Earlier this week whilst out on a client site, a member of staff asked why I was replacing a non-sleeved plug.

You might be thinking what is a non-sleeved plug, these are generally 3-pin plugs made pre 1984 and look similar to the plug shown below (left image), when BS 1363 was amended, requiring plugs to have an insulation sleeve on the live and neutral pins.

Non-sleeved 3 pin UK plug
Sleeved 3 pin UK Plug

3 pin plugs sold in the UK have been covered by statutory legislation since 1984, legally requiring them to conform to BS1363. However, this legislation is not retrospective and does not apply to old plugs already in use. IET Code of Practice (page 138, table Vii.1 section 15) states there is no requirement to replace old non-sleeved plugs.

So why did I change the plug?

Let’s recap, BS1363 was amended back in 1984 – that’s was 37 years ago, and before the client was born.

There is a very good chance that it will have suffered some damage in its’s lifetime.  On closer inspection, the casing had signs of cracks and slightly bent pins.

Replacing the plug was therefore required, and in accordance with current BS 1363 guidelines, it was replaced with a suitable sleeved plug similar to the plug shown above (right image).


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