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What is a type F electrical socket and plug?

Type "F" electrical sockets are found in a variety of European and other countries, most especially Germany and with variants in the former Soviet republics. They are distinct in that the socket itself has two round grounding prongs within rectangular areas, indicated at left by the hollow green rectangles, that stick out from a mostly circular, indented casing with small rectangular grooves on the sides. Because of their configuration, type "F" electrical sockets allow plugs to be inserted upside-down and thus are not polarized despite being grounded. The plugs that fit type "F" sockets are often referred to as Schuko plugs and consist of two elongated, round prongs of equal length, two grounding sockets to receive the grounding prongs and rectangular plastic railings on the sides to fit into the rectangular side grooves. Schuko plugs often also have a socket to receive a type "E" socket grounding prong and, if so, can be used in type "E" sockets. Because of the spacing and size of the ungrounded portion of the outlet, type "F" sockets fit ungrounded type "C" plugs, generally referred to as Europlugs. However, the Russian version of the type "F" socket has narrower holes to receive narrower prongs. This means that Russian plugs will fit all type "F" electrical sockets but that standard Schuko plugs do not fit Russian type "F" sockets.

last updated 2008.06.30
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