Plugs without sleeves on the pins – these plugs have not been manufactured in the UK for 40 years!
This makes the plug very old, and you have to ask yourself, does it still meet British Standards?
It may work perfectly fine, but imagine that’s powering a lamp and your grandchild goes to unplug it to plug in their phone charger, and their little fingers catch the pins, that are not insulated… they’d get an electric shock. Is that not a good reason to change the plug?
You can change the plug yourself, just make sure you know how to wire a plug correctly, if not we do have a great article on here that teaches you how to wire a plug – just follow that link.
British Standards today require plugs to have sleeved pins; in the past they didn’t. As we have developed technology and safety we have learned that a plug with insulated pins is much safer than one without. These plugs stopped getting put on things in 1987, so it’s about time a new plug was put on that lamp.
From a PAT test point of view there is no specific requirement to ‘fail’ this item but from a safety point of view, best practice would recommend it. However, whenever we come across plugs without sleeved pins we always change it for an up to date British plug for safety reasons. After all, the purpose of our job is to make sure an appliance is safe. This happens a lot when we work with charity shops – often they are donated electrical equipment, some of which has sat in houses a long time and only now, when it’s being cleared out, are these items found. Old lamps and other electrical goods are donated which no longer meet safety standards.
If you run a charity shop it’s worth checking the plugs on appliances to make sure they do have sleeved pins or contact us to arrange your charity shop PAT testing to be done – there’s a contact form to the right you can use or click on ‘Get a quote‘ above.
In 1984 the British Standard BS1363 was amended to include the live and neutral pins must have an insulated sleeve.
Almost 40 years later we are still finding these plugs on appliances.
Plugs sold in the UK have been covered by statutory regulation since 1987 which requires them, legally, to meet BS1363.
Although there is no official requirement to replace the plug, if the plug is on an appliance that is to be hired out, sold, or used in rental accommodation, it is covered by the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 so the plug will need to be replaced to meet the current regulations.
The plug photographed was found in an antiques shop, where we were testing some lamps for resale, so we removed this plug and replaced it with a current BS1363 plug.