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US/EU Banana plug safety question

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by johnfairchild42, Feb 1, 2013.

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  1. johnfairchild42

    johnfairchild42 Thread Starter

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    I live in the US but have been offered a job in the UK so our family is thinking to move there for a few years. All my audio equipment has banana jacks but I have heard they are illegal in the UK. I was told they had been made illegal because they could be plugged into the European plug socket.


    I have a three year old and so am a little concerned about safety. I know it is unlikely that my three year old would do this, but is it possible to plug standard banana jacks into the UK mains sockets.
     
  2. 1002richards

    1002richards Retired Trusted Advisor

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    Hi,
    UK plug sockets look like this http://electricaloutlet.org/type-g
    But there are socket covers of course.
    UK voltage is 230 and I think USA is 120? So you'll have to look at that issue too.

    Hope this helps.

    Richard
     

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  3. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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  4. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    I have a three year old and so am a little concerned about safety. I know it is unlikely that my three year old would do this, but is it possible to plug standard banana jacks into the UK mains sockets.[/QUOTE]

    I would never under estimate the resourcefulness of a child. If your house has sockets like the one in the photo, unless there are safety traps on the socket,I would remove the banana plugs. All audio connectors I know if have a hole for the bare wire to go through (for speakers).
     
  5. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    I would never under estimate the resourcefulness of a child. If your house has sockets like the one in the photo, unless there are safety traps on the socket,I would remove the banana plugs. All audio connectors I know if have a hole for the bare wire to go through (for speakers).

    Note: this would be for readily accessible banana plugs. If the plugs are behind an entertainment cabinet or something difficult to access, I would be less concerned.
     
  6. buffoon

    buffoon

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    UK sockets have safety traps. In the image depicted by 1002richards, the top middle one (forming triangle" top corner) needs pushing in before you can insert anything into either or both of the two lower ones. Top socket is also earth, the lower two being live and neutral respectively and even the top earth offers considerable resistance against pushing initially. Plugs obviously match them.

    Banana jacks are not illegal in the UK but they rapidly become so when you deign to shove them into a mains socket. That one is a big no-no and any electrical/house and safety inspector will have your hide.

    Anyway, since that's not where you're going to put them and the kids conceivably cannot due to the traps, you'll be all right.
     
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