35 mm and 17.7 mm long, on centres spaced 22.2 mm apart. The centre-to-centre distance between the earth pin and the middle of the imaginary line connecting the two power pins is 22.2 mm. The 9-mm long insulated sleeves prevent accidental contact with a bare connector while the plug is partially inserted.

British Standard BS 1363 requires use of a three-wire grounded and fused plug for all connections to the power mains. Two-wire class II appliances are not earthed and often have a plastic grounding pin which only serves to open the shutters of the outlet. The lack of such an earth pin on a type C plug makes it impossible to connect it to a type G receptacle, although it can actually be forced into the socket by sticking a pointy (dry, non-metallic !) object into the centre hole of the power outlet, which opens up the two other holes. Just to be perfectly clear, this is not a piece of advice; it’s simply an observation!

In the UK, the power sockets in a house are connected by means of ring circuits, which are protected by 32 A circuit breakers. This type of wiring is rarely used outside the UK and requires the use of fused plugs. Small appliances, like mobile phone chargers, usually have a 3 A cartridge fuse inside the plug; heavy duty appliances, such as coffee makers, have a plug with a 13 amp cartridge fuse. Almost everywhere else in the world radial circuits are used. In this system each wall socket, or group of sockets, has a circuit breaker at the main switchboard, so there is no need for plugs to be fused. As a result, if you take some foreign appliance to the UK, you can use an adaptor, but technically it must incorporate the correct value fuse. Most would have a 13 amps one, too big for computers for example. Type G plugs and sockets started appearing in 1946 and the standard was first published in 1947. By the end of the 1950s, it had replaced the earlier type D outlets and plugs (BS 546) in new installations in the UK, and by the end of the 1960s, most earlier installations had been rewired to the new standard. Type G wall sockets almost always include switches for extra safety.

UK plugs are no doubt among the safest in the world, but also among the most hulking and cumbersome. That’s why people often make fun of them saying that a British plug is mostly bigger than the appliance it is connected to… Moreover, the bottom-heavy design of the plug makes it a perfect caltrop.

  • Type H
  • used exclusively in Israel, the West Bank & the Gaza Strip
  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C & H
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Type H is used exclusively in Israel and Palestine. (Click here for a complete list of all countries of the world with their respective plugs/sockets)

This earthed 16 amp plug is unique to Israel. It has three 4.5 mm round prongs, measuring 19 mm in length and forming a triangle. The centres of the line and neutral pins are spaced 19 mm apart. The centre-to-centre distance between the earth pin and the middle of the imaginary line connecting the two power pins is 9.5 mm.

Type H outlets also accept type C plugs. This was not the case before 1989, when the Israeli plug still had flat prongs. Power outlets made since 1989 accept both flat and round pin plugs. The original flat-bladed type H plugs have now become obsolete, but they can still occasionally be found. This plug is also used in the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip.

Strictly speaking, type H sockets are incompatible with type E or type F plugs, because the diameter of the Israeli socket contacts is 0.3 mm smaller than the prongs of E/F plugs. However, if you push really hard, you can often force such plugs into an Israeli outlet. Bear in mind, though, that the appliance will not be earthed and that it is very hard to pull the plug back out!

Type H plugs are among the most dangerous ones in the world: the prongs are not insulated (i.e. the pin shanks do not have a black covering towards the plug body like type C, G, I, L or N plugs), which means that if a type H plug is pulled halfway out, its prongs are still connected to the socket! Little children run the risk of electrocuting themselves when pulling such a plug out and putting their fingers around it. Type H outlets are not recessed into the wall, so they do not provide any protection from touching the live pins either.

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