Adaptor for round 3 pin sockets

Submitted by on


The property I'm in has modern-looking round 3-pin sockets in each room. The top pin is slightly fatter than the bottom two.

Where, in the UK, can I purchase a non-bulky adaptor so that appliances with flat 3 pin plugs can use these sockets?

I have googled this question and some answers provide 'travel adaptors' only and also talk about amp rating - which I know nothing about!

Is it dangerous to use flat 3 pin plugged appliances in these types of sockets with an adaptor?



This sounds like a 5A

This sounds like a 5A lighting socket. If so only a light should be plugged in and will probably switch on and off from the light switch.

Never adapt these to the

Never adapt these to the standard 13A sockest. If a dimmer is installed or if one is installed in the future items that are plugged into it could be damaged. Also the circuit will have a lower rating on the breaker and normal appliances could pull too much power and could trip the breaker

Hi Folks Thanks for all your

Hi Folks

Thanks for all your replies.

I hear what you say about it possibly being a 5amp circuit therefore appliances, as opposed to lights, might blow it.

The sockets for the round pin have individual on/off switches. Does this make a difference?

Lastly, there is a light switch with dimmer on the wall, which I presumed only operated the ceiling lights. Could this possibly operate the round pin wall sockets too?

How do I get to find out exactly what circuits, etc, have been installed?


No that makes no difference

No that makes no difference with the round pin sockets. All domestic appliances come with a 13A square pin plug, the appliance relies on the fuse in that plug top. With the round pin socket most of the plugs don't have fuses, they rely on the breaker back at the fuse board.

It maybe that the dimmer controls both or someone has left the cable in the back of the switch unconnected.

You could buy round pin plugs and change them on some lamps you might have. Then you us the switch to see if it operates the sockets.

Or get a competent electrician to investigate the issue further.


The round 3 pin sockets you

The round 3 pin sockets you have in your home, are they switched from the lights? They might be for table lamps and bedside lamps etc, not suitable for hoovers and other high power appliances.

Test and be safe! Just to

Test and be safe!
Just to add, any fuse in a plug top is only there to protect the cable, not the device. The fuse is rated to blow when the current exceeds the fuse rating in the event of an overload from the equipment and the cable should therefore be of a higher rating. This is to prevent fires!!!

There were/are 2 types of round pin 15A and 5A but the 5A is smaller. This was to prevent 15A plugs being used in 5A sockets and vice versa. These are sometimes used as suggested for switched lights etc and round pin are used to prevent connecting the wrong equipment. Some Electrical wholesalers stock these and I belive they are manufactured by MK.

I agree, get a 5A plug and wire a table lamp to it, then test what the sockets do. If the 5A don't fit, get a 15A plug and wire a lamp to that and test again.

Good luck!

Hi, I do believe your site

Hi, I do believe your site may be having internet browser compatibility problems.
Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it has some overlapping
issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!

Apart from that, great site!

Check out my web blog: Www.Urbanenergyblog.Com

Electricians Fibreglass Step Ladders