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), SEV 1011 (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 profileRelated gallery:
non-CEE 7/16, 2-pin plugs

 

Europlug Polish Europlug Male and female rewirable Europlug Europlug-Contra_disassembled
       
Triple socket for Europlugs Europlug-type connector plug 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. The image shows a genuine Europlug as defined by the IEC (see comment, below). 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.
Because Europlugs have to fit safely in sockets with slots that have a diameter of 4.0, as well as 4.8 mm, they have flexible, converging pins (see image). The basal part of the shafts is insulated to minimize the risk of an electric shock when plugs are not fully inserted. 
2 Often Europlugs are moulded to power cords (see no. 1). However, also rewirable plugs exist. The image shows a disassembled Polish Europlug, rated for 10A.   {WM}
3, 4 French example of a rewirable 6A Europlug and ditto connector. Image no.4 shows that the connector is equipped with a worm-drive, an unusual mechanism to (dis)assemble the internal part of the plug. Brand name: Legrand.
Procedure: (i) use a screwdriver to rotate the black screw (1). The screw rotates a worm (2). The 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.
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 Europlug compatible connector plug moulded to an extension cord (Europlug at the other end of cord is not shown).
7 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.

 

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 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, see for example no. 1. Read about their origin and significance on the certification marks page.

 

Triple adapter for Europlugs Euro multiplug

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

8 A very flat adapter for three Europlugs, rated at 2.5A (refers probably to a single outlet). The image shows the adapter mounted in a Schuko socket. Brand name: Kopp, Germany.
9 Three-way Euro-multi-plug, suitable for Schuko sockets. For stability Euro-multi-plugs have a Schuko plug base (without earth clips).
10 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.
11 - 13 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.

 

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 the Next icon or plug at right.
2-pin plug, small

 


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