The standard three-pin wall plug has remained largely unchanged for almost a century, so it makes perfect sense that there are moves afoot to improve on its bulky, antiquated design.
Back in the year dot, when the British invented the three-prong plug and then distributed it around their far-flung empire, I don’t think anyone was expected to own the amount of plug-in appliances we do today. How else does one reconcile the fact that their size has always been far larger than necessary for the job at hand? That was all very well for then, but nowadays, thanks to DVD players, decoders, laptops, microwave ovens and the like, wall sockets have become valuable real estate space around our homes.
Crabtree and Radiant’s latest SABS-approved Slimline 16A three-prong plug is decidedly more compact than what we’re all used to. For example, where once there would only be space for two plugs, now four plugs can be accommodated, ensuring maximum usage of the 100 x 100 mm wall box format. And unlike conventional plugs, they can be wired to allow the cord to exit either the top or bottom – making them ideal for use in tight spaces, behind furniture installations or where unsightly twisting cords are to be avoided. Plus both the unearthed two-pin and the three-pin earthed standards can be accommodated in one socket, thus reducing the need for multiple adaptors.
Safety-wise this plug is a winner. Both the live and neutral pins have 15 mm-long extended sleeves, and the recessed socket has shutters on both contacts, making it impossible for curious little fingers to find their way inside. Each terminal is clearly marked to prevent the user from frying delicate circuitry, and inside the casing there’s a guide showing you where to strip the wires to achieve the optimum length.
Plugs are expected to cost about R9 each, and there’s an extensive range of adaptors and wall sockets available for those wanting to make the change. Expect them to start appearing on store shelves soon. For more information visit www.radiant.co.za