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overview of types of plugs and sockets
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Most plugs and sockets shown here are made and intended for use in the People's Republic of China.
Two types of unearthed plugs are used: Europlugs (and look-alikes) and North American flat blade, non-polarized, plugs*.
Earthed plugs for domestic use in the PCR are similar to the 10A Australasian type.

In Hong Kong you may also find BS 1363 plugs and occasionally BS 546.

Taiwan uses North American flat blade types for both non-earthed and earthed plugs**.

*   Mainland China has a 220 Volt, 50 Hz network, also for North American type outlets !
** Taiwan has a 110 Volt, 60 Hz network.

 

empty image Chinese Australasian type socket
Lid of Weipu Type 1609 socket
Chinese multi-standard socket
Wonpro multi-standard socket

Chinese Euro-style 2 pin plug Wonpro unearthed flat blade plug
Wonpro Australasian type socket
Simple Chinese flat blade plug

1 Socket, rated at 10A - 250V that suits the three commonly used types of plugs for domestic use in mainland China: (1) Europlugs and similar 2-pin plugs, (2) unearthed flat blade plugs (similar to NEMA 1-15P), and (3) earthed Australasian plugs with angled live and neutral flat blade pins. The three types of plugs are shown in images 5, 6 and 7. Brand name: PTIC (made in China).
2 Socket with lid for Australasian type plugs. Indicated rating: 16A - 250V. Brand name: Weipu, Shanghai, China. Type 1608.
Note that in contrast to Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, the upright earth slot is at top position.
   {FSE}
3
 
lid


Multi-functional socket, rated at 10A - 250V. Weipu, type 1609.    {FSE}

The image between nos. 2 and 3 shows a part of the lid of socket no. 3. No. 2 has a comparable lid.
Both have a CE (European Conformity) mark. See page on certification marks for details, and both meet the IP44 criteria, which means that the sockets - with closed lid - are protected against (i) solid objects over 1 mm, and (ii) water sprayed from all directions. Moreover, type 1608 has also a CCCs mark (China Compulsory Certification, see image no. 15), and type 1609 has a hammer symbol, which suggests a certain resistance to mechanical impact (but a more precise IK rating is not given).

4 Wonnpro (made in Taiwan) '1-gang universal receptacle set with safety shutters' (WF-6CN series), rated at 20A - 250V. The specifications given by Wonpro state: 'Power is not supplied unless the two protection gates (shutters) are opened simultaneously'.
A safe feature, but the shutter system of socket in the museum collection provides for additional safety. Shutters restrict a full insertion of any type of plug, even under semi-brute force conditions. This sample is non-functional.
   {FSE}
5 Unearthed Euro-type plug, rated at 5A - 250V. Unknown brand; bought in PCR in 1998.
6 Unearthed flat blade plug, rated at 10A - 250V. One blade has been chosen as Live, the other as Neutral, but these indications are meaningless, because the plug is not polarized. In accordance to Chinese GB 1002 standard, both blades are 6.3 mm wide.
Brand name: Wonpro (type WSP-6). Plugs 6 and 7 have a CCCs mark (see also no. 15).
   {FSE}
7 Wonpro Australasian type earthed plug, rated at 10A - 250V (type WSP-16). In contrast to Australia and New Zealand, partially insulated L and N pins are not required according to Chinese GB 2099 standard.   {FSE}
8 Example of a much more simple, than no. 6, flat blade plug. The plastic housing is quite robust, but wiring the blades is inherently unsafe and assembling the two halves of the housing is difficult. The plug dates back to the late 1990s.

 

Heavy duty plugs

Chinese 20A, 250V plug made by SWE Chinese 15A, 380V plug made by SWE
Chinese 25A, 440V plug made by PTIC
Texts on plugs in Chinese characters (1)

9 Plug rated at 20A - 250V with angled power pins (L and N). The plug resembles the 10A plug shown in image no. 7, but the 20A version is considerably larger. Pin width is 12.0 mm, rather than 6.3 mm for 10A plug.
The dimensions and position of pins is similar to NEMA 10-50P, a 50A split-phase 125/250V plug, US pins are 5-7 mm longer.
It seems unlikely that the Chinese plug as also meant for split-phase, given the indication of L and N and a rating without 125V.
Brand name: SWE, type SW1203.   {FSE}
10 Four pin, three-phase plug, rated at 15A - 380V. Brand name: SWE, type SW1154.
Pin positions resembles NEMA 28-20P, 3-phase Y, 20A, 208V (between any two phases) plug, but US pins are ca. 2 mm longer.
The meaning of the 'Great Wall' mark is explained below (see no. 15).
11 Four pin, three-phase plug, rated at 25A - 440V. Brand name PTIC, made in China (type T4-25).
Pin positions resembles NEMA 18-60P, 3-phase Y, 60A, 208V (between any two phases) plug, but US pins are 5-7 mm longer. 
{FSE}
12 Top image: name of manufacturer of plugs 9 and 10: Hangzhou Hongshi Electrical Co. Ltd. (SWE, based in Zhejiang, China)
Bottom image: the earth pin of plug no. 11 is marked by Chinese characters, an E, and earth symbol.

 

Logos of Chinese electrotechnical brands Texts on plugs in Chinese characters (2)
CCEE and CCC-s marks

13 Logos of four brands: Wonpro (Taiwan, nos. 4, 6 and 7); SWE (PCR, nos. 9 and 10); HAWK (PCR, 15A-380V plug comparable to no.10); PTIC (PCR, nos. 1 and 11).
14 Top: warning message on plug no. 11 says: "Never insert or remove plug when power in on".
Bottom: literal meaning is "Million-use conversion adapter", generic name for a multi-standard adapter.
15 In 1989 the China commission for Conformity Certification of Electrical Equipment issued the CCEE - also known as 'Great Wall mark'. See top image. Electrical equipment without CCEE mark are not permitted to be manufactured, imported, sold or used in China.
In 2002 the mark was replaced by a new safety mark, the CCC mark (bottom image), when several safety procedures were integrated into the China Compulsory Certificate. Source of information: Simcon.
Images sources: plug no. 10 (CCEE - 'Great Wall') and no. 11 (CCCs).

 


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