Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small CEE 7/16  standard
Europlugs and matching sockets
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Europlugs are compatible with the following types of sockets: CEE 7/3 (Schuko), CEE 7/5 (French), SN 441011 (Swiss), CEI 23-50 (Italian), DS 107-2D1 (Danish), SI 32 (Israeli) and IEC 60906-1 and other outlets that accept plugs with two round pins, 19 mm apart.

Two CEE 7/16 variants exist. Variant I refers to round, unearthed plugs with 4.0 mm pins. Variant II are flat plugs, shown on this page. The name Europlug refers to variant II.
Type C profile Related gallery:
CEE 7/1 sockets and
CEE 7/2 plugs

 

About Europlugs

The Europlug was first mentioned in a 1963 survey of plugs and sockets across Europe. Eight years later it was adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission, and since 1990 it is the de facto standard European non-earthed plug for low power (up to 2.5A) double insulated (Class II) devices, which do no require a protective earth.
Europlugs plugs comply with the CEE 7/16, variant II standard.

Quite often Europlugs have several marks. A list of marks and info is given on the certification marks page.

 

Europlug
Europlug and Schuko socket contacts
Rewireable Europlug
Europlug-type connector plug

Triple socket for Europlugs Triple adapter for Europlugs Euro multiplug Europlug with detachable contact

1 Europlugs are non-earthed plugs that have have two round pins with a diameter of 4.0 mm, positioned ca. 19 mm apart.
Europlugs are 35.3 mm wide and 13.7 mm thick and have a characteristic shape with hexagonal sides
. They are designed for currents up to 2.5A - 250V.
A characteristic feature of Europlugs are slightly flexible, converging pins. These non-parallel pins are necessary to make sufficient contact in 16A sockets (see image no. 2).
Insulated sleeves are compulsory. They prevent an electric shock when a plug is not fully inserted (a possibility in adapter no 6). 
2 Europlug pins positioned on top of contacts of Schuko scocket. Contacts are designed for 16A pins that have a diameter of 4.8 mm. Nevertheless 4.0 mm Europlug pins touch the wider Schuko contacts sufficiently (red arrows), because of the converging flexible pins (see image nos 1 and 3).
3 Often Europlugs are moulded to power cords (see no. 1). However, also rewirable plugs exist. The image shows a disassembled rewireable 2.5A Europlug. Manufacturer: Bachmann, Stuttgart, Germany.
4 Europlug compatible connector plug moulded to an extension cord. Note that rewireable connector plugs exists also.
5 Europlugs fit in many socket types, see list given in the introductory note. There also exists sockets specially designed for Europlugs, but these sockets are not covered by the CEE 7/16 standard.
The triple Europlug socket shown here is made by the Polish company Ospel. It is rated at 2.5A, which probably relates to each individual outlet, thus 7.5A in total.
   {WM}
6, 7
Two examples of triple Europlug adapters that fit in CEE 7/1 (not earthed), CEE 7/3 (Schuko), CEE 7/5 (French) sockets.
Manufacturers: German companies Kopp (6) and Gebrüder Broghammer (7).
8 Europlug with a detachable wire contact. A series of 16 small light bulbs (14V each) is connected to the wire. To attach the bulbs to a Christmas tree it is convenient to temporarily break open the loop wire.

 

PinFix adapter Schuko socket Schuko socket with PinFix Schuko socket with PinFix and Europlug

6A plug with Europlug shape made by Legrand



9 PinFix. A simple adapter for Schuko sockets that gives Europlugs additional support. Europlugs have pins with a diameter of 4.0 mm, whereas Schuko slots are scaled for 4.8 mm pins. This mismatch may result in a somewhat unstable connection, notably when a bulky or heavy appliance plug is used, for example a cell phone or laptop charger.
10 - 12 Schuko socket without PinFix (no. 11). Schuko socket with PinFix (no. 12) and Europlug inserted (no. 13).
The only drawback of the adapter is the difficulty to detach it from a socket.
13 Rewireable plug and matching connector. They have a shape similar to Europlugs, but pins are not flexible and rating is 6A, rather than 2.5A.  Manufacturer: Legrand, Limoges, France
Images right shows that the connector is equipped with a worm-drive, an unusual mechanism to (dis)assemble the internal part.
Procedure: use a screwdriver to rotate the black screw (1); the screw rotates a worm (2). Worm meshes with cogged strips which are fixed parts of the inside of the housing (3). An anti-clockwise rotating worm takes the internal part out. A clockwise rotation pulls it into the housing. An ingenious and safe system.
Image below shows more Euro-lookalikes.

 


Comparison of four flat 2-pin plugs


Specifications (in mm) of four plugs shown in image no. 14

pin spacing
base    tip
pin length
pin diameter
(tip)
Europlug
18.9 - 17.8
19.1 4.0
BS 4673 plug
16.7 - 16.7 16.4 5.1
5A - 10A plug
19.0 - 19.0  16.8* 4.0
unknown plug 15.9 - 15.6 18.6 3.9
* pin length may differ, for example:
  French 5A: 16.8; Swiss T11 (10A): 18.6; Spanish 10A: 19.2

14 Comparison of four 2-pin flat plugs that have a hexagonal shape (shown far left). Only the grey plug is a genuine CEE 7/16 Europlug. The other three plugs have a similar shape, but pin specifications differ.
(1) Europlug: flexible, converging 4.0 mm pins; pins must have insulating sleeves.
1
(2) BS 4573 shaver plug: smaller pin spacing and length, and larger pin diameter than Europlugs; sleeves are obligatory.2
(3) Several countries allow Europlug shaped 5 - 10 Amp plugs with inflexible pins; some have insulating sleeves.3
(4) mystery plug: pin spacing comparable to BS 4573, pin diameter comparable to Europlugs, but no insulating sleeves.
     Rating is not indicated, but because plug cord was attached to an immersion water heater, a rating of about 5A is likely.
2
    It is unclear for which type of socket the plug is meant, because it doesn't comply with any known standard.
     Manufacturer is unknown. The water heater has been bought from an eBay trader in Lithuania.   {PTB}

1 plug fit in 10A sockets and, because of converging pins, also in 16A sockets that have wider contacts for 4.8 mm pins.
2 plug fit in BS 4573 sockets and 2-pin 5A BS 372 Part I sockets, among others still in use in India.
3 plug fit in 10A sockets, but 4.0 mm pins make insufficient contact in 16A sockets.

 

Similar 2-pin plugs

In Europe, and elsewhere, you will find a variety of 2-pin plugs with round pins positioned 19 mm apart. However, their shape and/or other characteristics do not meet the CEE 7/16 standard. Such CEE 7/2 and other non-CEE 7/16 two-pin plugs and outlets are displayed on a separate page. Click plug right >>>
2-pin plug, small

 


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