UK plug question

I live in Schuko land and use a Schuko plug to the wall and a UK power block - I’m looking to phase out the UK plugs in 2023, to get rid of the unnecessary fuses.

In the UK, would the opposite set up be legal and safe I.e. UK wall plug and Schuko power block ?

You would need to have at least a 13A fuse somewhere, probably best on the first plug from the main socket (i.e. on the power block) as AFAIK Schuko mains sockets are not approved for UK mains installs.

Unnecessary in legal terms where you live, perhaps, but the UK law requiring them has a sound safety basis: the idea is to protect against the cable catching fire in the event of a short circuit, the much higher rated fuse at the distribution board not necessarily providing adequate protection for the often thin cables used for connecting cables to plugged in electrical items. Having seen the spray of sparks like a firework from a cable where that happened when I was a kid, before the requirement for fused plugs was introduced in UK, I appreciate the reasoning and decision. That said, the risk is minimal for static cables such as to fixed gear, compared to frequently moved things like an iron (which was the item I saw), with its frequent flexing of the cable.

Yes it can be done, & it is done by some people using Schuko or USA type-B 3 pin, but why is beyond me.
The downside is Schuko has the reverse polarity issue & the USA standard is only approved for 120v.
In this setup, the wall socket plug is BS 1363 (13A) standard & carries the required protection fuse, this protects the wall to power block lead & the power block, plus all the individual connected Schuko to equipment power leads.

Maybe some perspective to my question would be appropriate.

I have asked a couple of times in this forum if anyone has experience comparing UK vs Schuko set ups but my questions were never responded to. I plan to evaluate the difference and possibly (probably) move from my current set up to a full Schuko setup. My current set up is a legacy from living in the UK years ago. Everything plugged into the wall is Schuko. Everything plugged into my power block is UK, fused, 3 pin.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility for me to move back to the UK in the future so I’m also trying to figure out if I should store the UK block and Powerlines, or if I would need only a single UK Powerline (to the wall) and be fine with a Schuko block and cables to the equipment.

I guess by extension, Im curious if there might be sonic benefits to a hybrid (if legal and safe) set up in the UK.

Exactly, in my situation they are unnecessary (legally and safely).

Yes, I mean with a fused plug between the wall and a power block, is there a requirement for the same between power block and equipment?

Not sure I understand the issue? My Schuko wall outlet (Furutech) indicates polarity and it is wired correctly. My Powerline plug indicates polarity and it is connected correctly.

This is how I would understand it - the wall to block lead provides the protection for the rest - therefore, do the rest need to be fused plugs, either to be safe or legal?

Probably not as it’s perfectly OK to have a distribution block with IEC plugs and sockets. So long as the block’s mains lead has a fused plug on it then it should be fine for use in the UK.

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They can be reversed, plus there is no regulation requirement to connect correctly.

Yes it’s legal, the Part-P regulations only relate to the fixed electrical circuits in the property.
What you plug into that is up to you, & if it goes wrong, your house insurance company
A similar setup using one 13A plug connecting into numbers of outlet leads are the so called Hydra’s.

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It will also be dependant on what the fuse rating would be for each component.

In the UK, the fuse spec is BS1362 and the typical ratings are 3, 5 and 13 amps.

If your block lead fuse rating is 13A, but the component is rated at 3 or 5A, then this would be a problem as there would be no protection for the cable.

Suggest that you contact a competent electrician via the NICEIC, who can help with the UK Wiring Regulations, which to be honest, are quite complex.


It’s not the component, the Naim units have there own fuses.
The BS plug fuse protects the cable & IEC plug (rated at 10 amps)
3 core flex cCable ratings …… vary slightly depending of application, but are aprx
0.75mm/2 6 amps
1mm 10 amps
1.5mm 16 amps
2.5mm 25 amps
4mm 32 amps

It’s not exactly complex, a mess is probably closer, but it’s arguably less of a mess than the various individual EU countries “standards”.

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I’m not sure I understand this. If the components have their own protection and the cable fuse is to protect the cable, which cable wouldn’t be protected, with a block lead fused at 13A?

EDIT: Posted before I saw your reply @Mike-B

As per @Mike-B. Depends on the cable.

As advised contact a NICEIC Electrician.



Cables are very interesting.


I’ll try to make this a little more logical, but maybe it’ll be even more illogical.
The UK regulation ratings are based on an old standard that’s both BS & TUV (German)
The component amp rating is set at a 1 degree C (K) increase in temp for the component item, or with cable at 1 metre.
A 13 amp fuse will carry 13 amps indefinitely with a 1 degree temperature rise over ambient.
The UK 13 amp fuse does not blow at over 13 amps, it will given a long period of time, but normally it will blow at greater than 22 amps as a slow blow, it will blow instantly with 100 amps which is typical of a short circuit.

No more please, it’s Christmas & I’m Chef du Cuisine today.

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Have a nice Boxing Day.


Ah, now I think I know what you were getting at. None of the cables from the block should have a fusible rating of less than the fused cable connected to the block. Makes sense and perfectly straightforward. Mentioning the component rating threw me.

Importantly, no fuse higher than the original fuse in the plug.

Hopefully thus will help, but do contact a NICEIC competent electrician.


It will be interesting to see your findings when comparing UK block to Schuko as I’m in the same situation having a UK block and Powerlines with a French wall socket and plug, though I don’t plan on returning to the UK so it’s purely sound quality.

The standard French sockets have an earth pin so lock in polarity, though the plugs are rarely marked for live and neutral. Furutech, sockets at least, don’t seem to have the pin and rely on the two edge contacts for earth so can be use the right way or the wrong way.

Yes, but Furutech sockets are marked with Neutral and Live so as long as it’s installed correctly, its easy enough to get right. Just install the EU Powerline as you would with a French socket, with the earth receptacle uppermost, and the polarity should be correct, with Live on the right. Chord Schukos are wired the same way. Other power leads would have to be checked and marked, if not already marked by the manufacturer. Easy enough to do though.

I’m not planning to, I’m just not counting it out… :grinning:

The polarity on French circuits can be interesting, even in the same house. The earth pin denotes nothing other than it is an earth pin. The French polarity is the opposite of most of the rest of Europe although it uses a similar or the same plug, but that has changed over the years to now be that new installations will be the same polarity throughout Europe. In my house, some sockets are left/right, neutral/ live and some are reversed. This can be corrected at the ‘fuse’ box or at the plug, but then you have to know what else has been run from that ‘fuse’ box.
Always best to check.

I recall some articles in a Hi-Fi magazine, where a reviewer took UK, schuko and USA versions of the same hiend power cables along with the respective outlets on power blocks. With the power blocks iec fed by the UK version to wall.
I suspect they were Nordost cables, reviewer Roy Gregory in Hifi Plus a good while back (I’ll have to dig through my copies)
I think he overall preferred the Schuko in sound, also having gear that was sensitive to polarity - which is easily doable.

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