Old style sockets ?

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Bimbler
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Old style sockets ?

Post by Bimbler » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:14 pm

I was looking at a place and the electrical sockets all seemed to be two-pin, mounted next to the light switches.
(as in a flat plate with two holes in it - not the round recess of a modern french socket)

My guess is that this is an old style and a complete re-wiring will be required ?

Anyone familiar with this ?

Le Démerdeur
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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by Le Démerdeur » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:40 pm

Yes my place had them, they formed part of the light switches in some cases, they are still allowed in the regs but have a limited current capacity.

They were introduced to stop the use of adaptors that plugged into the ceiling light socket.

The name of them will come to me later, might be prises commandées.

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RobertArthur
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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by RobertArthur » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:18 pm

If it is a so called prise commandée it is easy to measure, the socket should be switched on/off with this switch. This type of sockets is only for lighting purposes, see this information by Legrand. Not everybody knows this "only lights rule", so switch or télérupteur have to carry sometimes much more current than allowed. Premature death of switch, burned-out télérupteur and narrow escape for the lucky owners of this house. Robert, il y a un petit problème avec l'éclairage.....Underestimated wiring faults, aluminium foil around a fuse, using a 32 amp fuse and 1.5 mm wiring, overheating etc. Or what can go wrong if there is a contact resistance (not too loose, not too tight these screws).

Are you living outside the law with such a prise commandée? No, it's still in the regs, Art. 10.1.3.8.2. See page 16 of this summary of the French electrical code by Hager. And as long as the Consuel inspector doesn't have to approve a (new) installation électrique the regs of yesterday are still valid for existing wiring. Updating doesn't harm of course, can increase your safety, it's your own choise.

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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by Bimbler » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:54 pm

Excellent information. Many thanks.

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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by bluebird » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:50 pm

I was a bit surprised to find that french sockets (old & new) are really poor design and manufacture, even the expensive ones. Have to say the stuff in the UK is far superior in every way, and obviously much better value for money.

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RobertArthur
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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by RobertArthur » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:19 am

To continue: if it is not a prise commandée the second possibility is that of an interrupteur encastré avec prise de courant. Back in time, an introduction to French wiring, published by CME-editions in 1992. Already separate circuits for sockets and lights in those days. Page 56 shows a nice switch + socket. Reading the text it is not a switched socket UK style or a prise commandée. Light switch and additional socket. Probably you'll find four wires of 1.5mm in the back box. Only one neutral (blue) because the "common neutral" was the way to do it. One red wire feeding the socket. one red wire feeding the switch and a black one going up to the light(s). More info about switched sockets in France.

Bimbler
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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by Bimbler » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:56 pm

Thank you - that is exactly it.
A light switch for the ceiling light and alongside an un-switched two pin socket.
( I think they date from the 80's as you suggest)

Presumably one would not want to plug in any device that draws a lot of power. (or run multi socket extensions).

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Re: Old style sockets ?

Post by Le-Dolly » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:07 pm

Whilst 2 pin sockets are technically still "legal", yours probably may not even reach that minimum. 2 pin sockets (in the round recessed style fitting) are still available; but they must be supplied with fitted obturateurs and are usually fitted were a building is being assessed by the Consuel for an attestation Mise en Sécurité, not a full Consuel Certification. You must in no case change any two pin socket for the more usual three pin sort.
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