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French-style plugs and sockets

"French" sockets (which, despite the name, have likely originated in Belgium) are quite interesting, as they're the only style in use in residential installations to use a metal pin protruding out of the socket to provide an earth connection.

As with the Schuko ones, it uses plugs with pins of 4.8mm diameter spaced 19mm apart, and the sockets have a deep recess to prevent touching the live pins. Unlike on the Schuko system, though, these plugs are polarised - that is, they preserve the distinction between line and neutral. However, there isn't a set standard for which connection is supposed to be which, so for all intents and purposes this isn't really a polarised plug.

This style of socket is in use in France, Belgium, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, as well as parts of Africa.

Standard power socket

Rating: 16A 250V

This is a fairly standard type of French-style power socket, which mounts to the round European wall boxes. Safety shutters are present, as that is a mandatory feature in some countries using this standard.

Similarly to Schuko sockets, removing the front screw reveals the wiring connections, which in this case use screw terminals.

Rewireable plug and connector socket

Rating: 16A 250V

These are two common rewireable plugs and one connector socket, as used for example on extension cords. Interestingly, one of the plugs as well as the socket have handles on the side, which help with disconnecting them.

An interesting feature of "traditional" French-style plugs (compared to the CEE 7/7 ones used on appliances nowadays) is that they are completely round - this prevents them from being plugged into Schuko sockets, as they'd interfere with the tabs found on the side of them.

Legrand double socket

Rating: 16A 250V

This is a very interesting type of socket, manufactured by Legrand. It has two sockets built into one device, with the faceplate being a single plastic piece. This is in contrast with how mounting two sockets is usually done; normally the sockets are separate items with a separate faceplate connecting them together.

Installing this socket in a wall box generally involves removing the separator between the two halves of the boxes, as this is a single device. Then, mounting is done similarly to other types of sockets.

Surface-mount power socket

Rating: 16A 250V

This style of power socket would be used in places with surface wiring, such as a garage. The socket is made entirely out of plastic, which indentations where it can be cut into to feed a cable.

The front cover is held with one screw, which is removed to mount the socket and connect the wire terminals. As this was made by the same manufacturer as the other socket shown previously, the terminals are exactly the same, and even use the same plastic piece.

Multi-way adaptor

This is a three-way adaptor, used to connect up to three devices to a power socket. Its design is similar to Schuko ones, however due to French sockets being polarised it only can be plugged in in one way.

Interestingly, this adaptor uses a CEE 7/6 plug on it instead of a hybrid 7/7 Schuko/French plug; however, this isn't universal, other models of multi-way adaptor are available with 7/7 plugs.

Power strip

This small power strip, which can be used to connect up to three devices, is quite simple: it features an illuminated power switch and a cord with a CEE 7/7 plug.

There are, however, two interesting things about it: the first is that, despite French plugs being polarised, only two of the outlets are wired correctly, as the correct way to wire them up isn't mandatory and can vary between countries.

Secondly, despite this power strip being rated at 3680W, it only uses a 1mm2 power cord. This is quite concerning, as that's considerably more than the maximum rating of that size of wire, especially under plastic insulation.

Vintage twistable plug from Legrand

Rating: 10/16A

This old plug has a quite interesting design, as it allows the cord grip to be set at three different angles. Changing orientation can be done by taking apart the plug, which is made of two pieces, and placing them back together at the desired angle.

Having a twistable plug can be quite useful for these types of plug, as it can avoid having the cord grip interfere with a plug on an adjacent socket.